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How much does it cost to rent an apartment in Spain in 2023?

The Local Spain
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How much does it cost to rent an apartment in Spain in 2023?
The Catalan city of Tarragona. Catalonia is on average the most expensive region in Spain in which to rent an apartment. Photo: Pau Sayrol/Unsplash

Renting is more expensive than ever in Spain, but there are still huge price differences between cities and regions. So how much can you expect to pay in rent for a Spanish apartment in 2023? Where is it cheapest and where is it priciest?

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The average rental price per square metre in Spain is €11.70/sqm.

This means that a 100-square-metre apartment (the average size in Spain is 97 sqm) will cost new tenants €1,170 a month in rent on average.

A tiny 50 sqm apartment costs on average €585 to rent every month.

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This data from February 2023 corresponds to Spain’s main property website Idealista, that found that there was a 1.5 percent rise in rental rates in January and a 0.4 percent increase in February.

The average of €11.70/sqm a month to rent an apartment is in fact the highest rate in Spanish history.

Prices remained high throughout 2021 and 2022 and there is little sign of them dropping throughout 2023. In the last three months, average rents have gone up by 3.4 percent and tenants are paying 8.7 percent more than a year ago.

Renting a place in Spain is not only becoming more costly but increasingly difficult, as there is less stock available as well as stricter requirements and screenings by landlords.

In 2022, the Spanish government introduced a 2 percent rent increase cap to put a stop to excessive rises, but this only applies to existing rental contracts, meaning that landlords are at liberty to set whatever price they see fit when renting out their property to a new tenant.

READ MORE: Why it’s getting harder to rent a property in Spain

There are of course massive differences between renting in the city and the countryside, as well as considerable price variations between certain regions and provinces.

The ten most expensive cities to rent an apartment in Spain in 2023 are Barcelona (€19.8/sqm), Madrid (€16.5/sqm), San Sebastián (€16.3/sqm), Bilbao (€13.3/sqm), Palma de Mallorca (€13.3/sqm), Málaga (€12.1/sqm), Valencia (€11.4/sqm), Girona (€11.2/sqm), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (€11.0/sqm) and Vitoria (€11.0/sqm).

The ten cheapest cities to rent an apartment in Spain in 2023 are Zamora (€5.6/sqm), Ávila (€6.2/sqm), Cáceres (€6.2/sqm), Ciudad Real (€6.2/sqm), Lugo (€6.2/sqm), Palencia (€6.5/sqm), Badajoz (€6.6/sqm), Jaén (€6.6/sqm), Ourense (€6.6/sqm) and Cuenca (€6.8/sqm).

On a regional level, there is a similar trend of wealthier autonomous communities with more industry and tourism having higher rents, and by contrast regions in Spain’s interior with smaller populations and work prospects having cheaper rents.

Catalonia, the Madrid Community and the Balearic Islands are the regions with the highest rental rates in the country, between €15.8/sqm and €14.5/sqm.

They are followed by the Basque Country, the Canary Islands and Andalusia, with average rents that are currently between €12.8/sqm and €9.7/sqm.

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The regions with the cheapest rents in Spain in 2023 are Galicia, Castilla y León, La Rioja, Murcia, Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura with average monthly rents between €8.0/sqm and €5.8/sqm.

Murcia is the outlier here in that it is a popular coastal region in south-eastern Spain, but with rents that are lower than in neighbouring Alicante or Valencia provinces.

What is clear from the latest available data is that rents are increasing pretty much everywhere across the country, whether it's in so-called 'Empty Spain' or the more populated coastal areas. In fact, 38 of Spain's 50 provincial capitals saw rents hikes in February 2023.

Provinces such as Málaga, Cádiz and Alicante, which not long ago offered favourable rents to foreigners in search of cost-effective  coast living, have recently seen rents approach those of Spain's bigger and more popular spots.

That's not to say that rents are prohibitive everywhere, as there are still well-serviced provinces along Spain's coast such as Almería, Huelva and Castellón where rents are half the price of those in Madrid or Barcelona.

 

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