owning a house, a dream for young people

Ignacio Garijo proposed a very simple hypothesis for his graduation project: that young people today live less well than their predecessors. “I thought I was going to be wrong, but when I start to have data, to have graphs, I see that it’s true”, explains this graduate in economics and international relations. “It’s a sad conclusion, but at the same time interesting,” he adds.

And it is that, although the Bank of Spain recommends not to allocate more than 35% of income to a house, the reality is that young people contribute more than half to a mortgage, or up to 81.9% in the case of rent. They have less money because they enter the labor market later and, moreover, when they do, their conditions are worse.

In this sense, the researcher of the Observatory of Family Savings Patricia Sánchez points out that those who do a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree finish their studies at the age of 24 or 25, which means arrive “without income” at a “fairly advanced” age.

Moreover, when they finally enter the labor market, they face rather pessimistic working conditions. In this regard, professor and researcher Julen Bollain, of Mondragon Unibersitatea, points out that “half of the workers under 30 today are earn less than the Interprofessional Minimum Wageand that “50% of young people work with temporary contract“.

A) Yes, If in the year 2000 you needed eight years of salary to pay for a house, now you need 11, according to the National Institute of Statistics. And it is that, so far this century, the average Spanish salary has only increased by 55% while the price of housing has increased by almost 80%.

“What is dangerous is that we are facing a structural situation”, warns the deputy general manager of the real estate company Donpiso, Emiliano Bermúdez, who points out that “this level of difficulty to become an owner has increased and now it is reaching older age groups.”

In 2007, before the housing bubble burst, three out of four adults aged 30 to 44 owned a home, as did more than half of young people aged 16 to 29. In 2021, those percentages drop by almost half, while those of renters increase due to the very inability to pay the down payment on a home. An increasingly impossible dream.

Sociologist Isabel Mastrodomenico explains that young people “what they see is that they have no future“Not being able to access decent housing, whether rented or purchased, is one of them,” he says.

We thus find ourselves before a generation with broad social freedoms, but without the economic capacity to enjoy them.

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