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Young people in the region prefer to buy their first home than rent. SUR
Almost nine in ten adults under 30 in Andalucía cannot afford to move out of their parents’ home
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Almost nine in ten adults under 30 in Andalucía cannot afford to move out of their parents’ home

A recent report has highlighted how high property prices and low wages create a perfect storm to limit young people’s independence

José Luis Piedra

Seville

Friday, 25 August 2023, 12:12

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A new report has shone a light on how hard it is for young people in Spain to move out of their parental home and build an independent life. The average age to ‘fly the nest’ is now 30, significantly higher than the European average.

In the Andalucía region, 86 per cent of 16 to 29 year olds still live with their parents or relatives, slightly above the Spanish average of 83 per cent. The barometer report, from a respected centre for researching independent living for young people, covers data to the end of last year.

Higher figures in Andalucía

Andalucía is among the regions in which young people find it hardest to achieve their independence. It is in fifth place in the ranking of regions with the fewest independent young people, with only 14 per cent who have managed to leave to live on their own.

The main problem that prevents young people from leaving home, according to the study, is the high price of housing, often unaffordable with the salaries they earn in their first jobs. In addition, job insecurity and high youth unemployment, which is 38.9 per cent, according to latest government data, play their part.

Most young people prefer to buy a home, rather than renting, which makes it harder for them to leave, given the difficulty in getting a mortgage.

The proportion of young people renting a flat in Andalucía (30%) is lower than the Spanish average (37.9%), with home ownership (55.1%) being the most common scenario in Andalucía for those under 30 who had already left home.

Average age to leave of 30

Currently, the population of 16 to 30-year-olds in Andalucía is 1.310 million and the average age that a young Andalusian leaves home is around 30, in line with the national figure.

The body behind the study, the Spanish Youth Council, (Consejo de la Juventud de España), has warned that, at a national level in Spain, the number of under 30s living away from the family home is stuck at 16%, one point above the Andalusian rate and half the European rate of almost 32%.

Andrea González, the president of the council, which brings together youth groups nationwide to lobby for young people’s rights, stressed, “the age of independence has risen to 30, the highest since the barometer study was first published 20 years ago. This means that is higher than the age limit considered as being young in Spain; becoming independent is virtually a pipe dream”.

Almost 70% of salary

The CCOO trade union has stressed the financial difficulty for young people to access housing, as they have to spend almost 70% of their salary to do so. It highlighted that “the average salary of young people is just over a thousand euros, an amount which it is impossible to even consider renting with and become independent, as it is completely unachievable”.

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