I’m (not) leaving home

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LONG WAIT: Spaniards stay with parents longer. Credit: Shutterstock

YOUNG Spanish people tend to leave home at 29, compared with the EU average of 26.

Sociologists attributed these latest Eurostat figures to “cultural reasons” coupled with unemployment amongst the young and precarious jobs when they do find work.

Limited official help when buying a starter property also helps to keep Spaniards in the parental home they pointed out.

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Amongst the 19 countries belonging to the Eurozone, Spain ranks sixth from the bottom when it came to flying the nest, ahead of Italy, Slovakia, the republics of the former Yugoslavia, Croatia and Malta.

In 2017, the average wage for the 16-29 age group was just over €11,000 while those between 30 and 34 took home an average €15,000, according to the Youth Council of Spain.

On these salaries, buying a property for under-29s swallows 60 per cent of their earnings and 40 per cent for the 30-34 age group, well above the 30 per cent average for tolerable indebtedness.

In 1997, 12.5 per cent of Spain’s population lived in rented accommodation compared with 16 per cent in 2016 and when the young do leave home, they are more likely to rent – often sharing – than to buy.

During a recent property forum at the IESE Business School in Madrid, the four principal speakers agreed that they did not foresee a real estate boom, although the sector was “healthy, stabilised and would continue growing until 2022.”

But it was important to pay attention to the young, they warned, as their continued difficulty in getting a foot on the property ladder also contributed to the drop in demand.

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