Young people forced to share a flat

If a young person wants to emancipate himself by going to live alone, it is complicated. We are no longer talking about doing it as a property, which is practically unthinkable, but about doing it for rent. It is enough to enter any advertisement portal to see that the offer in Tarragona city does not fall below 600 or 700 euros. The price per square meter, according to Idealista, is 9.1 euros, the highest since the platform has records at the municipal level (2010) and the average in the province as a whole is 8.7 euros per square meter , the most expensive figure since August 2008.

A very high cost, which in most cases means allocating a large part of the monthly income. For this reason, 37% of young Catalans between the ages of 16 and 34 are forced to share a flat with other people who are neither a couple nor a family in order to emancipate themselves, some numbers three points above the Spanish average. These are data from the Emancipation Observatory for the second half of 2021 of the Spanish Youth Council, which also places the young Spanish population at only 15.6% who were independent at the end of last year. A figure that in Catalonia rose to 18.1%, compared to 22.6% of emancipated young people before the pandemic.

It should also be noted that the same observatory points out that "the only economically viable option is to share a rental apartment in the provinces of Lleida and Tarragona, since all the other alternatives offered by the free market mean having to reserve more than 30% of the net salary What does a young person earn?

30% of the salary to the house

Living in the province may be more viable than in other areas of Catalonia, but we have already seen that in Tarragona city the prices are higher. And this can be seen in the example of Marta Fàbregas, a Tarragona woman who shares a flat with two friends in the Part Alta of the city. She currently works full time at the Lear Corporation in Valls, and allocates between 30 and 35% of her salary to housing. "About 280 euros go to rent, to which we must add 10 euros for Internet, and 60 for water, electricity, gas, plus food, which costs me 75 euros a month on average, more or less", recognizes the young woman.

Fàbregas says that at the time she considered becoming independent, she did not want to do it alone, on the one hand because at that time she was working part-time, which was totally unfeasible – she would have had to allocate 80% of her salary – and on the other hand because he preferred to share a flat with trusted people. “Now that I have been sharing a house for almost a year, I have to say that I really like living together and I am comfortable, although I do not rule out, in the future, going to live alone,” says the girl. However, he assures that when looking at the offers on the Internet he has found very high prices: "Single-room flats for 600 and 800 euros, and that without counting expenses," laments Fàbregas, who if he took the step and continued emancipated without sharing a flat «I would like not to allocate more than 40% of my salary, although today it is asking for a miracle».

In short, Fàbregas recognizes that "although now I am full-time and I can consider going to live alone, the current rental prices in the market make me feel obliged to continue sharing a flat if I want to remain emancipated." Finally, she regrets that "there has been a drastic increase in rental prices and also the rise in electricity and gas prices still make becoming independent economically more difficult", and also denounces that the labor market does not help: "I am one of the few people from the group of friends who have found work and from what I have studied, and the salaries are not very good».

Jordi Poyato, a 29-year-old resident of Tarragona who has lived with his partner for a year, but until then shared a flat with a friend, complains about the same thing. «I had already shared a flat with colleagues in Madrid, and when I came back I spent two or three years with my parents. I had saved to become independent, but not enough to do it alone, "recalls Poyato. When he found a friend with whom to take the plunge, they began to look for a flat in the city of Tarragona: «We found flats for 700 euros or more, until we found one for 750 in Arrabassada, with a single room, but the owners They allowed us to adapt by converting the dressing room into a second bedroom.

The young man calculates that at that time, when he received unemployment, he would have had to allocate around 75% if he had gone to live alone, "it was unfeasible", while now, half with his girlfriend, the housing costs are 40% of teacher's salary. "For young people the situation is complicated, we have neither economic capacity nor job stability to start a life project," concludes Poyato, who remarks that "it seems that they force us to share a flat and make it very difficult for us to become independent. ».

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