Buying Spanish Property

Buying Spanish Property

How to Buy a Property in Spain: Costs and Common Pitfalls.

Enjoy the process of buying and keep problems away from you.

Buying a property abroad is such an important decision, a dream for many people who wants to spend their perfect holidays or a new life in Spain. It can be complicated sometimes as the laws may be similar but not the same as in your country, but with the right professionals in this sector, the process of buying becomes easy and safe.

BUYING A HOUSE IN SPAIN AS A FOREIGNER

In order to buy a home in Spain you need to obtain the NIE (Foreigner Identification Number). This personal number can be requested at the Spanish Police or through the Spanish Embassy in your country. In addition, if you wish, you can grant power of attorney to the person you designate, such as your lawyer in Spain, to request it on your behalf.

The expenses and taxes associated with the purchase of the property must be paid in Spain: VAT if the house is new or ITP tax if it is second-hand, and notary and Registry costs.

In addition, each year you have to pay local (IBI) and government tax for the property (IRNR). The IRNR (Income tax non resident), is a direct tax for the benefit obtained in Spanish territory by individuals and not resident citizens in Spain, although the property is empty. If you also rent your Spanish property and you are a non-resident, you must pay the non-resident rental tax.

Non-residents can also obtain mortgages in Spain for the purchase of properties in Spain. The bank will request certain personal and financial information from you to study your specific case.

Spain currently offers a ‘golden visa’ for property owners. This is a form of investor’s visa. If you invest more than 500000 Euros in Spanish property, buying one or more properties, you will be able to request a residency visa, which is not a work permit, but it will allow you to live in the country.

Related: How to get a mortgage in Spain?

STEPS TO BUY A PROPERTY IN SPAIN

Here we are going to summarise the main steps to buy a property in Spain safely:

  1. Step 1: Once you have found the property you like and have done a research on the area, it is strongly recommended you contract a lawyer who speaks your language. Your lawyer should protect your interests, check if all property taxes are paid, if there is any charge on the property or any unpaid utility and/or community bills and verify all the property documents.
  2. Step 2: When you have the confirmation from your lawyer that all property documents and checks are done and in order, then a purchase private contract is signed and a deposit paid. Your solicitor may prepare the contract and give you information about how to pay the deposit to take the property out of the market.
  3. Step 3: You need to apply for a NIE (Spanish number for foreigner needed to register you with the Spanish system). You can apply for it yourself at the National Police and in the Spanish Embassy or Spanish Consulate of your country, or, but also it can be obtained on your behalf if you grant power of attorney (normally to your solicitor who will represent you during purchase process).
  4. Step 4: Completion will be done at the Notary office, where purchase title deeds are signed, final payment is done and keys received.
  5. Step 5: After title deeds are signed at the Notary, you need to pay the notary fees, transmission taxes and registry invoice to register the property into your name at the Land Registry office. Also you need to change property bills into your name.

Related: Is it a good time to buy property in Spain?

COMMON PITFALLS OF BUYING A PROPERTY IN SPAIN

Which are the most common pitfalls of buying a property in Spain?

  1. Not choosing the right location according to your needs: make a list of your requirements and do a research on the area to make sure it is adjusted to want you want, as for example, near from supermarkets, schools, hospitals, etc.
  2. Not having your personal documents in order: you need to have your personal documents in order, as for example, your NIE, or you will not be able to buy.
  3. The property is not registered or was built ilegally: it is very important that your solicitor verifies, before you sign the purchase contract and pay a deposit, if the property is fully legal, as not all buildings can be regularized, and if they could, they should be under the seller’s costs.
  4. Not having calculated in your budget the legal expenses to transfer the property into your name: there are aditional costs related to the procedure of the purchase of a property, as Notary invoice for the purchase deeds, property taxes, Land Registry invoice and legal fees. These mentioned costs means around an extra 14 % on top of the property price.
  5. Signing a purchase contract you do not understand and not checked by your solicitor: it is very important that you wait until the contract is checked by your solicitor and your questions answered with regards to the contract, to avoid problems between the parts.

Related: How to obtain the habitation certificate for properties in Spain?

COSTS ASSOCIATED TO THE PURCHASE OF A PROPERTY IN SPAIN

As a buyer of property in Spain, you need to pay certain costs and taxes over on top of the property price. Depending if you are buying a new property from the builder or a resale property you will have to pay VAT and Stamp Duty, or a transfer tax.

