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EASTER

Spain sees rise in Covid-19 cases ahead of Easter

The data from Spain's Health Ministry has been showing a steady increase in coronavirus cases since mid-March, however Health Emergency Chief Fernando Simón has said that infections could be contained as a “small wave”.

Covid health workers
CESAR MANSO / AFP

The 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants now stands at 149, according to the Health Ministry’s latest report, as 12 of Spain’s autonomous regions currently have a rise in infections. 

“At a national level we are in a phase of expansion”, Health Emergency Chief Fernando Simón told a news conference, saying that the uptick would likely continue in the coming days.

“We are in a situation of inflection. We could maintain the trend or reverse it. It’s in everyone’s hands,” he said about the critical time over the Easter period.

“We could have an epidemiological wave, but it might be much smaller than the previous ones. Each week that passes and we vaccinate more people, it’s time we gain,” he continued.

Madrid and Navarra currently have the greatest number of infections per 100,000 inhabitants and both now exceed the threshold for extreme risk. Madrid has a cumulative incidence rate of 255 cases, while Navarra has 266. 

Most of Spain’s autonomous regions have a rise in infections over the past two weeks, however, Valencia and Murcia both have incidence rates of less than 100 and have seen a decline in cases. The Balearic Islands and Extremadura both also have a cumulative incidence rate of less than 100. 

In the last seven days, Madrid has reported the most cases with 17,951, followed by Catalonia with 15,534 and Andalusia with 11,830. 

Though restrictions in many regions have been relaxed slightly over the past month, and most bars and restaurants remain open for at least part of the day, many rules remain in place over the Easter holidays and all regions on the mainland have closed their borders. 

“If we manage to follow the Easter restrictions, we may not be talking about a fourth wave,” Simón concluded.

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PROPERTY

Why Madrid is now the easiest place in Spain for under-35s to buy their first home

Buying a home is a near-impossible task for many young people in Spain in a climate of low wages, high unemployment, inflation and rising house prices. However, a new programme introduced in Madrid will make a huge difference for first-time buyers under the age of 35.

Why Madrid is now the easiest place in Spain for under-35s to buy their first home

Many young people in Spain want to be able to buy a property and may be in the position to make regular mortgage payments, but can’t in fact secure one because they can’t afford a big enough deposit. 

According to the Emancipation Observatory of the Spanish Youth Council (CJE), 59.2 percent in Spain rent, while only 17.4 percent own their own property and pay a mortgage. Data shows that most Spaniards aren’t able to buy a property until they are 41 years old. 

The region of Madrid announced on Wednesday, July 20th the introduction of the ‘My First Home’ programme to help those under the age of 35 buy a property by granting a mortgage of up to 95 percent on their first home.

The project will be managed by the Department of the Environment, Housing and Agriculture and has been approved by the regional Madrid government which has promised a total investment of €18 million. This is 50 percent more than was initially planned. 

The objective of the project is to help young people from Madrid, who despite having a good income “do not have enough savings to be able to obtain a mortgage” the local government stated.

The Madrid government, in collaboration with other financial institutions “will guarantee” to help those who do not have the financial means to pay the necessary deposit for a property themselves, they continued. 

Why Madrid is now the easiest place in Spain for under-35s to buy a home

The programme will be open to all those under the age of 35 who have been legally residents in Madrid for two years. Photo: Felipe Pelaquim/Unsplash

How will it work?

The banks, along with the government of Madrid, will grant mortgage loans for amounts greater than 80 percent and up to 95 percent of the value of the property, provided that the purchase price doesn’t exceed €390,000.

Who is eligible?

The programme will be open to all those under the age of 35 who are legally resident in Madrid.

They must have also lived in the region continuously for the two years leading up to their application. Applicants also can’t already own a property anywhere else in Spain.

How and when can young people apply?

The government of Madrid has said that applications for the programme will be open “after this summer” when all the details have been finalised and agreed upon.

No details have been released yet on exactly how or where to apply.

This aid programme is included in Madrid’s Birth Strategy 2022/26, in which €4.8 billion has been earmarked for the promotion and protection of maternity and paternity benefits, as well as family reconciliation.

This new project is another way that any future mothers under the age of 35 will be able to get a property. Those who are not in the position to buy can also get help renting a home through Madrid’s Vive Plan in which they can benefit from rental prices 40 percent below the average.

READ ALSO: Why you should move to this region in Spain if you want to pay less tax

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