There are plenty of reasons to move to Spain. Whether you want to move to a vibrant metropolis like Barcelona or Madrid, enjoy a warm beach city like Málaga or Valencia, or purchase a vacation property in Ibiza or Mallorca, Spain has something to offer everyone.
Buying an apartment in Spain can be a great investment opportunity, but it’s important to be well-informed and have a good understanding of the process before buying property.
Along with the rest of the European Mediterranean, Spain has a developed real estate market, and the buying process is relatively straightforward. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to buy an apartment in Spain.
Spain’s pleasant climate, laid-back culture, excellent quality of life, and rich food scene make it a popular destination for expats (and real estate investors, by extension). Additionally, Spain’s cost of living is lower than that of many northern European countries, making it attractive to those who are used to paying high living costs.
For retirees, Spain’s climate and medical services make it a desirable destination for retirement. For younger individuals, cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville offer plenty of job opportunities, nightlife, social activities, and cultural attractions. Coastal areas like Costa del Sol and Minorca remain favorite destinations for beach lovers of all generations.
Tourism is also big in Spain. Worth $7 billion per month, it helps fuel the country’s thriving economy, which in turn drives up demand for real estate. Short-term travelers and digital nomads alike are attracted to the country, and rental platforms like Airbnb have made it easier than ever for property owners to find and manage tenants.
Perhaps because of their close proximity and comparatively colder weather, the British have long been the largest community of expat investors, a trend that saw continuity through post-Brexit developments. In Q2 of 2022 9.77% of non-resident buyers in the country were British. Spain is also seeing an increasing number of foreign buyers from Germany (9.07%), France (6.1%), Belgium (4.89%), and the Netherlands (4.8%).
The Spanish property market offers several types of apartments from which to choose, each with its own unique set of benefits. According to Idealista, there are seven primary types of residential property in Spain:
Buying property in Spain is just as straightforward as in any other developed country, but expats face a few more hurdles than Spanish residents when purchasing a new home. During your property search, there are a few key points you should consider.
1. Spain welcomes foreign investors, but there are a few rules
The main rules for buying an apartment in Spain are simple. Before purchasing your property, you will need a financial number (NIE), a Spanish bank account, and a valid passport.
You can obtain your NIE number at a police station with your valid passport. For Spanish or EU citizens, this process usually takes less than a day. For UK residents, the process can take longer.
2. You may qualify for a Golden Visa
Spain offers a coveted Golden Visa program for global real estate investors, who can acquire residency in the country by investing at least 500,000 euros in a Spanish property. This exclusive visa is mainly aimed at retirees and vacation home buyers from outside of the European Union.
Golden Visa approval rates have gone up in recent years and the program has gained considerable traction in the expat community, drawing an increased number of international buyers and boosting the high-end Spanish property market.
3. Location is key
As with any real estate purchase, location is of the utmost importance when buying an apartment in Spain. Look for areas that offer a good balance of convenience and lifestyle amenities, such as close proximity to shops and restaurants, easy access to public transportation, beaches and outdoor recreation.
When researching potential areas, be sure to consider the average living costs in that particular region as well. In some parts of Spain, such as Barcelona or Madrid, property prices can be significantly higher than other cities and provinces.
4. Evaluate the condition of the property
Before signing any paperwork, it’s important to inspect the property thoroughly. Check for signs of water damage, mold, cracks in the walls or foundation, and structural issues. One should take special note of the roof, plumbing, electrical wiring, and insulation as these are among the most expensive repairs to make. You should also consider potential renovations that may be needed down the line. Finally, make sure to research local building codes and regulations so you can ensure your property is up to code before purchasing.
5. Buy property in a safe neighborhood
Spain is generally safe and does not have much of a problem with crime. It is still advisable to research the safety of any potential neighborhood before committing to a purchase. Larger cities are more prone to pickpocketing and other petty crimes, so be sure to take security into consideration when selecting an area to buy an apartment or house.
If you’re looking to buy a new apartment in Spain, it is essential to choose a trusted real estate developer with a proven track record of successful projects and customer satisfaction. The developer should also be able to provide complete information about the project and its progress. You should also ensure that all the necessary permits have been obtained from local authorities for the project.
For Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) citizens and citizens of other EU member countries, buying an apartment in Spain is fairly straightforward. Let’s take a look at the steps to take to complete your property purchase.
Buying a home in Spain is exciting, but you should always do your due diligence before making such an important purchase. Here are a few final tips to consider before signing a purchase contract:
Buying an apartment in Spain can be a great investment for those looking to take advantage of the country’s sunshine and vibrant culture. For non-Spanish citizens, the process is fairly simple, but requires thorough research to make an informed decision. It is essential to do your due diligence and thoroughly research the property and the local real estate market before committing to a purchase. With the right information and preparation, buying an apartment in Spain can be a great investment that will provide years of enjoyment.
Ready to start your search? Check out our apartments for sale in Spain, or contact us for more information.