Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Housing in Barcelona

First of all, the prices for housing here are quite high. And the salaries are quite low. To put this into perspective, a normal size apartment, let’s say a 2-3 bedroom apartment of about 50-70 square meters, normally cost, (or close to) a whole month’s salary.

That’s a bad start if you ask me.

They seem to blame the euro. From 1869(!) till 2002, the currency in Spain was the PESETA. The exchange rate when the euro was implemented was 1€= 166.386 pesetas. (I can imagine the mental calculations in the beginning, every time they needed to spend money in Euros!)
Anyway, with this new golden currency everything got more expensive. The prices for food, clothes, housing; everything increased. But the salaries didn’t.

That’s a bad continuation…

So, what do people do? Well, either live with the parents until well into their adult life (completely normal to live at home until after 35), maybe even until they get married.
Or they share flats. And the more, the merrier! I have seen many rooms in my hunt for a home, and I must say that some of them should never have been categorized as bedrooms, more like closets. Rooms so tiny you can barely move around the small bed, not even with a wardrobe, let alone a table or a desk. And it seems it’s just normal that 7 or more people share a flat with just one bathroom. I don’t even want to know how they manage that.

Another thing is that it is usual to rent internal rooms. Meaning rooms with no window at all, or a window leading to an inside shaft. I think it is the typical beginner’s error, to choose one of these rooms. I did it, and I have heard of more like myself. In my country I don’t think this exists, so of course I didn’t know what it meant until I was already living there.
My room is leading to a shaft and it’s got little light, and since all kitchens in the building normally lead into the shaft, there are always some food smells going on there, making it basically not very pleasant to keep the window open. Which again is not too nice when the temperature outside if past 30 and inside even more. (Not to self: next room will  not be interior!) On the bright side, there are just two floors above our flat, so it could’ve been worse. I guess the poor people down at first floor must have it way worse than me.

Before moving to Spain, I had never lived in a shared flat, so it’s all new experiences lined up for me. But I think that with an open mind, mostly everything is doable! And although it's not the prettiest room in the world, I have pretty beautiful surroundings as soon as I step out into the city. That'll have to do for now!

I wouldn't mind living in this house!


  1. I so do not think I could handle that! I moved out when I was 18 and didn't look back!

  2. yup, barcelona er dyrt og loenningene lave, men

    - byen er utrolig flott!
    - det er masse god mat og drikke aa finne
    - og saa det deilige vaeret da!

    en kan ikke faa ikke baade pose og sekk ;)

  3. @cofffee in a cup: Jeg er fullstendig enig i alt det du sier! Været og omgivelsene veier helt fint opp for eventuelle "mangler" :)