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Buying and Selling Homes in Spain

Buy Sell Properties Spain

Buying and Selling homes in Spain

Protect Yourself with those Property Bargains in Spain.

It can be nerve racking or a breeze buying a property in Spain. We are an agency in Andalusia and different autonomous regions have slightly different taxes but all require 3 main things: a foreigner’s tax number called an NIE number, Title Deeds signed before a Notary and Land Registry of the property purchase.

An NIE number is something you get from the Police Station. If you use a lawyer for your purchase they will get this for you or you can apply yourself. Here are a couple of examples of how to fill the form out and each line translated. The reason for needing an NIE must also be stated.

English instructions how to fill out NIE form

NIE form translated

Title Deed Price and Amount Paid

There was a time when properties were sold for two different prices, coyly known as ‘A’ and ‘B’ monies. The ‘A’ price was on the Title Deeds and the ‘B’ was cash in hand counted with spit dampened fingers far from the Notary walls. Even today the Spanish tax office turns a blind eye on a 15 – 20% difference plus or minus from the normal market price. Don’t be tempted though. In general, they don’t trust you and suspect something is afoot if you get too much of a good deal or agree to a bad bargain on your part. A Buyer will end up paying tax on the amount the government thinks the property was really sold for, the imputed amount. The only way to avoid it is to get a property valuation done and take your claim to court. Costly and time consuming if you lose.

For those of you interested, the imputed amount or REAL VALUE is based on coefficients from town halls, the Title Deed Price and the Cadastral Reference – based on sometimes outdated surveys of land boundaries. By or before July 2018 a land law reform is being introduced. Current recommendations by a government commissioned think tank is to change the REAL VALUE to reflect only the Title Deed Price. Another idea being mooted is to start charging a local capital gains tax on rural properties as well as the current policy of applying it to urban properties on gains from selling your property.

As we’ve seen, sales have picked up, still not a high percentage of conveyances, although slowly improving. The years of recession from 2007 hit Spain well below the belt with repossessed properties and ghost towns of brand new housing estates. In the noughties so many people were dependent in one way or another on the construction industry. When it ground to an almost complete halt, so too did the country. Fortunately, people and things evolve; no-one wants to return to those dark days, but the unscrupulous soon left the industry – why would they stay? There were no longer any rich pickings. The agents and agencies that managed to hang on in there during the lean times came through with a limp and a smile. Many, like TMT Spain Real Estate, offer more to Buyer and Seller as a matter of course. We feel we have a duty to explain and inform, both to our clients selling and the applicant looking to buy. Clearly, both form part of the same process. Naturally, we believe we always have done and our team have transferred skills and knowledge accrued in other professions as well.

What is an Agent?

An agent is just that, an entity acting on behalf of another. When it comes to properties the relationship is a tad contrived. The Buyer is usually an interested party whilst our client is almost always the Seller – but both come together in a bargain of offer, acceptance and consideration. The process can be incredibly fast or proceed slowly and cautiously. We don’t mind, we’re there to help however long the journey. Our local knowledge and connections are relied on by Seller and Applicant alike. Whether it be by acting merely as a de facto tourist information service – every Estate Agent recognises that function, or making sure you understand how properties are bought and sold. Our neck of the woods is the autonomous region of Andalusia, Spain.

Buying & Selling Resale Properties in Andalusia.

There are many more Resale properties on the market than new builds, but you can once more see cranes along the skyline. This is happening because of unfinished promotions being revamped and also due to brand new green field sites being built – both courtesy of new Land Law Legislation for Developers and Promoters to take the plunge and invest in Spain.