The common costs whether you are buying a new property or resale one are:

  1. Notary costs for the purchase deeds. The calculation of notary fees in Spain is regulated by Spanish law. The Notary is a civil servant of the State Professional Law. The notary fees covers the the office, salary of the professional team, liability insurance, computerization, binding and conservation of the acts and maintenance of the Notarial Schools. In Spain, the notary’s fees are set by Royal Decree of 17 November 1989 published on 28 November in the Official State Bulletin (BOE). If you want to know how much is the notary bill for the purchase of your home, contact us and we will calculate an estimate.
  2. Land Registry costs. The registration of your property in the Property Registry is also subjected to fixedSpanish land Registry fees, but they depend on the location, type, etc. of the property. If you want to know how much is the Property Registry bill for the purchase of your home, contact us and we will calculate an estimate as well.
  3. If you are buying a new house from the builder, you have to pay VAT and Stamp Duty tax. At the moment VAT (called IVA) is 10 % in Spain (excluding Canaries which have a different rate) for houses and appartments. The Stamp Duty (called AJD) changes from the region, being in Alicante’s province 1’5% of the price of the purchase.
  4. If you are buying a resale house, you have to pay Spanish Transfer Tax (Impuesto sobre Transmisiones Patrimoniales – ITP): The Transfer Tax rate changes from the region, being in Alicante’s province 10 % of the price of the property. In this case there is not VAT to pay.
  5. Legal fees: This is an aditional expense, but it is highly recommended that you contract the services of a lawyer to help you during the buying process.
  6. Spanish mortgage costs: This is only if you finance the property with a Spanish mortgage. You will have additional costes, like valuation costes, opening fee in some cases, …
  7. Other costes associated when buying a house in Spain:
    • Bank expenses
    • Annual local tax
    • Payment of utility bills and community fees
    • Annual payment of non resident tax
    • Rental tax in case you rent the property purchased
    • House insurance

PAYMENT OF DEPOSIT TO BUY A PROPERTY IN SPAIN

Once you have seen the property you want to purchase and contacted with a lawyer in Spain to do the verification of the property, it is normally paid a deposit when signing the reservation contract. This deposit is normally a small amount, that sometimes goes from 3000 Euros up to the 10% of the purchase price.

It is very important to make sure what it is signed in the reservation contract with regards of rescission of the contract, to know what are the implications in case of not continue with the purchase. In general, if the buyer does not want to continue with the purchase, he will not get the deposit back, but there are other harder and risky possibilities. Also, there are other cases where the reservation contract express possibility of returning of the deposit under certain circumstances as for example if the buyer doesn’t obtain finance in a determined period of time.

Being assisted by a qualified lawyer before you sign the reservation contract and pay the deposit will ensure the purchase process goes smoothly. The solicitor will make sure that all aspects of the reservation contract are included to protect your interests, so they need to be respected thereafter. The reservation contract will contain details as form and date of payment, price, expenses, etc. Deposit normally is paid by bank card or bank transfer.

BUYING A LAND IN SPAIN

There are not many, but some non-residents currently consider to buy a land in Spain and build their own dream villa. This may be cheaper that buying the villa already built, but to do it correctly, it is very important to choose the right plot of land in order to avoid future problems.

If you are interested in buying land in Spain, we recommend you to check the following documents:

  • The land is registered in the vendor’s name. It can seems obvious, but in some cases the registered owner has passed away recently and the inheritance deeds have not been registered yet at the beneficiaries name. Until the inheritance is not registered into the beneficiaries, the sale can not take place. This case may happen sometimes in rural lands and/or small villages where the land passes from generations without changing the ownership at the Land Registry. It is very important to request a land registry report to the Land Registry Office to see who is owner and who will sign as vendor.
  • Check that there is a title deed for the land and that it is correct. Sometimes it can appear discrepancies between the real extension of the land, and the details that appear on the documents.
  • Check that there are no charges, encumbrances or debts against the property.
  • Check right-of way ( some plots of land may have a lien to allows access to a neighbour’s property), hunting right, right of view, right of water from a well, stream, etc.
  • If there is already built a villa on the land, make sure it was built with planning permission for a villa, and not for “Casa de aperos” (tool shed) and that the land Registry report shows registered all components of the villa and all square meters.
  • Check if the land is connected to the main water, electricity and sewerage.
  • Check land category and its restrictions.> Suelo urbano (urban land): It normally has all the services established, however it is impotnat to check, as in some cases, they could need finishing them, which the costes that would arise
    Suelo urbanizable: This land is in process of being rezoned and the Town Hall can change the classification to “urbano” at any moment.
    Suelo rústico (rustic land): Rustic land is a land considered non-urbanized, but in some cases, it is authorized to build new constructions.
  •  It is very important you ask at the right department of the Town Hall where the land is situated which are the local building norms, requirements and regulations to have everything legal.
  • Contract an accurate topographical survey. The topograph will analyze the nature of the field, measure it, check if the accuracy of the construction is within the limits marked in the reference planes, etc.

