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What do the latest data from the Emancipation Observation of the Spanish Youth Council indicate?

Europe is a relatively small continent in terms of population and territorial extension. However, these small dimensions contain deep regional differences at all levels imaginable. Thus, the socioeconomic reality of each European country can be quite different from that of its neighbours. The Eurostat Commission agency, which is responsible for collecting and publishing statistics in the EU, recently published the latest data on the age at which young Europeans leave home to live independently. In parallel, the Emancipation Observation from the Spanish Youth Council has examined the situation of young Spaniards in more detail. 

According to the Eurostat figures, young Europeans on average leave home at 26 years of age. This is one of the most advanced ages that have been registered to date and there are no possible explanations about it. On the one hand, the increasingly prolonged formative stage, which can lead young people to study until they are 24 or 25 years old, delays access to the job market. This poses other problems, especially after the last major economic crisis. The high rate of youth unemployment shows the difficulties in finding a job. 


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Similarly, the policies to support emancipation also play an essential role in the equation. The countries that offer more help to young people to rent or buy a home are those in which the average age of emancipation is lower. For example, the most usual age for emancipation in Sweden is only 21 years, a figure slightly surpassed by Denmark and Luxembourg. Malta (32.2 years), Croatia (31.9 years) and the republics that formed the former Yugoslavia (31.5 years) constitute the other side of the coin, with the highest emancipation ages. 

With regard to the Spanish case, Eurostat points out that the average age of Spaniards leaving home is 29 years, a figure that brings us closer to the latter rather than to the former. It is no secret that the main reasons for the delay in leaving the family home at European level are particularly serious in Spain. The Great Recession was felt more strongly in our country than in Central or Northern Europe. In 2017, the youth unemployment rate (the unemployed under 25 years of age) stood at 37.8%, with more than half a million young people unable to find work. 

However, this intense data requires some explanation. The current youth unemployment rate, although being very high, is almost twenty points below the highest figure ever recorded in our country. Specifically, in April 2013 we had a critical youth unemployment rate of 57%. That is the reason why, although there are still difficulties to find good jobs, the waiting time between the completion of studies and the first employment contract has been reduced considerably. 


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Of course it is one thing to find a job and quite another to have an income high enough to enable one to leave home, especially in a situation where the house prices are growing faster than wages. In 2017, among young people between 16 and 29 years of age, the average salary was around 11,000 euros per year, rising to 15,000 euros in the case of employees aged between 30 and 34 years. Is it possible to consider buying a home with this amount of income? Experts agree that the percentage of indebtedness with respect to the salary necessary to buy a home is far too high. 

The Emancipation Observation from the Spanish Youth Council's figure is 60%, which is the percentage of the salary that one would have to devote to the payment of a mortgage to invest in a house in the case of those under 29 years of age. Among those under 34, the ratio would be reduced to 40%, a proportion that remains quite high. According to the criteria of the analysts from the Youth Council, any data above 30% may be unaffordable, due to the risks incurred when applying for a loan (loss of work, for example). 

The situation for the Spanish youth also presents other important differences with respect to Europe. Given that house prices fell sharply between the years 2008 and 2013, the Spanish real estate market is still in a phase of sustained growth. The inter-annual variation rates are not very high but it is expected that this market will continue to grow during the coming years (slightly slowing down the rate of growth). This trend is more pronounced in the case of large cities. This scenario has forced young people to consider other alternatives, such as renting property instead of buying. 

Renting property is considered as the most recommended option for young people who wish to leave the family home and live independently. Although rental prices are also picking up, in many regions of the country they are just experiencing inter-annual variations. In fact, some studies indicate that the growth of rental prices could be on the verge of peaking. In Madrid, Barcelona and Seville, there were variations of less than 3% in the rental price in the first quarter of the year 2018. Moreover, in important cities such as Alicante, Granada, Pamplona and Pontevedra, the average price of rentals decreased in the previous quarter. 
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Engel & Völkers has many attractive properties for rent in Madrid within its catalogue, and the best thing is you won't have to spend most of your salary on such properties. But don't worry, we are not implying that these homes are far from the urban centre or away from the main areas of interest. It would be the case, for example, of a practical studio in the Chueca neighbourhood, in the heart of the Spanish capital. Other alternatives take us to the area of ​​Tetuán, in the district of Chamartín, with a very bright apartment that has two bedrooms. Of course, young people who are looking for more exclusive options to rent a home in Madrid also have at their disposal properties like this luxury apartment, which is very close to the Príncipe Pío metro station (Argüelles district, Moncloa-Aravaca district).  
 
The statistics draw an unfavourable scenario in order to encourage young people to invest in a property but, logically, the average data do not take into account the financial situations of young people. Consequently, Engel & Völkers in Madrid also offers attractive properties for those who are interested in buying one. In the district of Canillas (district of Conde de Orgaz-Hortaleza), we offer a cosy apartment that benefits from plenty of natural light. It is a tailored offer that's suitable for young people who have just left their family home and want to live on their own.  

 
Those looking for larger-sized properties in a fairly inexpensive area, can still take advantage of offers such as this flat in Chamartín-Tetuán. Built in 2006, the apartment has everything you need to move in and live in it straight away. It is fully decorated and fully furnished. A last option to consider is a penthouse in the lively neighbourhood of La Latina, which also has the essential furniture you need and offers more than 60 sqm of living space, which is enough to accommodate a young couple who have just left their family home.
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