If the house you want to buy has had others living there already, a Resale, termed ‘second-hand’ in Spain, you need to check the following documentation:

  • Title Deeds. Make sure the person selling the property really is the owner or authorised to sell. We check this as part of our general due diligence when we list a property.
  • Ownership and status of housing charges. (Simple Note of the Property Registry). For this you need to ask for ‘Datos Registrales’ which give ‘Finca, Tomo, Libro & Inscripción’ stating what the property registration number is and where it is filed – both literally and in which district. This information is on the Title Deeds or a copy of a ‘Nota Simple’
  • Last annual IBI receipt (Council Tax or Urban Tax, Impuestos Bienes Inmuebles).
  • Community of Owners’ receipts proving that the seller is up to date with payments of shared community expenses. (It’s a proprietor owned management company.)
  • Latest receipts of utilities: water, electricity, gas, etc.
  • Completion on Property. If the conveyance follows the normal convention the Seller pays the costs of cancelling his/her mortgage and the bulk of the Notary costs for drafting the new Title Deeds. The Buyer pays for the Title Deed copies, registration fees and, as appropriate, VAT or Property Transfer Tax. However, it is not mandatory to follow that convention although common.
  • The Seller needs to make sure they have a certificate of the energy value which they hand to the notary before sale.

The Buyer should allow approx. 12% – 15% on top for costs. You pay Stamp Duty, Transmission Taxes, Notary Fees and Land Registry Fees. Plus, lawyer’s fees should you decide to instruct one. (It is not obligatory.) In the past, you also had to pay the mortgage lenders’ Notary and Stamp Duty costs for putting the mortgage in place – which with the admin fee added up to about 4% of the amount borrowed. But this practice has been ruled out by the Supreme Court as an unfair contract term and now you only pay an admin fee on taking out the mortgage, the valuation and any costs that fall directly to you. Those who paid this in the past can claim back these costs providing the mortgage is still in place or was paid up in the last four years. Refunds in Andalusia are on average 4,313 € according to the property portal Idealista and Legal Services Provider, Reclamador. (a ‘crowd complainer’ platform,). The protection available for the consumer does serve to underline how the legislature has acted to inject confidence in the property market once more.

Property Taxes are levied against the price of the property as stated in the Title Deeds. At the time of writing, assuming no special cases, THE BUYER pays 8% ITP on a property up to 400,000 €, 9% from 400,001 € up to 700,000 € and 10% thereafter.

Garages and Parking Spaces in Underground Garages can either have a separate Property Title Deed or be annexed to the Residence’s Title Deed. For separate Deeds it’s 8% tax up to 30,000 €, 9% to 50,000 € and 10% thereafter for a maximum of 2 garages or parking bays. Make sure you know which parking space belongs to the house or apartment that you are buying, it’s an area that can sometimes be overlooked. The applicable Property Taxes are the same as for properties when sold in the same Deeds.

como comprar a una casa en España

Property Sellers are responsible for:

  • Certificate of Energy Rating. ‘Calificación Energética’. Drawn up by an architect evaluating the energy consumption of the dwelling. In Andalusia, almost all resale properties rate as Grade E, with Grade A being the highest, it may not be perfect, but it is normal.
  • Town Hall Capital Gains Tax – Incremento del Valor de los Terrenos de Naturaleza Urbana (IVTNU), more commonly known as plusvalía municipal. The clue should be in the name – you have to make a capital gain to pay this. But many local authorities have been exacting payment form Sellers even when they sold at a loss, basing the value on the cadastral reference as well as the old inflated market prices and opting for whichever price was higher. Note, a Supreme Court decision enshrined in law 15th June 2017, has tried to make it illegal for town halls to invoice Sellers for this if they have sold their home at a loss. People who were forced in the past to pay it despite making a loss can now claim this tax back from the Town Hall. It’s an odd remedy called a revocation process (Procedimiento de revocación.) What makes it strange is how the decision to go ahead with the claim lays in the hands of the local authority. (IKR.) Court decisions are now starting to create their own precedent. And yet, we are still awaiting legislation that stops town halls from invoicing. This is the complication. They have up to 4 years to do so. This means that in practice the Seller needs to file claiming 0€ owed. But at present the town hall could challenge this in that 4 year time frame. Really not acceptable in our opinion when people have sold at a loss and it shows this on the title deeds.

Buying Off Plan or New Builds confirm the following:

  • Works Licence in place
  • Bank Guarantee to protect in case developer goes belly up
  • Occupancy Licence issued before completion
  • Building Specifications have been adhered to
  • Stage Payments where appropriate coincide with actual completion of construction stage as described
  • Snagging List done and signed by both parties
  • Utilities supply and connection paperwork formalised
  • Value Added Tax is 10%

Other than that, enjoy your home in the sun, next to a pool in summer and a wood burning stove in winter.

