How to buy a flat in Spain: a helpful guide, latest news, popular regions. Plus the selection of inexpensive flats
Buying housing in another country, especially for the first time, always causes a lot of questions: how to choose a city? How to get a mortgage? How to choose a property? And, at last, how to arrange everything? We will help you find the answers to these and other questions and tell you about the latest news on the Spanish real estate market.
Real estate market and prices for apartments
The real estate market in Spain in 2022 experienced a strong increase in demand from both the local population and foreign investors. Moreover, Spain has become one of the most popular countries this year regarding foreign investment in real estate. The number of transactions by the end of the year had increased by about 60% (compared to the same period last year). In the third quarter of 2021, foreigners have concluded 26 728 deals related to real estate. Most often, the British, Germans and French bought apartments and houses in Spain in 2022, and among Poles, Spain has become the most popular country for investment.
The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment (50 sq.m.) in the center of cities in Spain is $170,000 (a square meter costs about $3,400); outside the center — $100,000 (a square meter costs about $2,000). Utility bills (electricity, heating, water, sanitation) will cost an average of €122, plus the Internet (about €36).
The cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Spain is $750; outside the city center, it is $600.
The average salary in Spain is €1,680 per month (after taxes).
What’s interesting: The Spanish government has decided to impose a temporary wealth tax in 2023 and 2024. This law will affect those whose assets exceed €3 million.
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The most popular regions to invest in real estate
Spain’s Madrid was ranked among the top 10 cities ideal for remote or hybrid work and was the fifth best city for expats. In addition, Madrid was ranked among the top 10 cities in Europe for real estate investments in 2023 by PwC International Network together with the Urban Land Institute. At the same time, Valencia was one of the best cities for expats in 2022.
But let’s look at the most popular regions in terms of investment.
The region of Valencia
An autonomous community in eastern Spain, comprising three provinces: Alicante, Castellón, and Valencia (the region’s capital). It is one of the sunniest regions of the country, which occupies 518 kilometers of the Mediterranean coast. Millions of tourists come here to enjoy the mild climate, incredible scenery, and heavenly beaches. That is why housing here is in demand among investors who plan to offer apartments and houses for rent.
The region of Alicante and Costa Blanca
The province of Alicante is part of the Autonomous Community of Valencia and includes 141 municipalities. The largest municipality here and, incidentally, the capital — the city of Alicante.
Alicante or City of lights is one of the most popular cities among real estate investors. It is located in the eastern part of the Iberian Peninsula, on the coast near the Benacantil and Tossal mountains, and the San Julian and Grossa mountain ranges.
Luxurious beaches, boulevards with palm trees, a good climate, and a symbiosis of tradition with modernity. More than 43% of sales account for the province of Alicante. This area is one of the most popular among Russian homebuyers in Spain.
Costa Blanca — another popular region among investors. Popular not only real estate in Benidorm — the resort capital of the region (Spanish New York) — but also real estate in its other parts.
The sports and tourist infrastructure, water sports, and vibrant nightlife have made the name of this part of Spain. It has the most white beaches with the Blue Flag. This is one of the most popular resorts in the country. Costa Blanca also belongs to the regions with fairly budget-friendly housing prices.
The region of Andalusia
Andalusia is an area in the south of Spain, which is called the mother of Spanish folklore or the most cheerful region, where there is always music and national songs. It is not without rousing dances either. In addition, there are many rivers, lakes, agricultural and fishing grounds, 80 national parks and nature reserves, and a ski resort. All this and the excellent climate have made Andalusia very popular among tourists.
The region of Andalusia includes Seville (the capital) and seven other provinces: Córdoba, Almeria, Granada, Cadiz, Jaén, Malaga, and Huelva.
Real estate in Andalusia is in high demand, for example:
- In the sunny region of the Costa del Sol, with its long clean beaches and picturesque landscapes (for which it has been nicknamed the «coast of the sun»),
- in the metropolitan areas of Málaga and Seville with an active life and developed infrastructure,
- in the provinces of Cordoba and Jaén, in the interior of the country.
The region of Murcia
The region of Murcia is an autonomous community, which includes only one province — Murcia (it is also the capital). It is here that the largest saltwater lagoon in Spain, the Little Sea, is located. On the picturesque stretch of the spit between the Minor and the Mediterranean Sea, there are many hotels.
This region is notable for the fact that 2/3 of the territory is occupied by mountains and mountain valleys. Because of this, at the same time of year different parts of the city can have very different climate: if on the coast the average winter temperature does not fall below +10 ° C, then in the mountains it does not rise above +6 ° C.
The cost of real estate here is lower than in more popular regions — that is why Murcia attracts buyers who want to buy an apartment in Spain at a good price.
Mortage in Spain for foreigners — everything you need to know
A foreigner can take out a mortgage to buy a house in Spain. Unlike residents, the maximum that a foreigner can count on is a loan of 50-70% of the value of the property, issued no more than 20 years.
The interest rate on a mortgage in Spain now ranges from 1.5-2% (until recently, this figure was 1.11%). However, the interest rate for non-residents will be higher — from 2.5% to 3.5%, and the banks have the right to set their own interest rate in some cases.
Here are the main mortgage requirements in Spain:
- NIE number (foreigner’s tax identification number) and life insurance policy
- Information on earnings over the past 1-3 years and a tax return. Monthly income must be at least €800 (mortgage payments must not exceed 30% of monthly income).
- Copies of all property ownership documents may be required (both in Spain and in other countries).
- Mortgage application
- In some cases, you will need a preliminary agreement to purchase a specific property
At the same time, it was recently announced that the government will help citizens buy their first homes.