The Government’s new housing policy which aims at getting more young Spaniards to rent has come up against an unexpected pitfall – that those it is aiming to help reject the idea of renting.
The results of a government survey of young people between 20 and 30 years old showed that renting is not at all popular in Spain. More than half of those questioned expressed their desire to buy their own property despite government help towards renting. In fact around 60% said that the price of renting and monthly mortgage payments were quite similar and therefore opted in favour of buying property whenever possible.
These findings underline the fact that Spain tends to be a country of house buyers rather than renters. The European average for tenants living in rented accommodation is 38% but in Spain this figure drops to just 11%. The Ministry for Housing has acknowledged that in order to reverse this trend, renting needs to be not only cheaper but they also need to convince the young that it is an attractive option.
The results of the survey published yesterday indicated that the 1000 young people questioned would not be interested in renting, even if conditions were to become more favourable. Among some of the reasons they cited against renting were the bad state of rental accommodation, lack of guarantees for continuing a lease and the high deposit or bank guarantee required in order to be able to sign a rental contract.
When those questioned what price they would be happy to pay for renting a flat they said 350 euros with a maximum of 475 euros. However, in reality most rental contracts for flats of 100 square metres cost around 720 euros a month, rising to an average of in places like Madrid or Barcelona.
As far as economic help is concerned most people said that there should be more help towards buying rather than renting.
A government spokesperson has said that more information is to become available about economic incentives available to help towards the cost of renting.