There’s never been a better time this decade to move home or shuffle portfolios.

And if you are looking to buy or sell a property in Southern Spain, get in touch with TMT Spain Estate Agents – we’re happy to help.

(Article updated 5th April 2019 to reflect changes in the mortgage law.)

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withholding tax

Non Resident Withholding Tax on Sale of Property

retencion 3%

3% Withholding Tax for Non Residents

Non residents selling a property in Spain are not always easy to track down after the sale. For this reason the government makes the Buyer withhold 3% of the Purchase Price and pay it to the Treasury. This has to be done even when the Seller has made no profit from the sale.

Naturally, the Seller then gets to reclaim this amount.  In a nutshell, the Buyer pays using Form 211 and deducts this amount of what is owed to the Seller who reclaims at end of calendar year (Jan 1st – 20th) using Form 210.

The Seller passes the Buyer a copy of the Form 211 so the Seller can deduct this amount from the amount to be paid resulting from the declaration of the gain. If the withheld amount is greater than the amount payable, the refund of the surplus can be obtained.

The tax has to be made by the Buyer because otherwise the property will be subject to the payment of the smaller amount of the withholding tax.

There are 3 main scenarios when deductions can be made: No gain, partial gain and a gain but the property was your permanent home and you’re rolling the gain into another permanent home. Naturally, this last example is a tad unusual for a non resident.

Tax return form

Form 210, approved by Order EHA/3316/2010 of 17 December, declaring income type 28. However, when the exemption for reinvestment in a permanent home is applied, the type of income will be declared as 33 or 34, as corresponds.

Filing methods

  • on paper, generated as a result of printing the PDF form contained in the web portal of the Tax Agency.
  • online, via Internet.

When the property is of shared ownership by a married couple in which both spouses are non-resident, unlike normal requirements, you can make a single self-assessment for both or you.

Term: three months from the end of the period which the purchaser of the property has to deposit the withholding retention (this period is, in turn, of one month from the date of the sale).

Refund of the withheld surplus

In the case of capital losses, or if the withholding made is greater than the liability which should have been deposited, the taxpayer is entitled to the refund of the withheld surplus. The refund procedure starts with the filing of the tax return form.

Treasury Accountability – Late Refund

The Tax Agency may apply a provisional settlement within the six months following the end of the established period for filing the return. When the return is filed late, the six months will be counted from the filing date. If the provisional settlement is not made within this six-month period, the Tax Administration will refund any surplus paid above the self-assessed amount. If you still haven’t got your refund back after six months from filing date and it is not your fault, you will get a late payment interest added to the amount pending refund.

More Information from Spanish Tax Office

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July 2018 Housing Figures INE

Property Sales Registered July 2018

Property Sales Nationwide Buoyant

The national statistics for all of Spain are again positive news for the ongoing recovery of the property market. In July, 169,683 properties were registered at land registry, 14.5% up on the same month of 2017.

Of these the number of property conveyances was 89,092, which is an annual increase of 13.5%.

Sales registered at Land Registry

The breakdown of rural and urban properties shows a high percentage of urban property sales in July of 87.8% and 12.2% for rustic properties. Among urban properties, 58.7% were housing sales.
In July, the number of rustic property sales was up by 8.3% year on year, while that of urban properties rose by 14.3%. This was an annual increase of 16.2% for urban property.

Council Owned and Private Property

In July, 90.5% of the dwellings transferred by sale were free-market dwellings and 9.5% had protected affordable housing status. In annual terms, both the number of free-market dwellings transferred by sale and that of protected dwellings increased by 16.2%.

New and Resale Properties

In July, 16.9% of the dwellings transferred by sale were new and 83.1% were used. The number of transactions on new dwellings increased by 11.4%, while that on used
dwellings increased 17.2% as compared with July 2017.

