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Press Release 14/03/2019


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85% of families in the Basque country owned their own home

In the five-year period 2011-2016 renting increased by 4.2 percentage points

Ownership was the most widespread tenancy classification in the Basque Country and applied to 758,315 main family dwellings, representing 85.1% of the total, according to Eustat data. 112,614 dwellings were under lease, representing 12.6%, whilst the remaining 19,829 dwellings corresponded to another form of tenancy, assignment being among the most common.

Comparing these figures to those of 2011, the tenancy classification that underwent the greatest change was dwellings under lease, going from 8.2% to 12.6% in 2016, which meant 41,731 more main dwellings of this type in five years. Ownership fell 0.8 percentage points in this period, from 85.9% to 85.1%, despite the number of dwellings under ownership increasing by 19,088 since 2011. By contrast, other forms of tenancy decreased by 3.7 percentage points, which meant a loss of 20,583 dwellings.

Tenancy classification in the Basque Country 2011-2016


Source: Eustat

The proportion of main dwellings under ownership varied slightly on a provincial level; ownership was more common in Bizkaia than in the other two provinces, encompassing 85.9% of total dwellings, compared to 84.4% in Álava and 84.2% in Gipuzkoa. In contrast, Álava, with 13.6% of dwellings under lease, and Gipuzkoa with 13.5%, stood more than one percentage point above Bizkaia, where this type of tenancy applied to 11.9% of dwellings.

Since 2011 the ownership classification has undergone a significant positive variation in the following regions of Álava: Montaña Alavesa (+3.3 percentage points), Valles Alaveses (+2.1 points) and Estribaciones del Gorbea (+1.9 points). As regards dwellings under lease, there were increases in all the regions in respect of 2011, most notably in Donostia-San Sebastián (+7.1 percentage points), Bajo Bidasoa (+6.1 points), Llanada Alavesa (+5.5 points) and Urola-Costa (+5.4 points).

On a municipal level, only twelve municipalities had over 15% of dwellings under lease, Ereño (20.4%), Navarniz (20%), San Sebastián (17.2%), Oyón (16.8%) and Ribera Baja (16.6%) all stand out. The lowest percentages for this classification were recorded in Baliarrain, Elduain, Orexa and Valles de Arana, municipalities where it did not exceed 3%.

Finally, in relation to the capitals, Bilbao registered the highest number of dwellings under ownership, 84%, closely followed by Vitoria-Gasteiz, 83.6%, and, further behind, by San Sebastián, where it accounted for 80.6% of the total.

Renting only surpassed ownership as a tenancy classification in the under 30 age group

From the analysis of the tenancy classification by the age of the reference person, understood as the oldest person living there, it was concluded that as people got older the probabilities of having a dwelling under ownership increased, so that amongst those aged under 30 ownership encompassed 42.6%; amongst those aged between 30 and 44 it went up as far as 72.8% and ended up at 93.4% for those aged over 65.

Obviously, the opposite occurs in dwellings under lease: the trend decreases with age. Amongst older people it barely accounted for 5%, whereas for those aged under 30 it applied to almost half of the dwellings (45%). In addition, this was the only age range where renting exceeded ownership.

The same trend was observed in the case of other forms of tenancy, although with less relevant percentages. In the youngest age group these forms of tenancy applied to 12.5% of the dwellings, but in the next age range it had already reduced by 3.3% and ended up at 1.2% for those aged over 65.

Main dwellings in the Basque Country by tenancy classification according to the age group of the oldest person in the dwelling. 2016


Source: Statistics on population and housing. 2016

Renting is considerably more common when the reference person is unemployed (36.7%) than when they are employed (13.7%) and inactive (8.2%). In turn, ownership is the preferred option in cases where the reference person is active or employed, 90.3% and 83.6%, respectively. If the reference person is unemployed this figure drops to 59.5%.

Main dwellings in the Basque Country by tenancy classification according to the activity of the oldest person in the dwelling.2016.


Source: Statistics on population and housing. 2016

Finally, the sex of the reference person does not introduce significant variations amongst the different tenancy options: 85% of men have a dwelling under ownership compared to 84% of women. This order is reversed in the case of dwellings under lease.

The more detailed diffusion of data in LurData enables an on-line analysis for very small territorial areas on the Eustat website.

The LurData section of the Eustat website contains detailed information, published by Eustat, on the tenancy classification of main dwellings, so that every interested person can construct their own data table for their chosen geographical area, safeguarding statistical secrecy. The remaining housing and population information is made similarly available.

One example of this use can be seen below, where an area has been selected on the basis of a point and a radius of influence.

Main dwellings in the selected area by tenancy classification 2011 and 2016


For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Basque Statistics Institute C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: servicioprensa@eustat.es Tel: 945 01 75 62

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