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RENTING

How much does it cost to rent a room in Spain in 2021?

Renting your own place can be expensive in Spain compared with average salaries, so many people cut costs by renting a room in a shared apartment. How much does it actually cost and where is sharing a flat cheapest in Spain?

How much does it cost to rent a room in Spain in 2021?
How much does it cost ro rent a room in Spain? Photo: Ina FASSBENDER / AFP

The average price for renting a room in a shared flat in Spain at the end of 2020 was €269.49 per month, according to Pisos.com. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, however, rental prices have decreased rapidly. A study by Spanish property portal Idealista revealed that between May and November last year, Barcelona saw the sharpest fall in rents with prices per square metre slumping by 13 percent. 

READ ALSO: Where in Spain have rental prices dropped the most in coronavirus crisis?

According to the Rentger blog by Idealista, rental prices continued to fall in the first quarter of 2021 by 1.9 percent. 

But, it seems it’s not just the pandemic which has caused rents to decrease. In 2019, the average price for a room per month was €287.45 and in 2018 it was at €292.18, so it seems that prices were already on a downward trend. 

Where are the most expensive places to rent a room in Spain?

Unsurprisingly, Barcelona and Madrid are the two most expensive cities to rent a room in Spain. Pisos.com revealed that the average price for a room in Barcelona is €453.91 per month, while in Madrid it will set you back €426.88 per month on average.

This is mainly due to the fact that property is more expensive in these cities and the salaries are also higher. In fact, 43.78 percent of the demand for rooms in shared flats is in the provinces of Madrid and Barcelona.

READ ALSO – RANKED: Where are workers’ salaries highest and lowest in Spain?

READ ALSO: What you should know about renting an apartment in Barcelona

Other expensive cities to rent a room in Spain include places in the north of the country, particularly in the Basque Country, the Balearic Islands and Catalonia. Rooms in San Sebastián are the third most expensive at an average of €423.02 per month, while in Palma de Mallorca a room will cost you an average of €403.52 per month.

Where are the most expensive places to rent a room in Spain? Image: Pisos.com
 

Bilbao, Girona, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria also all feature in the top 10 most expensive places to rent a room in Spain.

In Andalusia, the two most expensive cities to rent a room are Malaga and Cádiz at €316.74 and €305 respectively.

Where are the cheapest places to rent a room in Spain? 

On the other side of the scale, the cheapest places to rent a room in Spain can be found in the regions of Castilla-La Mancha, Galicia and Extremadura.

Ciudad Real in Castilla-La Mancha is the cheapest place to rent a room at an average of €157.24, followed by Lugo in Galicia at €167.95. Badajoz, Palencia, Cuenca and Ourense also all feature in the top 10 cheapest cities to rent a room in Spain.

Jaén is the cheapest city to rent a room in Andalusia at €201 per month.

Cheapest places to rent a room in Spain. Image: Pisos.com
 

Which places have the highest amount of shared flats available?

Barcelona and Madrid may be the most expensive places to rent a room in a shared flat, but they also have the highest amount of shared apartments available. In Barcelona, 14.45 percent of the apartments are shared, while in Madrid 13.94 percent of the apartments are shared. 

READ ALSO: Moving to Barcelona: A guide to the best neighbourhoods to live in

Valencia, Seville and Granada also have more flatshares available than other Spanish cities at 4.60 percent, 4.35 percent and 3.45 percent respectively. This is likely to be due to the fact that these cities have big student populations and are popular with foreigners coming to live in Spain for a few months to learn the language or experience living in another country. 

READ ALSO – Moving to Valencia: A guide to the best neighbourhoods to live in

Where is the greatest demand for room rentals in Spain? Image: Piso Compartido

Who is living in flatshares in Spain?

Also unsurprisingly, renting a room in a flatshare is more in demand among Spain’s younger population. 51.24 percent of those aged 18-25 are looking to rent a room, while 29.22 percent of those aged 26-35 want to rent one. There are also slightly more females looking for flatshares than males in Spain. 54.90 percent of those are female and 45.10 percent are male. 