PROPERTY DEEDS IN SPAIN (“ESCRITURA DE PROPIEDAD”)

The “escritura de compraventa” (purchase deeds) is the public document that certifies the change of legal ownership. Once the Notary signs it with the buyer and seller or their representatives, it will then need to be registered at the land registry to change the ownership details.

The deeds contains several details as personal details for seller and buyer and/or representatives involved, details of the translator (if any of the parts do not understand Spanish), details of the property from the Land Registry and Cadastre, certificate from the community of owners stating that the property is up to dated with communal payments, property price, schedule of the payments done and information about taxes applicable to buyer and vendor from this transaction.

The deeds are signed by the parts involved, as seller, buyer, translator and Notary. The content of the deeds is in Spanish, so inf you want a copy in other language, you will need to arrange it by your own.

If you lose the copy of the deeds signed, you can request a copy to the Notary that you signed it. You will need to bring to the Notary your identification to apply for it.

 

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Tenant Rights Strengthened Across Spain

Tenant Rights Strengthened Across Spain

The legal protection for people who rent their home is being strengthened in Spain through the introduction of new legislation. The country has a thriving home-building market, boosted by foreign investment, and the new government is looking to rein in some of the areas of this market. This can be seen in the statement from Development Minister Jose Luis Abalos. He stated that the government has to ensure that housing stock is primarily allocated to satisfy the right to housing and safeguarding the social function.

People who are buying rental properties will need to respect the terms of the existing contracts of tenants. This will avoid the post-crisis situation that councils faced where they sold social housing to private equity firms who then raised the rents. Mr Abalos also announced regulatory and fiscal measures which encourage owners of empty properties to let them.

He also announced that over the next 4 to 6 years, 20,000 affordable homes will be built for people to rent. This will add to the supply of housing which makes up only 2.5% of the Spanish housing stock according to OECD. This is much lower when compared to France with 14% and Britain with 18%.

There are also going to be curbs placed on deposits and the other guarantees which landlords are able to demand from potential tenants. The government is also going to be easing access to credit to help people with renting.
Mr Abalos explained these measures as a means of balancing the rights of landlords and tenants as much as possible.

 

All You Need To Know About The Popular Spanish Real Estate Industry

All You Need To Know About The Popular Spanish Real Estate Industry

This year, investments in malls, hotels, offices, and warehouses are set to reach its highest amount since 2007, just before the bursting of a 10-year property bubble tipped the Spanish economy into its worst slump.

Now, banks are clearing a way for a real estate turnaround beating their fellow euro-zone peers with various foreclosed assets; thereby, luring foreign investors into purchasing discounted properties. Instead of slumping, Spain’s economy is now growing and outpacing the rest of Europe with 2018 set to be one of the strongest years for commercial real estate according to Savills Plc.

According to the chief executive officer and founder of Madrid-based Merlin Properties, 2018 is the year when everything is supposed to come together. Ismael Clemente heads this leader in European real estate investment and states that the Spanish economy is doing well and it is considered an investor friendly nation. The banks are healthy and Spain is showing a beneficial legal infrastructure with cheap property as compared to other cities in Europe.

The positive changes seen now are a far cry from the state Spain experienced one decade ago. In 2008, it was near impossible to gain investors in the Spanish real estate industry and existing investors were trying to sell their property as quickly as possible. Fortunately, recovery was experienced with a banking system bailout and the pace of the lender discount has continued clearing out any toxic real estate assets.

According to Mr. de Acuna Martinez, the director of real estate consultancy firm R.R. de Acuna and Associates, the financial crisis was seen several years ago and the phones did not stop ringing until 2012 with the Spanish bank bailout. de Acuna agrees that the amount of real estate investment in 2018 is a result of the bailout because it allowed money lenders to reduce real estate loans and assets to a reasonable price that investors were willing to pay.

After the bailout, Spain was able to establish Sareb – a bad bank managing approximately 50 billion euro in real estate from money lenders since 2012. It was announced on Thursday that Sareb had sold all the loans at a face value amount of 375 million euro to Deutsche Bank. This brings the overall sales figure up to 13.9 billion euro since the bank’s inception in 2012.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, the second largest bank operating in Spain, agrees to sell its foreclosed real estate assets last month. The sale price of these assets was reported to have a gross value of 13 billion euro and the sale was made to Cerberus Capital Management. Cerberus Capital Management, however, valued the assets at 5 million euro. Blackstone Group LP paid approximately 5 billion euro for 51% of the banks real estate assets in August, all of which had a gross face value of approximately 30 billion euro.

