Here’s Everything That Will Change In Spain In March 2024

March is a busy month in Spain. It marks the start of the Easter holiday season where tourists will really start to pour into the country, it’s tax deadline season for foreign residents in the country, and we’ll see some rail strikes across the country this month too.

Here’s your guide to everything that will change in Spain in March 2024:

The Arrival Of Easter Season

Easter is one of the most important religious festivals in Spain and it is celebrated with events across the country.  Some of the biggest and best celebrations will be held in the cities of Seville, Granada, Málaga, Zamora, Valladolid, Cuenca and Cáceres. This year Palm Sunday will fall on 24th March and this marks the beginning of the celebrations that will last until Easter Sunday on 1st April. 29th March is Good Friday and this will be a national holiday. If you’re living in any region other than Catalonia and Valencia then 28th March will be a national holiday (sometimes referred to as a bank holiday) too. Catalonia and Valencia take their Easter bank holiday on Easter Monday instead.

Many foreign tourists visit Spain during their Easter holidays and in many regions this marks the official start of the tourist season.

Other Seasonal Events

Although Easter is the biggest event and celebration taking place in Spain this month, other significant seasonal events form part of March’s calendar too.

Valencia’s fire-cracking Las Fallas festival takes place in March. Usually celebrated on march 1st this year the celebrations have been delayed. But the main days of the festival will continue from March 15th to 19th, will still take place. This is considered the most important annual festival in the region.

Other smaller Las Fallas events will take place in Alzira and Sagunto. In Jerte you can take part in the beautiful Cherry Blossom Festival this month.  And you can embrace the historic celebrations of the Fiesta de la Arribada de la Carabela La Pinta de Baiona from March 1st - 3rd and the Reconquista da Vila de Vigo on March 28th if you’re in Spain this month too.

The New Rent Price Index Will Be Introduced

There’s good news for renters as the new rental pice index will be operational in March. The aim of the Rental Refetence Price Index is to control rental prices in areas that are stressed by high demand and high rental prices. The Rental Reference Price Index will come into force in 'stressed' areas to further control prices. 'Stressed zones' are considered to be areas that exceed the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of their respective province by five points and where families dedicate more than 30 percent of their salary to paying the rent.

The Rental Price Index is a form of rent control that will make access to affordable housing easier for many of these families.

Electricity prices go up

It’s not all good news for overstretched families. Why they may see their rent capped they are also likely to see their electricity bills go up.

Due to unexpected falls in electricity prices (below €45/MWh) in February , Spanish legislation means that the VAT on electricity bills can rise again to the standard 21 percent in line with inflation. But in real terms what that means is that your bills will go up, at a time when many families simply can’t afford it.

Will Renfe Strike?

Train drivers for Renfe, the Spanish national rail service, have called for a 4 day strike this month. If this goes ahead then we will see three days of 24-hour strikes on March 1st, 4th and 12th. There are also further walkouts planned throughout the day on March 6th from 7am to 10am, from 1pm to 4pm, and from 7pm to 10pm.

The reason of the strike? Because certain contract clauses are not being adhered to alongside the freezing of the employment plan in place for these drivers.

Madrid Will Launch An Apartment Raffle

If you live in Madrid and are struggling to find affordable accomodation then you could enter the city’s apartment raffle. Madrid will raffle off dozens of affordable rental apartments in March.

The rents for these apartments will not exceed 30 percent of a family’s income, with the average rental price being between €300 and €600 per month. Not everyone is eligible to enter This scheme is intended for low income families and young couples. 164 homes have been entered into the raffle so far. The ultimate plan is for 80% of available apartments in the city to be allocated to these groups by the Housing Policy Area in the city.

Variable Mortgage Rates Will Drop

Most mortgage holders in Spain have variable rate mortgages and if this applies to you then March will bring more good news. The Bank of Spain has predicted that variable mortgage rates will drop from March meaning that monthly payment figures for these mortgage holders will go down.

Variable mortgage rates have only been rising since December 2021 so this is great news for homeowners that have been on a rate roller coaster in recent years.

Declare Foreign Assets Deadline

It doesn’t matter whether you are a Spanish citizen or a foreign resident. If you hold assets valued at more than 50,000 euros overseas then you have to declare these to the Spanish tax authorities or you could be subject to a hefty fine. You need to submit a Modelo 720 form before March 31st if this applies to you. This relates to the assets held abroad in the last calendar year.

The Clocks Will Move Forward

As if we don’t already have enough to think about on Easter Weekend, on Sunday March 31st the clocks will also move forward by 1 hour due to daylight saving time. This means that when it’s 2am, the time will jump to 3am. The good news is that after this happens the evenings will be much lighter and brighter.

It’s The First Day Of Spring

Finally March is when we can officially welcome the first day of Spring. This year the first day of Spring falls on March 19th. However in weather terms, it feels like Spring has already been here for weeks. The weather has been unseasonably warm, there has been less rain than usual and the trees have already begun to blossom, much earlier than expected. It feels like summer in the country arrives earlier and earlier.  In the past 70 years, summer heat has been arriving between 20 and 40 days earlier than it should.

Father’s Day In Spain

As well as being the first day of Spring, March 19th is also Father’s Day in Spain.This coincides with the festival of San Jose and was chosen for the celebration because San José or Saint Joseph was the Virgin Mary’s husband and father figure to Jesus, representing the values of being a good husband and a good father.

It is traditional to celebrate the day by giving your father a gift or card. Children in Spanish schools typically make these in the classroom but you can also buy Father’s Day gifts and cards in stores across the country.

 Are you thinking of moving to Spain? Looking to leave your home country and make an escape to the sun? Then why not get in touch with our local property experts, who are perfectly placed to help you buy the Spanish home of your dreams. We’re excited to help you make your next move your best move.