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MOVING TO SPAIN

How to find temporary accommodation in Spain when you first arrive

One of the most common questions people moving to Spain ask is where they can rent temporary accommodation while looking for somewhere more permanent. This can be particularly tricky, but we've found some of the best places to look.

How to find temporary accommodation in Spain when you first arrive

So you’ve sorted out your visas, you’ve done all your packing and have either sold or moved out of your home, but when you arrive in Spain you’re not exactly sure where you’re going to stay.  

Of course, it’s not the best idea to sign a contract ahead of time for a more permanent place before you’ve actually seen it in person. Photos don’t always accurately represent what the house or apartment looks like in reality and you won’t really be able to get a feel for the neighbourhood without being there. 

On top of this, rental scams are rife in some places in Spain, particularly in the bigger more popular cities like Barcelona. Often people will place an ad (which usually looks too good to be true) and get you to wire over a deposit to secure it in advance, but here’s the catch – the place doesn’t usually exist.

This is why it’s important to never hand over money to secure a place to live in Spain before you’ve actually seen it in person and you can get the keys as soon as you sign the contract.

But, finding a place to live in a new country can be difficult and it can take time, so while you look for somewhere, you’re going to need temporary accommodation for a couple of months. This can be tricky too because often temporary accommodation is geared towards tourists and you’ll be paying tourist prices too.

While Idealista and Fotocasa are two of the most popular sites to look for accommodation in Spain, when you only want somewhere for a couple of months, there’s no point looking there, as most places will have yearly contracts.

Keep in mind with short-term rentals for a couple of months, you’re going to be paying higher than the average monthly rent, however, for this, the apartments are usually fully furnished, including kitchen utensils, wi-fi already connected and offer you the flexibility of shorter contracts.

Short-term rental agencies

Specialised short-term rental agencies are the best way to go, which will allow you to sign contacts for less than the typical one year. These types of agencies are usually found in Spain’s big cities that are popular with foreigners, such as Madrid and Barcelona.

Trying searching in Spanish too by typing alquiler de temporada or alquiler temporal plus the name of the city or town you’re looking in. This way you may be able to find places that offer better value. 

Barcelona

In Barcelona, check out aTemporal an agency that started up precisely to fix the problem of trying to find accommodation in-between tourist accommodation and long-term rentals. They rent out apartments for anywhere from 32 days to 11 months.

ShBarcelona is another agency that specialises in these types of rentals and have properties all over the city.

READ ALSO – Moving to Barcelona: A guide to the best neighbourhoods to live in

Madrid

In Madrid, try DFLAT, which was created by two professionals from the Instituto de Empresa University after discovering the difficulties professionals and foreigners found when looking for an apartment in Madrid. Sh also has a good branch in Madrid.  

Valencia

In Valencia, Dasha Living Space has both short and long-term fully furnished flats available and  Valenvi Flats also offers rentals for between three and six months.

READ ALSO – Moving to Valencia: A guide to the best neighbourhoods to live in

Airbnb

While the nightly rate of Airbnb apartments is typically too expensive to rent for a couple of months, you may be able to find some deals. Often when you input dates for a month into Airbnb, you’ll find that several places have a monthly discount offered. Also, some owners will do a deal for a couple of months. If it’s winter for example and they know they’re not going to get many tourists anyway, they may be willing to negotiate.

Vrbo

Like Airbnb, the properties on Vrbo are rented out directly by the owners. While the site is also mainly focused on tourists, some owners may negotiate outside of the tourist season.

Housesitting

If you’re willing to try something a little bit different, then housesitting could be the way to go. This is where you live in somebody’s house for free, in exchange for looking after their pets and their property.

Often people only need someone for a few days, but sometimes you’ll see house sits available for a month or longer. This is perhaps a better option for those who are flexible on where they might want to live and are trying out a few different places. It’s also better for those wanting to live in smaller towns or villages rather than the bigger cities, as there are fewer postings for these popular locations. Trusted Housesitters and Mind My House are good options. 

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