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Real estate investment in Spain

The sale of real estate to foreign investors is not limited in Spain: one can buy and sell housing and commercial real estate or rent it out.

Statistics confirm the liquidity of investments: residential real estate prices grow by an average of 1.3% every quarter. Five years ago, an apartment of 100 m² cost €203,000, and today it is sold for €253,000.

2533 € Average price per 1 m²
of housing in Spain
500 000 € Minimum investment amount
to get permanent residence
6—12% Buyers’ related expenses,
of the transaction amount

Cost of a 3-bedroom apartment in Spain

€2 million

Apartment in the centre of Madrid or Barcelona

€500,000

Apartment with a sea view, 500 metres from the beach

€200,000

Apartment in 2 kilometres
from the sea

What do investors buy?

Investors most often buy housing on Costa Blanca: in Torrevieja, Benidorm, Barcelona, and the Canary Islands.

Apartments. The most expensive ones are in the capital Madrid and Barcelona.

  • penthouses
  • duplexes
  • apartments

Houses. The most expensive ones are in the city of Marbella, in the Costa Brava.

  • villas
  • townhouses and bungalows
  • houses of architectural and historical value

Spain residence permit or citizenship by real estate investment

Spain has a state residence permit program for investors. A residence permit is obtained by purchasing real estate worth at least €500,000. A residence permit is valid for a year and renewed for two more years. Investors with Spain residence permits travel across the Schengen Area without visas.

It is not necessary to live in Spain if there are no plans to obtain permanent residence or citizenship.

Spain residence permit by investment in real estate
Spain residence permit by real estate investment

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Taxes and associated costs

Purchase
Ownership
Sale

Taxes for buying new and resale properties are different in Spain. In addition to taxes, special fees are paid.

New buildings. Buyers of new buildings pay VAT. The VAT rate is standard for all of Spain, except for the Canary Islands, where VAT rates are lower. In addition to VAT, municipal tax is paid on documenting the transaction.

Secondary housing. Buyers of secondary housing pay a transfer tax on the cadastral property value.

The associated costs are the same when buying a new or resale house: they range between 6% of the cadastral value to 12% of the purchase agreement value. About €2,000 of additional fees are paid. When buying a new apartment worth €500,000 in Benidorm, the investor will spend €562,000, including associated costs.

6—12% Of the property value are related costs for the purchase of housing in Spain
Purchase expenses
Taxes for new buildings

VAT + tax on documentation

7—12%

Of the transaction amount

Taxes for resale properties

Transfer tax

6—10%

Of the cadastral value

Notary fee
€600—1,000 
Registration fee
€400—650 

Taxes

The annual property tax is 0.4% to 1.1% of the cadastral property value. The tax rate depends on the region where the property is located.

If a foreign owner rents out the property, they pay a tax of 24% on income. Foreigners can be taxed on imputed income even if the property is not rented out. The tax rate on imputed income is 24% or 2% of the cadastral property value. The tax is levied on non-resident owners who live in Spain for less than 183 days a year.

Utilities. Water, electricity and gas are paid by meters. The monthly payments include а flat recurring fee and a fee per kWh and cubic metres. The central gas supply is not available everywhere: a monthly gas balloon for a family of four costs €30. There is no central heating in the houses. Housing is usually heated with air conditioners.

The building maintenance, including the elevator, cleaning, repairs, and security, depends on the management company and the building equipment.

Internet, TV and telephone connection cost €25 to €60 per month, depending on the tariff and locality.

€2,850 Approximate annual costs for maintenance of an apartment

Communal payments

Electricity, gas, water, heating, and garbage collection
€74—200 

per month

Building maintenance

Elevator, cleaning, repairs, and security

€10—300 

per month

The property seller pays a capital gains tax on the difference between the sale and purchase prices. Tax on income from the sale of real estate is not paid.

If the owner sells the property through an agency, the commission is included in the contract price and is paid by the buyer.

24% Capital gains tax on the sale of
real estate in Spain
Expenses on the sale
Capital gains tax

Paid on the difference between the purchase and sale prices

24%
Agency fee

Depends on the real estate agency

3—5%

Frequently asked questions

Can foreigners buy property in Spain?

Yes. Foreigners in Spain can freely buy, sell, and rent out residential and commercial real estate.

Are property prices still falling in Spain?

No. Property prices in Spain have been growing by 1,3% every quarter on average. Five years ago, an apartment of 100 m² was worth an average of €203,000, and today it can be sold for €253,000.

Can I get residency in Spain if I buy a house?

Yes. Foreigners can participate in the Spain Golden Visa Program and get a residence permit by investment in real estate. To maintain the status, investors need to keep the property. But if they have lived in Spain for 5 years and got permanent residence status, they are allowed to sell the property.

Investing in real estate is an opportunity to get additional income in Spain. Investors can make money on reselling the property on average, prices for Spanish real estate are growing by 5% per year. If an investor had bought an apartment worth €200,000 in 2017, he could now sell it for €250,000.

What is the average price of a house in Spain?

The cost of Spanish real estate increases by an average of 1,3% quarterly. The dynamics are confirmed by Eurostat statistics: since 2015, housing prices have increased by 32%.

The average cost of housing in Spain is €2,533 per 1 m². An apartment by the sea will cost around €500,000. For apartments in the centre of Madrid or Barcelona, you will have to pay about 2 million euros.

Do I have to pay tax on my Spanish property?

Yes. Buyers of new buildings pay a VAT plus a regional tax of 7—12% of the purchase price. For secondary real estate property, buyers pay a 6—10% transfer tax.

The annual property tax in Spain ranges from 0,4% to 1,1% of the cadastral value. The rate depends on the region where the property is located.

Foreign owners who rent their property in Spain pay a 24% income tax. Foreigners may be charged a tax on imputed income, even if the property is not rented. The imputed income tax rate ranges from 1б1% to 2% of the cadastral value of the object. The tax is levied on non-resident owners who live in Spain less than 183 days a year.