Figures for Andalusia July 2018

There were 27,743 property transfers recorded in the land registries for July 2018 and of these, 8,730 were free market sales. In percentages, this shows an increase year on year of 20.4%. This equates in Andalusia to 132 transfers per 100.000 inhabitants for sales. And 421 per 100,000 for transfer of title as a result of inheritance, free market sales, and other changes in property title. Andalusia came just a little above the national average, significantly below Aragón (32%) but only 6 – 7 percentage points lower than the next top performers Galicia (28.6%) and Castilla–La Mancha (27.1%).

July 2018 Housing Figures INE July 2018 Housing Figures INE July 2018 Housing Figures INE July 2018 Housing Figures INE

The figures for June 2018 are available here:

Source INE

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property sales June 18 Andalusia

Land Registry Figures Spain June 2018

June 2018 Property Transfers Spain

Nationwide, in June 2018, there were 172,265 properties registered at the land registries in Spain, that is 3.6% up on the same month last year. Of these, residential property sales were up by 1.8%

As we are based in Andalusia, our focus is on this autonomous region. Naturally, the figures taken from the INE are there for all to see and extrapolate as they wish for all areas of Spain.

The graphs below show a combination of rustic and urban properties, (STPR1), then a break down of only rustic, (STPR2), only urban, (STPR 3), and finally the figures for residential property, (STPR 4).

property sales June 18 Andalusia

Property Transactions June 2018 Andalusia

As we can see, in June 2018 in Andalusia, of the 30,356 property transactions, more than three times as many were in the urban sector compared to rural. Andalusia recorded the highest figures for urban plots of land transferred with 1,624. This compares with Cataluña in second place showing 1,366 transfers of land. In third place, with 624, lies Castilla & León – a long way behind, relatively speaking. In Andalusia this rush for buildable plots coincides with the hunt by constructors and promotors of new off plan projects – such as The Pier. This is a new off plan development in Sotogrande Port by a famous UK company with a stalwart reputation. Nationwide, 18.2% of properties sold were new builds – a clear indicator of the confidence returning to this sector.

property sales June 18 Andalusia

Rustic Property Conveyances Andalusia

The number of rustic properties transferred to new owners reached 4,650 in Andalusia. For the second consecutive month there was a high acceptance of inherited property in Andalusia. As commented last month, this will be heavily influenced by the relaxed rules on taxation of inheritances when between close blood relations. Per stirpes succession laws operate for intestate estates in Andalusia and throughout Spain. So, 1,727 inherited rustic properties were claimed and this amounts to almost 40% of the total for Andalusia. This compares with 1,850 sold on the open market which is a healthy balance to guarantee a fluid property market. The nationwide figures for sales of rustic properties were around 35% so sales for Andalusia were above average. This is not hard to understand when we see properties such as this, with a quarter hectare, 2 beds 1 bath on sale for only 190,000€ There is real value to be had there.

property sales June 18 Andalusia

Urban Residential and Commercial Andalusia

Looking now at urban properties, it is clear that this pattern repeats itself with healthy property market sales. More than half of the property transmissions, residential and commercial, were on the open market with 14,745 out of a total of 25,706 in Andalusia. There is healthy interest in investment opportunities such as land and property to convert to rest homes. This offering here would be ideal.

property sales June 18 Andalusia

Residential Sector Sales June 2018 Andalusia

Finally, focusing on the residential sector in Andalusia for June 2018 compared to the same month year on year. 9,165 properties were bought and sold at arms-length trading on the open market. This accounts for almost 60% of all activity and inheritances amount to around 17% There is growing interest in properties that require moderate reforms especially where they are well located in the centre of popular villages. For example this one in Jimena de la Frontera

With savings in bank accounts still not yielding investment income, it seems for those that have the ability to buy Spanish property, now would be a great time to do so.

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Holiday Makers Spain & Andalusia June 2018

Non Hotel Tourist Accommodation in Spain

These statistics show the supply and demand for holiday accommodation in June 2018 both nationwide and in Andalusia. More than 12.2 million overnight stays are great news for property owners interested in short term lets. This is slightly down on last year, but still shows strong demand.

