The ultimate guide to buying property in Spain

Buying property in Spain is a fantastic life investment. Not only can you benefit from a second home in one of Europe’s best countries with the opportunity to get Spanish residency, but you can also get high returns on your investment due to the high demand of short-term rental property. This guide gives you useful insights on how to buy real estate in Spain.

Why buy property in Spain

Buy property and get residency Buy property and get residency
Obtain a Spanish passport in ten years Obtain a Spanish passport in ten years
Booming real estate market with high capital growth Booming real estate market with high capital growth
Safe and stable country Safe and stable country
Fantastic climate Fantastic climate
Variety of property types Variety of property types

Spain real estate market history and overview

If you are considering purchasing property in Spain, now is the time to do it as selling prices are currently going down. With Spain’s high quality of life, incredible culture, diversity, and delicious cuisine, it’s no wonder why a high number of foreigners are drawn to Spanish real estate — in fact, foreigners account for around 20% of Spain’s real estate market buyers.

There are many advantages for foreigners looking to buy property in Spain:

  • From Andalusia and the Asturias to Galicia and Catalonia, Spain’s regions are very diversified and have diverse climates. You can decide if you want to live by the sea, in the countryside, or in the mountains.
  • There are many different types of properties to choose from at various prices: from newly built apartments and farmhouses to villas and family homes. 
  • Get profitable yields by renting your property — short-term holiday rentals are very popular in Spain due to the high number of tourists coming to Spain every year.
  • Invest in Spanish real estate and get Spanish residency and eventually Spanish citizenship via the Spain Golden Visa scheme. 

Get residency in Spain by buying property

Buying property in Spain can give you the incredible opportunity to receive Spanish residency, ultimately allowing you to get a Spanish passport. Launched in 2013, the Spain Golden Visa program allows investors and their families to receive Spanish citizenship in exchange for an investment in real estate of a minimum value of €500,000.

To learn more about the Spain Golden Visa and its different investment routes, have a look at our Spain Golden Visa guide by our local experts.

Where to buy property in Spain?

You can basically buy property anywhere in Spain. Ultimately it comes down to what region you prefer and the type of lifestyle you are looking for. Below are some of the best places to buy property in Spain.

Costa del Sol 

Located in Andalusia, Costa del Sol is one of the most famous places to get holiday homes in Spain. Foreigners are drawn to Costa del Sol’s amazing climate and fantastic beaches. You will find that life is very relaxed and charming in Costa del Sol, with plenty of activities and enjoyments available. Málaga and Marbella are also some of the best cities to live and buy property in Costa del Sol. 

Barcelona

Barcelona is the main city of Catalonia, and one of the most famous destinations in the world. The city is very multicultural and is bustling with cultural activities and entrepreneurial spirit. In a nutshell, Barcelona is a fantastic place to live in and ideally located by the sea. With the city being extremely popular among tourists, it is a very good place to invest in rental apartments. Be aware that real estate property in Barcelona is more expensive than in other Spanish locations.

Madrid

Madrid is the capital city of Spain. It is famous for having a very good work-life balance, offering plenty of jobs and entertainment. It has great museums, restaurants, and bars. Its infrastructures and facilities are very developed and it is easy to feel welcomed. As it is the capital city, real estate prices are higher than average.

Valencia

Valencia is the third-largest city in Spain. Its climate is very pleasant and mild, and it is appreciated for its relaxed pace of living – way more peaceful than Madrid and Barcelona. Located close to the sea, Valencia has a large port area with a beautiful promenade filled with bars and restaurants. It is also famous for its many green spaces. The real estate market in Valencia is considerably cheaper than in Madrid and Barcelona.

Balearic & Canary islands

Famous for their beauty and idyllic beaches, the Balearic and Canary islands are some of the best places to invest in. Whether it is in Menorca, Mallorca or Ibiza in the Balearics or Tenerife in the Canary Islands, you will find fantastic properties right by the sea. Not only is the quality of life amazing, but owning a property brings high returns on investments as, during tourist seasons, demand for rental properties is high. 

How to buy real estate in Spain?

There are no restrictions on buying real estate in Spain as a foreigner. You just need to find the right property, and make sure that all the paperwork is in order to proceed with the transaction. We recommend hiring a lawyer during the process in order to get the best legal guidance. 

Be aware that there are two types of properties in Spain, their main differences come from the taxes that will need to be paid during the purchase.

  • New home: a property in Spain is considered a new home if it has never been sold before. Buyers of a new home must pay a Value Added Tax (VAT), as well as a stamp duty.
  • Resale home: a property in Spain is considered a resale if it has previously been owned by someone. When purchasing a resale home, buyers will have to pay for a property transfer tax.

Tax on buying property in Spain

  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT) applies to any profit made from the sale of a property. CGT starts at 24%, increasing to 27% for gains exceeding €50,000. Allowances and deductions can be made.
  • Annual property taxes = around €200 to €400 per year for an apartment.
  • Notary fees = 0.03% – 0.45% of property value
  • Registration fee = 0.2% – 1.8% of property value
  • Property transfer tax = 6%-10% of property value (applicable to resale home)
  • VAT = 10% of the property value (applicable to new home)
  • Stamp duty =  0.5% to 1.5% of property value depending on the region (applicable to new home)

A step-by-step guide to buying property in Spain

  • Look for property and choose the one you want
  • Hire a lawyer to assist you in the buying process
  • Make an offer to the seller and agree on a contract
  • Sign a preliminary contract
  • Pay a deposit of 10% of the property price value
  • Sign the contract of sale in front of a notary
  • Register your property with the local authorities

Spain real estate prices

Below is an estimation of Spain real estate market prices per m2 per region:

  • Balearic islands = €3,113 pm2
  • Madrid = €2,350 pm2
  • Catalonia = €2,000 pm2
  • Basque Country = €1,950 pm2
  • Andalusia = €1,800 pm2
  • Valencia region = €1,363 pm2

How can Global Citizen Solutions help me?

Interested in buying property in Spain? Get in touch with one of our real estate specialists.

We are a boutique investment firm with years of experience in assisting international families purchasing property, investing in citizenship or residency abroad.

At Global Citizen Solutions we give the insight and data analysis to allow our clients to make investments with confidence.

Is it worth buying real estate in Spain?

It is absolutely worth buying real estate in Spain for several reasons. Not only can you get residency in one of the best countries in Europe with an outstanding quality of life and affordable costs of living, but you can also obtain a Spanish passport as well as enjoy high returns on investment if you are looking to rent your property. 

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Frequently Asked Questions about buying property in Spain

Is it worth buying real estate in Spain for foreigners?

It is absolutely worth buying real estate in Spain for foreigners. Buying property in Spain can provide for high investment returns, and allow investors to get residency in one of the best countries in Europe.

What is the best place to invest in real estate in Spain?

Depending on the type of lifestyle you are looking for, some of the best places to invest in real estate in Spain are Barcelona, Malaga, Madrid, Valencia, and the Balearic islands.

Can I get residency in Spain by buying property?

Thanks to the Spain Golden Visa program, you can get residency in Spain provided that you have purchased a property of a minimum value of €500,000. Eventually, you can also obtain a Spanish passport.

Should I buy property in Spain?

If you are wondering whether you should buy property in Spain, now is the right time to do it as Spain’s real estate prices are actually going down. Buying property in Spain gives residency to a country with a high quality of life, as well as high property investment returns.