The Spanish property market
Spain suffered during the global financial crisis and ensuing property market crash. House prices dropped by as much as 30%. Nearly a decade on, there are signs that the recovery is finally underway, with indices showing year-on-year price increases in major cities and resorts, and an overall national rise of 4% in 2017.
Transaction numbers are increasing too, with data from the National Institute of Statistics showing sales increased by 16% in 2017.
Homeownership levels are high in Spain, with around 80% of residents owning their own home, and many doing so outright, without a mortgage.
Should you rent or buy in Spain?
Renctal oppotunities an be limited in some parts of Spain. One estate agency claims that rent prices in Spanish cities increased by as much as 15% in a year. This is partially due to the popularity of short-term holiday lets.
Now, some authorities in Spain are already seeking to curb this trend, with Madrid set to bring in new rules in 2019 to regulate the holiday let sector.
For those buying or selling in Spain, transaction costs are moderate, at around 10-15% of the property value.
For those considering a shorter stay, renting could be a more suitable option if you factor in Spain’s high levels of capital gains tax, which could offset any benefits of buying in the short-term.
Can foreigners buy property in Spain?
Yes. There are no restrictions on buying property in Spain, whether it’s commercial, residential or land. In fact, Spain encourages investment by foreigners, both resident and non-resident.
You will require a financial number which can acquire by visiting a police station with your passport. This typically happens on the day for Spanish or EU citizens but may take a few weeks for others.
Buy a property, get a visa
Spain currently offers a golden visa program for property owners.
This is a form of investor’s visa. If you invest more than €500,000 in Spanish property, buying one or more properties, you will normally then be automatically eligible for a residency visa. This is not a work permit, but it will allow you to live in the country. It’s primarily for retirees and holiday home buyers.
Buying a home in Spain: where to find real estate
As it is easy for foreigners to buy property in Spain, there are websites and estate agents catering to almost every language and nationality.
Many British real estate websites also list Spanish properties, with some online portals listing thousands of options. However, these mostly focus on holiday homes, so you may prefer to use a Spanish site, such as the ones listed below.
As you don’t need to be resident to purchase a property, it is possible to buy a home before you arrive and move in directly. However, this naturally comes with certain risks and we strongly recommend that you view the property you are considering and don’t cut corners on the process, even if this means spending some weeks in a hotel when you arrive.