July 2023 Update: Everything That Changes in Spain This Month

July is a busy month in Spain. We can expect to see a heatwave and an influx of tourists in the country.  July marks the start of the school summer holiday season of course, but perhaps the biggest event taking place in Spain this month is the General Election.

Here’s everything that will change in Spain this month:

General Election

The country is gearing up for a general election, which will take place on Sunday 23rd July, and could result in a complete change of leadership in Spain. The snap general election was called by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez when his Socialist party were beaten at the ballot box in May’s regional elections.

Polls currently predict that the centre-right Popular Party (PP) are on course to win the most seats, but may need to rely on the support of far-right party Vox, who have already entered in local and regional governments across the country.

It is very rare to have an election during the summer holidays in Spain. Only time will tell if the intense heat of summer will have a negative impact on turnout.

Here Comes The Heat

It feels like this announcement comes every July, but Spain is preparing for a heatwave. This year, Spain has already experienced high temperatures much earlier than usual. In parts of southern Spain temperatures in the mid-40s were reached during June.

July is historically the driest month in Spain, and there is little rain forecast for the month this year. This means that you can expect to see July in Spain being very hot and very dry.

The End of Mask Rules in Spain

You might not realise that there are still mask rules in place in Spain, but technically there are. The good news is that, these rules will change once more in July , and mask wearing will no longer be mandatory in hospitals, pharmacies and other clinical settings.

This change was due to be made at the end of June, but was pushed back into July. The date hasn’t be released yet, but Spain's Health Minister said removal in hospitals and health centres will happen "as soon as possible"

Masks will still be mandatory in areas with vulnerable patients and of course they will remain mandatory in the places people were always expected to wear masks prior to the pandemic. That includes  operating rooms, intensive care units, areas where there are immunocompromised patients, cancer wards and emergency rooms.

The Summer Sales Begin

This is an update for the shopaholics, or for anyone hoping to bag a bargain. Traditionally in Spain the summer sales always started on July 1st, but many stores now begin their discount periods in mid-June. As the sales period continues, the discounts available will increase. This means by the middle of July you will be able to find discounts of 50% or more. Hold your nerve, and then hit the shops!

Rising Mortgage Rates

Sadly not great news for mortgage holders, but in Spain there will be another hike in mortgage rates. President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, confirmed in late-June that there will be a new interest rate hike sometime in July and warned that it is "unlikely" that the peak in rates will be seen anytime soon.

Whilst the Spanish government are trying to help mortgage providers, and soften the blow of this, we do know that mortgage rates will rise this month.

New Cost of Living Measures

In a bid to combat inflation, the Spanish government are introducing whole host of anti-inflationary measures this month. These measures include a VAT reduction on food, with some products, such as oil and pasta, having their VAT rate cut from 10% to 5%. July will also see the freezing of prices of butane cylinders, the suspension on evictions of vulnerable households and full subsidies for hauliers.

The Spanish government are also expected to introduce the following inflation-busting measures this month:

  • 15 percent deduction in personal income tax for the purchase of new electric vehicles.
  • A new line of ICO guarantees for the purchase first homes by young people and families with dependent minors.
  • Approve the right 'to be forgotten' for cancer patients, meaning that cancer survivors don't have to declare their medical histories when signing up to life insurance policies.
  • Increase installations of charging stations for electric vehicles.

The Introduction of a Digital Levy

Where would we be without modern electronics? Most households rely on their phones, laptops and televisions. But these things will become more expensive in Spain from 1st July, as the country introduce a digital levy on electrical products.

The idea behind levy is to compensate music, film and other audio-visual producers, artists and authors for the illegal storage of private books, movies, CDs, and all other types of digital content that are pirated. It will lead to an increase in the price of between 40 and 104 different products, resulting in up to a 200 percent rise in this tax.

In real terms, this means that a smart phone will cost 3.25 euros more, a tablet will cost 3.75 euros more, and a smartwatch will cost 2.50 euros more.

Are you thinking of moving to Spain? 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!