OWNING or renting a property is getting more expensive in Spain- especially in tourist areas popular with British expats.

A survey conducted by online portal Idealista says that those popular regions are seeing households having to allocate a higher percentage of their income compared to other parts of the country.

It says that as a national average, the cost of renting has gone up from 30.5% to 32.6% of total household income, while those who prefer to buy have to set aside 21.9% of the salaries they receive each month compared to 18% a year earlier due to increased interest rates hitting mortgage repayments.

The costliest rental areas are Malaga province where families must allocate up to 53% of their monthly income; the Balearic Islands, with 48%; Barcelona, with 41%; Las Palmas, with 37%; and Alicante province on 35%.

For those who prefer to own their property, the outlay is even higher than for renting.

A year ago, the average mortgage took around 21% of household income, but the rate has gone up by seven points to 28%.

The Balearic Islands are the most expensive, taking up to 45% of what household income; Malaga province with 43%; and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, with 35%.

Idealista’s Francisco Iñareta says the situation for those looking to rent is not likely to improve.

He stated that if the recently introduced Housing Law is reducing the supply of rental properties and putting up rents, making it especially hard for vulnerable families.

Over home purchases, a likely reduction of interest rates this year should mean an easing on mortgage repayments, so long as demand for housing does not increase sharply and put upward pressure on prices. according to Iñareta.

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