Are you a curious expat wondering how to buy a house in Spain in 2024? Check out this article and find out how!

Last Updated on June 28, 2024 by Laila Oliveira

Spain, with its sun-soaked beaches, vibrant culture, and robust property market, is an increasingly popular destination for homebuyers. Whether you’re looking for a vacation home, an investment property, or a permanent residence, understanding how to buy a house in Spain in 2024 is crucial. 

This guide will walk you through the benefits, best cities, and the step-by-step process of purchasing property in Spain, ensuring you make an informed decision. Happy reading!

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Why Should I Think About Buying a House in Spain?

Buying a house in Spain is usually a no-brainer for expats trying to fulfill their Spanish real estate aspirations. 

Check out the reasons below for why you should consider purchasing a property in Spain!

Immense Investment Potential & Golden Visa

Spain’s property market has consistently grown, making it a solid investment choice. 

Spain’s property market has demonstrated consistent growth, making it a solid investment choice. In 2023, property prices increased by 7%, with notable growth in dynamic markets such as Madrid and Barcelona. 

Despite interest rates reaching 4.5%, which historically slows down house price growth, the Spanish real estate market maintained its value, defying expectations​ according to IberianTax. The robust performance of the property market, driven by both domestic and foreign buyers, highlights its resilience and potential for future growth.

Additionally, Spain offers the Golden Visa program, which grants residency to non-EU nationals investing a minimum of €500,000 in real estate. 

This visa is not only a gateway to enjoying life in Spain but also provides the benefit of traveling freely within the Schengen Zone.

The Golden Visa can be renewed every two years, and after five years, you can apply for permanent residency, making it a long-term investment in your future.

Investing in Spanish real estate also opens doors for you to various rental opportunities. 

Cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia have thriving rental markets driven by high tourist numbers and a growing expatriate community. This allows you to generate a steady rental income, further enhancing the investment’s attractiveness.

Spain Has A Rich Quality Of Life

Living in Spain means enjoying a high quality of life. The country’s excellent healthcare system, ranked among the best in the world, ensures that residents have access to top-notch medical care.

Additionally, Spain’s education system is highly regarded, with numerous international schools that cater to expatriates.

Spain’s lifestyle is also defined by its world-class cuisine, with a rich variety of dishes reflecting its diverse culture. From tapas in Madrid to paella in Valencia, the culinary experiences are endless. 

The pleasant Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers, further enhances the quality of life, allowing for a wide range of outdoor activities year-round.

Also, Spaniards are known for their friendliness and hospitality, making it easy for newcomers to integrate and feel at home. 

Spain’s social life is vibrant and welcoming. The country’s festivals, cultural events, and lively nightlife offer endless entertainment options, ensuring that there’s always something to do and explore.

Diverse Lifestyle & Real Estate Options

Spain’s real estate market is as diverse as its culture. This diversity allows you to buy a house in Spain that perfectly matches your lifestyle and investment goals.

Urban areas like Madrid and Barcelona offer luxury apartments with cutting-edge amenities, ideal for those who thrive in a bustling city environment. These cities are cultural hubs, home to museums, theaters, and historical landmarks. 

On the other hand, coastal towns like Marbella and Alicante provide stunning beachfront properties, perfect for those seeking a more relaxed, seaside lifestyle.

The Spanish countryside offers beautiful rural properties for those who prefer tranquility and nature. 

Regions like Andalusia and Catalonia have charming fincas and traditional stone houses surrounded by picturesque landscapes. These properties often come with extensive land, offering privacy and opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking and horse riding.

Best Cities to Buy a House in Spain

Now, you know why you must consider buying a house in Spain. Next, it’s time to find out the best cities to purchase such a real estate investment!

Take note of the list below and set your goals!

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Madrid

As Spain’s capital, Madrid offers a dynamic lifestyle with rich cultural experiences, excellent infrastructure, and a robust property market. The city is known for its vibrant arts scene. It is bedazzled with world-famous museums like the Prado and Reina Sofía. 

Additionally, Madrid’s nightlife, culinary scene, and high standard of living make it an attractive place to call home.

Madrid’s real estate market is diverse, catering to various preferences and budgets. Whether you’re looking for a luxury apartment in the city’s heart or a more affordable option in the suburbs, Madrid has something to offer. 

The city’s excellent public transportation system makes navigating easy, further enhancing its appeal.

The business environment in Madrid is also thriving, making it a prime location for professionals and entrepreneurs. 

With numerous multinational companies headquartered in the city, there are ample job opportunities and a strong economy supporting the property market’s growth.

How much does it cost to buy property in Madrid?

Property prices in Madrid can vary significantly depending on the neighborhood. As of 2024, Madrid’s average price per square meter is approximately €4,000. 

Prime areas like Salamanca and Chamberí can see prices reaching €7,000 per square meter, while more affordable neighborhoods like Carabanchel average around €2,800 per square meter.

NeighborhoodAverage Price per Square Meter
Salamanca€7,671
Chamberí€6,630
Ciudad Lineal€3,645
La Latina€2,746
Carabanchel€2,676
All estimates are from Idealista (as of June 2024).

