MALAGA province holds the unenviable crown of eating up the largest chunk of the average renter’s household income.

The Costa del Sol and surrounding areas eat up a staggering 53% of family income a month just to pay for the roof overhead.

The figure is the highest in all of Spain, according to a new report by rental website Idealista.

Following not far behind are the Balearic Islands at 48% and Barcelona province at 41%, with others trailing not far behind.

Across Spain, the slice of a paycheck going up in smoke each month has climbed three percent to a hefty 33%. 

Barcelona tops the list of cities, demanding 44% of household income, followed closely by Palma at 43%, Valencia at 39%, Málaga at 38%, and Madrid at 37%.

In the second tier of still-really-rather-expensive cities you find Alicante, San Sebastián, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Bilbao, and Segovia, each exceeding 30%. 

On the flip side, bargain hunters might want to take a gander at Ciudad Real, Teruel, Palencia, Zamora, Jaén, and Cáceres, where landlords ask for a more manageable 16-19%.

Meanwhile, average mortgage costs have jumped from 18% to 22% in the last year.

Malaga Coast
Malaga takes the crown as the most rent-demanding province in Spain

Generally, buying is less of a wallet-drain than renting, except in San Sebastián, Palma, Granada, and A Coruña. 

However, in five capitals, the financial stretch to buy a home is over the 30% benchmark: Palma (46%), San Sebastián (39%), Barcelona (33%), Málaga (33%), and Madrid (31%). 

The least demanding are Jaén, Lleida, Teruel, Palencia, and Ciudad Real, asking for just 11-13%.

A tight squeeze in housing supply and the resulting price hike is blamed for pushing rental costs to the limit, while rising interest rates are the culprits for buyers.

Idealista spokesperson Francisco Iñareta painted a grim picture of Spain’s ‘bleak’ rental market.

“If housing policies stay strict or tighten up, like in Catalonia, we’re unlikely to see a reversal in the drop in available properties, making it even tougher for families, especially the most vulnerable, to find rental homes. 

“On the buying front, the anticipated cut in ECB rates later this year might ease financing costs a bit, which could take some pressure off, unless demand surges and pushes prices up.”

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