Broad Stroke Figures Nationwide

The national statistics for overnight stays in non-hotel tourist accommodation are down by 3.8% in June compared to the same month of 2017. Yet, even so, numbers exceeded 12.2 million in June 2018
Figures may be marginally lower for several reasons including staff strikes at airlines and the heat wave which is affecting many countries this year.

Tourist apartments

Overnight stays in tourist apartments decreased by 8.1% in June. Those of residents decreased by 5.2% and those of non-residents by 9.0%. The average stay was reduced by 4.8% compared to June 2017, standing at 5.3 overnight stays per traveler. In June, 37.9% of the places offered by the tourist apartments were occupied, 7.1% less than in the same month of 2017. The occupancy rate by beds on weekends stood at 41.2% , with a decrease of 5.8%.

Touristic Apartments – INE Spain and Andalusia

Tourist Accommodation 2018
Spain 2018
Tourist Accommodation 2018
Andalusia June 2018

Resident and Non Resident Overnight Stays

These figures are further broken down into Resident and Non resident occupancy of accommodation.

Overnight stays of residents decreased by 0.3 % and non-residents 6.0%. The average stay is 4.3 overnight stays per traveler. During the first quarter of 2018, overnight stays decreased by 2.9% with respect to the same period in the previous year.

Visitors to Andalusia – both Residents in Spain and Non Residents in Spain showed healthy figures in June 2018, up year on year to those of 2017. 2018 has been a success for many owners who offer short term lets.

It goes without saying that our advice when buying a property is to also take into account the short term holiday market and depending on where you buy your investment property, also consider the business community who make overnight stays for business purposes.

Rural Tourism Inland Andalusia

Statistically, the Spanish National Statistics Institute looks at 2 categories that affect ordinary small investors: Tourist Accommodation which is coastal usually – for example Sotogrande, and the rural sector, such as Jimena de la Frontera.

Tourist Accommodation June 2018
June 2018 Spain
Tourist Accommodation June 2018
June 2018 Andalusia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact us to buy or sell properties. We also offer long term lets for rental.

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ventas suben mayo 2018

Land Registry Busy May 2018

Transfer of Property Rights (STPR) May 2018

  • 183,748 property transfers recorded in May 2018
  • Up almost 10% year on year compared to May 2017
  • Sales of Residential Properties up almost 5% May 2018 compared to May 2017

Spain Official Figures May 2018

These are the official figures released by the Spanish National Statistics Office with reference to the Property Market in Spain. Sales nationwide account for 93,366.

Property Transfers May 2018 Spain

 

Less Properties Sold May 2018

The property boom has settled down with many of the bargains now snapped up. Traditionally May is a popular month for buying and selling of properties so these figures are indicative of a slowly re-emerging market where the distressed sales are now dissipating. There are still bargains to be had, but fewer than the same time last year. These figures reflect that reality.

Statistics on May 2018 Property Rights

Andalusia Figures May 2018

In Andalusia in May 2018, a total of 32,761 property titles changed hands.  This shows an increase of almost 20% which is double the national average. It is important to note that not all of these were property sales. Conveyance sales also showed an increase year on year in Andalusia of almost 5% with 47,177 properties acquired by notarised title deeds.

Property Sales May 2018

 

Rustic and Urban Sales May 2018 Andalusia

As can be seen from the tables below, 5,261 rustic residences changed hands as well as 17,104 urban homes in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Of these, 2,145 rural properties were bought and sold compared to 14,925 urban dwellings.

Property Sales May 2018

 

Property Sales May 2018

 

Property Sales May 2018

 

Beneficiaries Claim Properties Inherited in Andalusia

the Inheritance Laws changed in Andalusia with more generous allowances based on personal income. this could well account for the higher than habitual number of beneficiaries claiming their inheritance. In previous years it has not always been worthwhile paying the taxes levied against the bequeathed property. Roughly 25% of the conveyances have been bequests compared to purchases.

 

Property Sales May 2018

In summary, sales of properties in Andalusia are continuing at a relaxed pace and have fallen off slightly from the same time last year as a probable result of bargain properties being scooped up. there are still bargains out there, especially in rural areas where properties with minor reforms required could yield great deals in the short to medium term.

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