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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 a home
Madrid is a lively city with the highest bar per capita rate in Europe and more work opportunities than most cities in Spain. It's now also the easiest place for young people to buy a first home. Photo: Alex Vasey/Unsplash

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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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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