newly arrived expats in spain

Types Of Expenses Newly Arrived Expats Face In Spain: From Buying Property To Medical Care And Public Transportation

Properties for sale in Valencia and other Spanish cities attract foreigners who want to move from their homeland. This trend can be proven not only by the pleasant climate and picturesque nature, but also by the relatively low cost of living.

The overall cost of living in Spain

On average, local households spend about 2,250 euros a month. You can compare the cost of living in the largest Spanish cities with world-famous metropolises in the following table:

City New York London Los Angeles Munich Brussels
Madrid 53% lower 43% lower 40% lower 27% lower 16% lower
Barcelona 51% lower 41% lower 37% lower 24% lower 13% lower
Valencia 61% lower 52% lower 49% lower 39% lower 30% lower
Sevile 61% lower 52% lower 50% lower 40% lower 30% lower

The share of the Spanish population at risk of poverty exceeds 20%. This is significantly higher than the EU average of 17%. Women, young people, poor-educated people, single parents, and families with many children are the most vulnerable groups.

Salaries in Spain

Wages are extremely low relative to inflation. The average income of one household living in the country is only 20,600 euros a year. This is significantly lower than the average for European countries which stands at 28,900 euros.

Housing prices in Spain

As in all other countries, there are differences in real estate prices around the country. Madrid, Barcelona, and the majority of the coastal cities have much higher housing prices than other rural areas and less popular regions.

In Barcelona and Madrid, the price per sq meter ranges roughly between 3,000 and 5,000 euros. Therefore, for a 50 m2, apartment you will have to pay approximately 150,000 to 250,000 euros. Large houses in prestigious areas of these cities can cost from 600,000 to 700,000 euros.

The most affordable locations to purchase accommodation are the following:

• Extremadura;
• Aragon;
• Navarre;
• Castile-La Mancha.

The most pricey residential units are in Ibiza, Mallorca, and Menorca.

Expenses connected to the maintenance of real estate in Spain

Some types of utilities are quite affordable compared to other EU countries. But electricity and natural gas prices are among the highest here.

Average annual electricity bills are around 500 euros. But keep in mind that using heating in winter and air conditioning in summer can significantly increase this figure. However, some locals often manage to save money thanks to the mild Spanish climate.

Average water bills are 225 euros a year, gas bills are 250 euros a year. The annual cost of a package with access to television, the Internet, and telephony varies between 200 and 550 euros.

The cost of healthcare in Spain

Foreigners who are registered as residents and have Spanish social security numbers (SSN) can use certain medical services for free. Some types of treatment need to be paid for. The list of these medical services depends on the region where the foreigner lives. Healthcare systems are different in different regions, but stomatological care is not covered by public health anywhere.

Private health insurance can cover a broad range of medical services. Basic packages start at about 30-50 euros a month for young people aged 20-30. It can grow depending on the foreigner’s age and the selected insurance company.

The cost of child care in Spain

Compulsory education starts at the age of six. So, employed parents with little children usually have to look for nurseries, preschools, or private nannies.

Public pre-school education is free of charge. They are ready to accept children aged between three to five. Some public kindergartens charge fees in accordance with family income. To use the government system, a foreigner should be registered as a resident and have a SSN.

As a rule, a nanny or au pair is usually hired for children under three years of age. An au pair charges a weekly wage of approximately 70 euros, and you need to provide food and accommodation. Babysitters charge an average of 9-15 euros per hour.

The cost of food and drink in Spain

You can learn more about average prices for food and drink in the following list:

1. Groceries. Spanish grocery shops boast the most favourable ratio of costs to quality. The cost of basic food, such as milk, bread, and eggs, is often below one euro. A local household spends an average of about 380 euros on food and drink every month.

2. Restaurants. In most cities, you can find excellent restaurants where you can try traditional Spanish dishes at affordable prices. You need to be prepared to spend up to 15 euros per person at an inexpensive public place and up to 40 euros per person at a more elite establishment. The exception is fast food chains, where one meal can cost about 7-8 euros.

3. Alcoholic baverages. Spain is known for its alcoholic drinks. The country produces 10% of export alcohol to the EU. Local residents consume about twice as much alcohol per person than the global average. Spanish beer can cost about 2.50 euros, and imported beer can cost 3 euros in a restaurant. Beer pricesin varies from 0.88 to 1.50 euros supermarkets, depending on the place of its production and the bottle volume.

The public transport prices in Spain

The local public transport system offers buses, metros, and taxis at affordable prices. The country also has a network of high-speed trains.

The cost of the bus fare depends on where you live. In Madrid and Valencia, a one-way fare costs 1.50 euros. It costs 2.40 euros in Barcelona.

Taxi fares are also different from one city to another. Of course, this service is more expensive in large and populated areas. You can find out the cost of a taxi ride in advance by using an online calculator or services, such as Uber.

Assistance with purchasing a home in Spain

An extensive database of Spanish real estate can be found on the official Spain-Real.Estate website. Before adding their offers to the catalogue, representatives of the aggregator thoroughly check the agencies and developers requesting cooperation with the company. Clients of Spain-Real.Estate can rely on complete support during the transaction process and after-sales service, in addition to assistance with choosing the best housing option.

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