A Complete Guide To The Cost Of Living In Malaga Spain

Malaga is a beautiful city, and one of the most popular cities in Andalusia for expats. With a population of 568,305, Malaga is the sixth biggest city in Spain, but despite this it is not as well-known as other Spanish cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, which attract visitors from all over the world.

Malaga is the capital of the Costa Del Sol and its coastal location and year-round sunshine means that it is a popular holiday destination. Malaga is appealing because it offers a perfect blend of history and culture with traditional tourist attractions. In 2021, the city was voted the second-best city in the world for foreign residents.

One of the reasons that Malaga is so popular with foreign residents is because it is cheaper than many of Spain’s other large cities, but as the cost of living is going up across Spain, Malaga is being impacted too.

This leads to the question, how much does it cost to live in Malaga right now? How much are rental costs, and what should you expect to pay for your day-to-day expensces in the city? Here’s everything you need to know:

Is It Expensive To Live in Malaga?

Research conducted by the Expatistan website has found that the cost of living in Malaga as an expat is 15% lower than Madrid and 14% lower than in Barcelona. You can expect to pay less for your rent, eating out and groceries here than in Madrid and Barcelona too.

When compared to the cost of living in the most popular cities in other countries, such as the UK or the United States, Malaga is a much more affordable place to live.

The cost of living website Numbeo has estimated that a single person would need a monthly income of €663.50 per month to live in Málaga and a family of four would need a total of €2,297.10 per month to live in Malaga. This figure excludes rent.

Rental prices in Malaga can be very high, so if you want to move to Malaga you will have to think very seriously about whether you will rent or buy a property.

How Much Are Rental Prices in Malaga?

If you choose to rent a property in Malaga then you should expect your rent to be your biggest monthly outgoing. In the first few months of 2023 rental prices in Malaga have shot up, outstripping the rate of inflation. In fact, rental prices have increased by 23%, which is the highest increased in Spain.

Whilst specific rental prices will vary wildly depending on the size and location of your chosen property, the average rental price in Málaga in February 2023 was €12.2/m2. This is a new record high for rental values in the region.

Malaga isn’t the only city that has seen skyrocketing rents. Other areas of the Costa del Sol are also affected. Marbella, Estepona, Mijas and Benalmadena have all seen rental rates increase considerably since the beginning of the year.

How Much Is Buying a Property in Malaga?

The cost of buying and renting property is intrinsically linked, so when rental prices go up so do purchase prices.

For that reason, purchasing property in Spain is also currently at record highs. Based on March 2023 figures, you can expect to pay  2,390 €/m2. This means that if you buy an average apartment that is 80m2, it will cost you an average total of €191,200.

But the good news is that if you move inland, away from the most desirable coastal regions, there are still some bargain buys to be had in Malaga. For this reason, if you have the means and the desire, purchasing property in Malaga is still a great investment.

How Much Will I Pay For Other Expenses?

Whilst rental or mortgage payments are likely to be your biggest outgoings if you choose to move to Malaga, it’s important to know how much you should expect to pay for other expenses in the country.

With the rising cost of living, grocery costs have also increased significantly. The price you pay will depend on where you shop. According to the latest data available from Spain’s Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU) Dani Supermercados and Tifer are the cheapest supermarkets in Málaga, followed by Family Cash, Alcampo and Supeco.

But to give you an idea of what your grocery costs might look like, here are the average prices for some common products:

  • A loaf of white bread - €0.87
  • A dozen eggs  - €2.38
  • A block of locally produced cheese - €5.18

If you prefer eating out to eating at home, then you’ll be spoilt for choice in Malaga. The city is known as heaven for foodies. Whether you’re looking for tapas, traditional hearty Spanish plates or international cuisine, you’ll find it here. Eating out can be expensive, but there are still affordable spots in the city if you know where to look. You can still find places that will serve a menu of the day (menú del día), a three-course meal at lunchtime on weekdays for €10.

Finally, getting around the city is affordable, and easy.  A one-way ticket on a local bus costs around €1.40, while a monthly pass will cost an average of €34.98, depending on the type of pass you choose. Malaga is also an easy city to explore by foot, so if you live in the right spot, you can get away without spending any money on transport at all!

Are you thinking of moving to Malaga? Or looking for a holiday home that you can let when you’re not using it? Then why not get in touch with our locally based property experts, who are perfectly placed to help make you dream of Spanish home ownership a reality. We’re already excited to work with you!