Barcelona

Known for its architectural beauty and coastal charm, Barcelona is another top choice for property buyers. 

The city is famous for its unique blend of modernist and Gothic architecture, with landmarks such as the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell attracting millions of visitors annually. Living in Barcelona means being surrounded by history and culture, a vibrant arts scene, and numerous festivals.

Barcelona’s real estate market is competitive, offering a wide range of properties, from luxury apartments in the city center to quaint houses in its charming neighborhoods. The city’s Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers, makes it a desirable place to live year-round. 

How much does it cost to buy property in Barcelona?

In Barcelona, the average price per square meter is around €4,500. High-demand areas like Eixample and Gràcia can reach €6,000 per square meter, while more affordable neighborhoods like Sants-Montjuïc are closer to €3,500 per square meter.

NeighborhoodAverage Price per Square Meter
Eixample€5,492
Gràcia€4,776
Ciudad Lineal€4,446
Sants-Montjuïc€3,655
Nou Barris€2,393

Valencia

Valencia combines city living with coastal relaxation, making it an attractive option for many buyers.

Known for its stunning architecture, including the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences and its beautiful beaches, Valencia offers a unique blend of modernity and tradition. The city’s rich cultural heritage, vibrant festivals, and excellent cuisine make it a delightful place to live.

Valencia’s real estate market is known for its affordability compared to Madrid and Barcelona. This makes it an appealing choice for those looking for a more cost-effective investment without sacrificing quality of life. 

The city’s various neighborhoods offer a range of properties, from modern apartments in the city center to spacious homes in suburban areas.

How much does it cost to buy property in Valencia?

Valencia offers relatively affordable property prices, averaging around €2,500 per square meter. Central areas like Ciutat Vella can reach €3,500 per square meter, while suburban areas like Benicalap offer prices around €1,800 per square meter.

NeighborhoodAverage Price per Square Meter
Ciutat Vella€3,495
L’Eixample€3,732
El Pla del Real€3,392
Benicalap€2,061
Quatre Carreres€2,331

Investing in Valencia’s property market provides an opportunity to enjoy a high quality of life while benefiting from the city’s growing popularity among expatriates and tourists. The affordable property prices combined with the city’s amenities make it a sound investment. 

Furthermore, Valencia’s commitment to sustainability and urban development ensures continued growth and appreciation of property values.

Navigating the Spanish Real Estate Process

Learn a bit more about navigating the process of buying a house in Spain in 2024! 

It’s Best to Have a Real Estate Agent

Navigating the Spanish real estate market can be complex, especially for foreign buyers. A local real estate agent can provide invaluable assistance, from finding properties that meet your criteria to navigating legal requirements and negotiating prices. 

They have in-depth knowledge of the local market, helping you find the best deals and avoid potential pitfalls if you decide to buy a house in Spain.

A real estate agent can also assist with language barriers and cultural differences, making the buying process smoother and more efficient. 

They can arrange property viewings, provide detailed information about different neighborhoods, and offer insights into market trends. This expertise is crucial in making informed decisions and ensuring a successful property purchase.

Additionally, a good real estate agent will have a network of professionals, including lawyers, notaries, and financial advisors, who can help with various aspects of the buying process. 

This network can streamline the process, saving you time and reducing stress. Working with a reputable agent ensures that you have support and guidance every step of the way.

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Select Your Property

Once you’ve identified potential properties, your agent can help arrange viewings and provide insights on the pros and cons of each option. 

It’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in a property, including location, size, budget, and any specific features you desire. This will help narrow down the options and make the search more efficient.

During the property selection process, consider the long-term potential of the investment. Look for properties in areas with good infrastructure, amenities, and future development plans. 

Proximity to schools, hospitals, public transport, and recreational facilities can enhance the property’s value and livability.

It’s also crucial to assess the condition of the property. 

Conducting a thorough inspection can help identify any structural issues or necessary repairs. This step ensures that you’re aware of the property’s true condition and can negotiate the price accordingly. Your real estate agent can assist in arranging professional inspections and evaluations.

View and Inspect the Location

Before you buy a house in Spain, it’s crucial to personally inspect any property you’re considering. 

Look beyond aesthetics and assess the condition of the building, local amenities, and future development plans in the area. Visiting the property in person allows you to get a feel for the neighborhood and determine if it meets your expectations.

Pay attention to the surrounding environment, including noise levels, traffic, and safety. Check for nearby amenities such as shops, restaurants, parks, and public transportation. These factors can significantly impact your quality of life and the property’s value.

Future development plans in the area are also important to consider. 

Projects such as new infrastructure, schools, or commercial centers can enhance the property’s value. 

Conversely, developments that may increase traffic or noise could affect your living experience. Researching and understanding these plans can help you make an informed decision.

Make an Offer

When you find the right property, you’ll need to make a formal offer. This often involves negotiation, which your agent can handle on your behalf. The offer should be based on market value, property condition, and your budget. It’s important to be realistic and prepared for a back-and-forth negotiation process.

