Which Spanish cities have the most budget-friendly rent for singles and couples?
Most Expats moving to Spain choose to rent a property when they first arrive – and many continue to do so for many years. Renting a home in Spain is common, with around a quarter of households renting properties here, and in many areas renting can be excellent value. From international students to digital nomads and remote workers, renting property is especially popular for individuals who may not plan on living in Spain in the longer term.
If you are considering renting a house in Spain, there is a range of value for your rental buck. We have compiled a list of factors to determine which Spanish city is the best fit for someone looking to lease a property on their own or as a couple.
Cartagena is revealed as the best city for singles or couples to rent a property in Spain, with an overall rental score of 6.76 /10
To kick off, we have considered a range of rent-related factors and normalized the scores to provide each city with an overall rental score out of ten. Here’s what we found.
- Cartagena – 6.76 /10
Despite appearing first on our list of the best rental cities in Spain, Cartagena is limited in terms of job opportunities. However, once you have found a job in this city, the cost of essential utilities will only set you back around €95.94 per month – the cheapest in our top five.
- Getafe – 6.29 /10
Despite having a higher average rental price than the other entries on our top five, Getafe takes the second spot overall. A high average monthly wage, totaling €3,227, paired with plenty of job opportunities, have all contributed to this city’s impressive overall rental score of 6.29 /10.
- Oviedo – 6 /10
The Spanish city of Oviedo is next on our list, with an overall rental score of 6 /10. There are plenty of reasons why moving to this city would be beneficial; some of Oviedo’s appealing features include its job prospects, 22 per 10,000 residents, and the €2,870 average salary for those working here.
- Castelló de la Plana – 5.91 /10
Castelló de la Plana, with an overall rental score of 5.91 /10, is the next city to feature on our list. Even though Castelló de la Plana has the fewest job opportunities in our top five, 2 per 10,000 residents, this area has the cheapest rental price for a one-bedroom apartment, averaging at just €500 per month.
- Almeria – 5.72 /10
Almeria completes our top five list of the best Spanish rental cities. Scoring consistently well across the board, Almeria would be an excellent option for anyone considering renting a property in Spain. Of the factors which make up this city’s impressive overall rental score, it is worth mentioning that the number of job opportunities here is the second highest of all the entries in this top five.
How does the rental burden compare in Spanish cities?
Being “rent-burdened” refers to a situation where one allocates over 30% of their income towards rent. In the US, 62% of major cities see their residents grappling with this issue. However, Spain presents a somewhat different scenario.
In our detailed examination of major Spanish cities, we found 6 out of the 22 cities, or roughly 27%, have residents shouldering a rent burden exceeding the 30% threshold. Barcelona is at the forefront with 34.9%, followed by Madrid at 31.3%, Palma at 31.2%, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria at 31.1%, Valencia at 30.4%, and Malaga just passing the mark with 30.1%. On the other end of the spectrum, cities like Castelló de la Plana, Oviedo, and Cartagena have the lowest rent burdens, all under 20%. This is in stark contrast to some cities like New York, where rents often run over double the median wage.
The Spanish city with the cheapest rent is Castelló de la Plana, averaging just €500 per month.
When renting a property, affordability is one of the most vital factors. Below is a list of Spanish cities with the cheapest average rent for a one-bedroom apartment.
- Castelló de la Plana – €500
After previously appearing in our list of the overall best cities to rent in Spain, it may come as no surprise to see Castelló de la Plana featured here too. With an average monthly rent of €500 for a one-bedroom apartment, the affordability of properties here is unmatched by any other Spanish city.
The highest average wage in Spain belongs to Bilbao, totaling €3,358.17 per month.
Affordability is one of the most important things to consider when renting a house. Below is a list of the Spanish cities with the highest average monthly wage.
- Bilbao – €3,358.17
Bilbao is not considered a costly place to live, making the average monthly wage of €3,358.17 even more enticing. With plenty of theatres and museums to sink your teeth into, any extra cash you have left over can be put towards exploring the beautiful city of Bilbao.
Basic utilities in Santa Cruz de Tenerife will set you back €69.36 per month – the cheapest of any Spanish city.
The next rank on our Spanish Rental Index is a list of cities with the lowest monthly cost of basic utilities.
- Santa Cruz de Tenerife – €69.36
If the stunning scenery and rich heritage of Santa Cruz de Tenerife aren’t enough to convince you to move here, this city has the lowest monthly utility bill cost of any Spanish city on our list. Basic utilities will set you back around €69 per month, saving you a pretty penny over time.
Barcelona boasts the most job opportunities of any Spanish city, totaling 110 per 10,000 residents.
Whether relocating for a fresh start or looking for a change of scenery, you may need to consider job opportunities, but which Spanish cities offer the most prospects? Here’s what we found.
- Barcelona – 110 jobs per 10,000 residents
As the second most populated city in the country, it is no wonder that Barcelona is full of exciting job prospects, totaling 110 per 10,000 people. For those already living in Barcelona, it may come as no surprise that the tourism sector is where many of the 17,849 job opportunities lie, as this city sees millions of visitors yearly.
Expert tips for finding the perfect rental property
Recent figures have revealed that the average property receives around twenty viewing requests. With such a high demand for properties, it is now more important than ever to be prepared when moving house. As a result, we have compiled a handful of expert tips to help you find the perfect rental property.
Make a list of features important to you.
Whether you are looking for a short-term lease or want to retire to Spain, there are many things to consider when renting a property. A good old-fashioned list is a great place to start to ensure you find a home that satisfies your needs. Aside from the location and prospective landlord, consider whether any bills are included and if the property comes with parking.
See our detailed guide to Renting a Property in Spain for more helpful information.
Register your details with different estate agents.
After considering the most essential features, it is time to start hunting for prospective properties. To simplify this process, you can register your details with local estate agents, specifying some of your desired features, and they will do the work for you. As well as saving you time, you may get an exclusive look at properties before they are published online.
Photographs help identify the main features of a house, but they don’t always tell you the whole story. Viewing a property in person is the best way to ensure that it is the perfect fit for you; if an in-person appointment is unfeasible, a virtual viewing is the next best thing.
Location, location, location
You may have found the most fantastic property at an affordable price, but if the location lacks amenities like shops, restaurants, and medical facilities, then it could be problematic. It may seem obvious, but the best way to see if an area suits you is to visit the location yourself. For those looking to move from another country, the internet is also a great source of information.
We made a list of Spain’s 50 most populated cities. Any cities where we could not collect all the data were removed.
We used Numbeo to find the average rent price for a city-center one-bedroom apartment in each city (data was collected on 01/08/2023).
We used Salary Expert to find the average annual wage of each city; we divided this figure by twelve to calculate the average monthly wage in each city.
We used Numbeo to find the average monthly cost of basic utilities (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for an 85m2 apartment in each city.
We used Xpat Jobs to find the number of job opportunities in each city (data was collected on 09/08/2023). By dividing the total number of job opportunities by the population of each city and multiplying this number by 10,000, we were able to calculate the number of job opportunities per 10,000 residents.
Finally, we used the rental-based factors (average rent price, average monthly wage, monthly cost of utilities, number of job opportunities) and normalized each factor out of 10 before taking an average of those scores to get our overall ‘rental score’ for each Spanish city. The average rent price was weighted more than the other factors.