If you live in Spain and you are paying a mortgage, you may believe that everybody else is doing the same. Think again. The Spanish National Institute of Statistics has published figures showing that more than half of Spanish households (namely 50.7%) own their property, which is free from any mortgages.
Only 28.5% of families do have a mortgage on their main residence, down from 31.9% in 2008. This decrease may be due to demographic change but also to the financial crisis which has restricted bank lending to families.
However, in 2001 only 22.8% of families lived in a mortgaged house. The increase between 2001 and 2008 was a reflection of the credit boom.
In any case, these data confirm that Spain remains one of the European countries with the highest percentage of households who choose to buy, instead of renting, a home: 79.2 %, compared to the EU average of 60%.
Therefore, only 14.5% of households pay rent on their mainb residence , of which 2.5% pay lower “social” rents.
Although the preference for buying property is widespread throughout the country, there are certain differences by regions. The two archipelagos and Catalonia are the territories with higher percentages of rented properties. In the Balearic Islands , “only” 65.9% of households own the house they live in – still higher than the European average.