The two deals mentioned above represent the lion’s share of all soured property debt sales made in 2018 reaching a current record of 48.2 billion euro. This statistic was discovered from the advisory firm, Evercore Partners International. Furthermore, this amount is more than all four preceding years combined.

According to Michelle Greaves, the managing director of Tenerife-based Delmar Estate Agency, 2018 should be a year of significant transfers of real estate loans and assets from banks to investment trusts. Greaves expects this trend to further develop in the year and expects to see transaction volumes grow as buyers of properties sell to long-term holders.

At present, investment in Spain’s corporate property is said to reach approximately 8.9 billion euro by the end of the year. This is a prediction from Savills as the statistics show an increase from the 1.9 billion euro real estate profit after 2011 and an approach to the 10.8 billion euro from 2007.

Just over two thirds of the investment entering Spain this year will be presented from foreign real estate buyers with retail property being the most popular type of investment. Savills data indicates that while retail property is most popular, hotels and offices are closely behind in numbers. Shopping malls in Spain offer investments a 4.25% profit opportunity as compared to the 3.75% in Paris, Frankfurt, and Berlin as seen in statistics from Knight Frank LLP.

In addition to generating revenue, the real estate economy is also helping to drive deals in the country. Predictions indicate that there will be a growth from 3.1% to 2.5% in this year. This is better than any major European nations and indicates that even the turbulent political issue with Catalan will not affect the Spanish property upswing.

Investing In Spain – Good Or Bad Idea?

Investing In Spain – Good Or Bad Idea?

Brexit has been on everyone’s mind ever since the vote in the U.K. to remove itself from the European Union took place. But what does this mean for those who have property and other investments on the continent?

After some torrid years which saw Spanish property prices plummet the country seems to to be on the path to recovery. In the last year property prices seemed to have clawed back some of their losses and investors could begin to breath a sigh of relief. This newfound confidence seems to have translated itself into an appetite for Spanish property.

This is especially true for those who want to view their investment in Spanish property as long term – a buy to let opportunity.

However, there are still some questions that need answers.

Firstly – is this recovery just a flash in the pan?

Spain took a long time to recover from the global financial crisis. However with year on year property prices increasing by around 5% it outstrips its European neighbours. But even this modest increase offers opportunity. Those prices are still far below historical highs. This darling of the British property investment community – including retirees may still represent a great opportunity.

Is demand still high across all regions?

Leading agency Sequre says that Spain remains a diversified market. It makes up a large proportion of its overseas market portfolio which grew by 118% in 2016.This gives them confidence that Spain is surging to the front of favoured places for Europeans, including British nationals to invest.

According to the organisation there are evergreen regions such as the Costa del Sol and and Costa Blanca that remain tourist hotspots and the but to let market remains strong – an investment opportunity that should not be overlooked.

Is a boom on the Horizon?

After being down in the doldrums for many years Spanish construction of new accommodation seems to be picking up. Many Euros, in fact millions are being thrown at the Spanish economy in order to stimulate the economy – and much of this is trickling into the construction sector.

Visit the Costa del Sol, Costa Calida or Costa Blanca and one thing becomes apparent – construction is booming. The sheer number of cranes and construction equipment is simply staggering. It signals a resurgence of Spain as a property investment destination.

So is Spain the Best Overseas Investment?

Buy to let is always a matter of doing research and exercising due diligence before making a decision. In property that is especially important. But the old saying that location is key still remains true. looking further afield in Spain may deliver exceptional results in the medium to long term.

But for those who want to go with the tried and tested then those cities near to Blue Flag beaches are a great bet for exceptional return on investment. Places such as Marbella and Alicante have lways delivered due to their beach status and a great climate.

Are There Other Choices?

For those who are looking for something a bit different and who have an appetite for big returns while minimising risk there are areas such as Mijas located in the Costa del Sol. Fairly low buy in – but rental yields that continue to grow year on year. For the savvy investor this is an area that might be worth looking at.

Regular research using a Spain Property Blog such as this one will keep you ahead of the crowd.

Is Investing In Tenerife Property A Good Idea?

Is Investing In Tenerife Property A Good Idea?

Today there are a lot of people from Western Europe, especially in the UK who are interested in investing in properties overseas. At first glance, it may appear that the amount of attractive locations to discover an ideal apartment of holiday home for the purposes of retirement in the sunny destinations is endless.

The exotic locations like the Caribbean Islands are always tempting along with the sunshine state of Florida in the U.S. Central Europe that includes mainland Spain and France are already home to a number of UK expatriates, while Eastern Europe with its latest republics that have started to pop up everywhere offers interesting possibilities.