During negotiations, consider the property’s asking price, any needed repairs or renovations, and the current market conditions. Your agent can provide valuable insights and help you formulate a competitive offer. Being flexible and open to compromise can also facilitate a successful negotiation.

Once the offer is accepted, a reservation contract (Contrato de Arras) is typically signed. This contract secures the property and involves a deposit, usually around 10% of the purchase price. 

This step ensures that the property is taken off the market and reserved for you while the final paperwork is completed.

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Prepare the Documents

Now, get all the documents ready to buy a house in Spain! 

The documentation process includes obtaining a Foreign Identity Number (NIE), opening a Spanish bank account, and ensuring all property documents are in order. 

The NIE is essential for all financial and legal transactions in Spain, and obtaining it should be one of your first steps. This process can take several weeks, so starting early is advisable.

Opening a Spanish bank account is necessary for transferring funds and managing expenses related to the property. 

Choose a bank that offers services in your language and has a good reputation for customer service. Your real estate agent or lawyer can assist you in finding a suitable bank and setting up an account.

Ensuring all property documents are in order is crucial to avoid legal issues. This includes verifying the property’s title, checking for any debts or liens, and confirming that all permits and licenses are up to date. 

Viv Europe can assist with all these document preparations. Our team can help you obtain your NIE efficiently and guide you in opening a Spanish bank account with ease. We are here to ensure that all necessary property documents are thoroughly prepared.

Sign the Deed and Transfer the Amount

The final step is signing the deed (escritura) before a notary and transferring the purchase funds. 

At this point, you become the legal owner of the property. The notary ensures that all legal requirements are met and the transaction is properly recorded. This step provides legal protection and confirms the transfer of ownership.

The deed signing typically occurs at the notary’s office; both parties must be present. 

The notary will read the contract aloud, ensuring that all parties understand the terms and conditions. Once the deed is signed, it is registered with the Land Registry, officially recording the new ownership.

After that, the final payment, including the purchase price and any associated fees, is transferred at this stage. This includes taxes, notary fees, and registration costs. 

Viv Europe can assist with transferring the amount through our trusted partner, Spartan FX. Rest assured that you can experience secure and efficient fund transfers. You may also benefit from competitive exchange rates and personalized services.

Legal Requirements for Foreign Buyers

Foreign buyers must obtain a Número de Identificación de Extranjero (NIE) for any property transaction. This identification number is crucial for all financial and legal processes in Spain. 

The NIE is required to open a bank account, pay taxes, and sign property documents. It’s a straightforward process, but it’s essential to start early to avoid delays.

Additionally, it is vital to ensure that the property has a clear title and is free of debts or legal issues. 

Your agent or lawyer can verify these aspects to protect your investment. This includes checking for any outstanding mortgages, liens, or encumbrances on the property. Ensuring that the seller has the right to sell the property and that all legal requirements are met is crucial for a secure transaction.

Verifying ownership and conducting due diligence are critical steps in the buying process. This involves reviewing the property’s history, checking for any legal disputes, and confirming that all taxes and fees are paid up to date. 

Post-Purchase Considerations

Property Ownership and Taxes

Owning property in Spain comes with certain responsibilities, including annual property taxes (IBI), which vary depending on the municipality and property value. 

Additionally, non-residents must pay an annual tax on property ownership. These taxes contribute to local services and infrastructure, ensuring that the community benefits from your investment.

The Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles (IBI) is the primary property tax in Spain. It is calculated based on the cadastral value of the property, which is determined by local authorities. 

The tax rate varies by municipality, typically ranging from 0.4% to 1.1% of the cadastral value. This tax is paid annually, and failure to pay can result in penalties or legal issues.

Non-residents must also pay a non-resident income tax on the property. 

This tax is calculated based on the property’s value and the owner’s income. 

The rate is generally 24% of the property’s deemed rental value, even if the property is not rented out. It’s important to understand and budget for these taxes to avoid unexpected expenses.

Maintenance and Homeownership

After you buy a house in Spain, regular maintenance is essential to preserve its value. This includes everything from structural repairs to routine upkeep like gardening and cleaning. Proper maintenance ensures that your property remains in good condition, preventing costly repairs in the future. It also enhances your living experience, making your home comfortable and enjoyable.

Creating a maintenance schedule can help you stay on top of necessary tasks. This includes seasonal inspections, cleaning, and servicing of appliances and systems. 

Regularly checking for issues such as leaks, cracks, and wear and tear can help address problems early, saving you time and money.

Hiring local professionals for maintenance and repairs can ensure that the work is done correctly and efficiently. 

This includes plumbers, electricians, gardeners, and cleaners. Building a network of reliable service providers can make homeownership in Spain more manageable and stress-free.

Do You Need Help to Buy a House in Spain?

Whether you’re looking for investment opportunities or a new place to call home, Viv Europe is here to excellently streamline your experience.

Need assistance with your property purchase or have questions about the Spanish real estate market? Do you have any concerns regarding legal requirements as a foreign buyer? 

Viv Europe is here to help! Our experts can guide you through the process, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience. Book a consultation today and make your property journey in Spain enjoyable and stress-free.

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