I’m (not) leaving home

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.


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.

Linda came to Spain to live when she was 24, just over 52 years ago, and her husband is Spanish. She began writing for English-language local newspapers in the mid-1970s and hasn’t stopped since! She leads a Spanish life, which she believes is vital when conveying the news to English-speaking residents, and along the way she produced two editions of Expand Your Spanish, helping English-speakers to enlarge their knowledge of the language. She was excited to be in at the birth of the Euro Weekly News in 1999 and is still passionately writing for the paper 22 years later.


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