So with the abundance of outstanding choices on offer, why is it that people still think of Tenerife as the ideal choice for those who are looking to invest in properties abroad?

The Incredible Weather

If you had to ask 10 of the UK expatriates why they have chosen to move abroad, about 9 of these would tell you that they wanted to get away from the icy cold British winters and typically disappointing and wet summers. This offers more of a reason for you to choose a new destination after you compare the year round climates for each potential opportunity. Temperatures that can be extreme often afflict the countries that were mentioned above and humidity levels that are regarded as uncomfortable, endless dreary and dull days or tropical storms, means you are often left hoping for a couple of months to enjoy the summer sun.

In comparison, the weather conditions in Tenerife are regarded as one of the best across the globe. This includes warm and comfortable summer days with average temperatures of around 82ºF (28ºC) during the day with mild and short winters which only last for around 4 months. Even in the winter months the temperature will rarely drop below 73ºF (23ºC). In addition, there are no earthquakes, hurricanes, no humidity or summer temperatures that become unbearably hot.

Excellent Investment Value

In the UK, the housing markets often undergo cycles of property prices that fluctuate. This can mean that you may buy a home now, only to discover in a year’s time the property is worth a lot less. Tenerife does not experience unpredictable price increases or decreases, but rather moves forward each year with a rate of about 10% growth.
Many English estate agents in Tenerife agree that property on the island offers great value, especially in premium locations where the returns have seen a steady growth.

Minimal Travelling Time

One of the other important concerns for the majority of the people that want to live “in the Sun.” It is clear that buying a property in the Caribbean or the US will involve long and costly flights, often accompanied by stopovers and then you still have to worry about getting from the airport to the home. Even a mild 2 to 3 hour flight to a country like Spain can increase this time by double or triple when you have to travel from and to the airports. And nearly everyone is aware of the traffic in regards to the UK, whereby a Friday night drive from the Midlands onto the South Coast on average will take you around 5 to 6 hours.

When you compare Tenerife, you are able to fly from just about every airport in the UK to the international and modern airport in Tenerife in as little as 4 hours. From here the main locations of the South are a short 10 to 15 minute drive along their modern motorway.

The Language Barrier

In previous years, language has definitely been a barrier or concern for people looking to improve their way of living. When it comes to living in warmer and gentle environments and even in a country like France or various other Central Europe parts requires an in depth knowledge when it comes to the local-tongue of these areas.

In Tenerife the official language may be Spanish, but English is the language that is spoken the most extensively, and in the South is just as popular as Spanish.

Security & Stability

Security is another concern that is often raised when people are looking to buy a property abroad and needs to be thought about carefully. In the Eastern republics that mystical charm will immediately wear off, when you find out that the laws and the rules in these countries are very different to what you know in the UK. Even when it comes to Southern states in America such as close to Miami, where many people have made the decision to invest or live, there are a number of areas that are regarded as unsuitable or no-gos.

When compared to Tenerife, the laws are observed in civilized and modern ways. This is not to suggest that Tenerife is a crime free area, but crime is deterred by the aggressive Policia Locale and Guardia Civil. Here the house thefts and car crimes along with common type of street crimes are far lower when compared to the majority of the British towns.

In conclusion, Tenerife still remains well above most of the other options when it comes to buying a second home. This includes the outstanding weather, easy to arrive at, sound investment and a secure and safer environment for you and your family to enjoy. This also includes the stunning mountain ranges, cosmopolitan cities and beautiful beaches.

This island features a number of micro-climates and travelling from one place to another you will soon discover the diversity of this island. This includes the lush and green areas of the North through the pine forests onto El Pico del Teide which is covered in snow in the winter onto the sun-drenched areas of the South.

Other attractions include 10 championship golf courses, along with outstanding planned sea-diving activities, yachting, windsurfing and more. The costs of living are also low, with fuel about 50% less than what you pay in the UK, cigarettes are 25% less and eating at restaurants is also about 50% less. In addition your council rates are minimal when you compare it to what you would pay in the UK.

There is also an easy link to other parts of the Canary Islands with a modern and fast ferry, which can mean you leave Los Cristianos and be walking around the stunning island of La Gomera a mere 30 minutes later.

The 217 miles of the Tenerife coastline, is home to one of the most stunning unspoilt and beautiful islands. Thousands of people from the UK have already made the decision to call this paradise their homes, and every year this amount grows. If you have had thoughts about buying an investment property, Tenerife is definitely a great deal to consider.

Once you find a good estate agent, it should be an easy process and they will be able to provide you with a good selection of properties to choose from.

Have a look at this list to find the best estate agent in Tenerife.