For many of us, it’s apparent why we should consider buying a property in Spain: the weather, the Mediterranean Sea, the vibrant culture, the sumptuous cuisine, and the potential to be part of a growing economy.
With a total area of just under 200,000 square miles, the biggest question to consider when moving to Spain is where exactly in Spain should one consider moving to.
It’s such a diverse country with a dramatic, damp, north coast, a south coast characterised by hot and dry Mediterranean summers, and a semi-arid south-easterly region with deserts and tropical plants.
Whether you consider buying a plush apartment in Barcelona, a luxury villa in Seville, a rustic Finca in Oviedo, or a property by a golf course in Las Colinas, you need to be sure that you are making the right decision.
Should you rent or buy a villa in sunny Spain?
Forty years ago, most people in Europe rented their property. Homeownership was considered to be a very English occupation. The people of France, Germany, and Spain were all particularly fond of renting. There was little sign of a good return upon investment for buyers and there was a common belief that you could pack up and move out at a moment’s notice if the economic landscape changed. Renting was a convenient option for those who felt that they may have to move around to find the best jobs. Over recent years, there has been a change in the way we work and the way Europeans think about buying properties. Recently, probably due to lower prices and a more stable housing market, homeownership levels in Spain have risen quite dramatically, to around 80%.
Due to the pandemic, the property market in Spain has suffered a downturn in recent years. The fact that the market has been less buoyant since 2020, and with predictions of further reductions in villa and apartment values, the time could be perfect to find your ideal villa or apartment in Spain.
It’s still unsure how the pandemic will affect the economy and the housing market but, until all travel restrictions are lifted, it allows plenty of time to consider whereabouts to live. Although renting may allow you time to move around and see the country, there are no restrictions on buying properties in Spain and there is plenty of help to assist you with the legal formalities.
Buying to become established in a career
Upon reaching a decision of where to buy your luxury apartment or villa in Spain, if you decide on a particular location to settle with your family, you will be able to become more established and get to know the community and feel more at home than if you make the decision to rent and move around.
For those who are looking to continue working or starting a new career in Spain, foreign homebuyers have been particularly attracted to the area due to several geographical and economic reasons.
Spain’s economy is not only likely to experience a boom within the next two years, but it is also attracting foreign investments into a growing business culture. With many successful start-ups in the region, coupled with good logistics and infrastructures to match, it’s a great place to start a new business, be part of an exciting new venture, or learn new skills.
Fees to consider when buying a property in Spain
The legalities surrounding working in Spain are quite straightforward and a lot easier than you might think. Everyone is allowed to start a business in Spain as long as you are a legal resident.
With regards to buying a property in Spain, there are no fixed fees for lawyers and estate agents and some are negotiable. If you are lucky, some resorts provide assistance with providing clarity of the legal system to help guide you through the process.
Currently, you are looking at these estimates as a guide to what you will be paying.
- Property transfer tax: 6–10% (existing properties) / VAT (or IVA) at 10% (new properties)
- Notary costs, title deed tax, and land registration fee: 1–2.5%
- Legal fees: 1–2% (including VAT)
The buyer pays the majority of costs but the seller usually pays the estate agent fees, which are typically around the 3% mark.
The 10 key benefits of buying villas or apartments in Spain
Using the dry, south-eastern region of Murcia as our focus, let’s consider 10 reasons to buy a villa or an apartment in Spain.
- Climate – the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula enjoys dry winters and warm summers, with an average annual temperature of 18°C (64°F) and less than 14 inches of rain a year.
- Sport and Leisure activities – in the southeast region of Spain, there is never any shortage of leisure activities. Thanks to the climate, you don’t have to worry about finding a perfect day to participate in your favourite leisure activities. The region is renowned for all-year-round golf, water sports, and tennis.
- Economy – agriculture plays a big part in the region of Murcia, with 34% of the land given to arable farming. Tourism will again provide a substantial contribution to the economy when we start to travel again, and many foreign countries choose the region as a location for their factories. The political environment is also very stable compared to Turkey and north Africa, just 14 km off the southern tip of the country.
- Return on investment – Property prices remain relatively low and there haven’t been any significant rises in prices since 2014, after a dip in 2012. For a little over £100,000, you can buy a 2 bedroom apartment, near the town of Las Colinas with a pool and one of the best golf courses in Spain. You will need to act quickly if you are looking for a bargain, foreigners have been less active in the region due to the Covid-19 virus and an upward trend in the market is expected as early as next year.
- Business opportunities – Many new start-ups in the region have been successful, the tourists will be back soon, and it’s easy for anyone to get work if they are a resident.
- Close to amenities and historic centres – the region is being promoted as a cultural destination. Much of the region has its origins set in the early part of the first millennia. It is home to the ancient cities of Murcia, Alicante, and Valencia, and these cities are easily accessible by car and boast a range of historic attractions such as museums, cathedrals, and historic remains.
- Great food – Murcia was named as Spain’s gastronomy capital, in 2020. With so much land put aside for agriculture, the region grows an abundance of fresh, high-quality, Mediterranean produce, gaining a reputation as being ‘the crop garden of Europe’. Much of the lettuce, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, celery, and, tomatoes we consume in the UK is grown in the region of Murcia.
- Work-life balance and life expectancy – the Spanish know that the more time we spend at work the less time we get to spend with our loved ones and doing the things we like to do most. This is why Spain’s work-life balance rate is ranked fourth in the world and the life expectancy of the people who live in the country is predicted to be the longest in the world by 2040.
- Lower cost of living – if you have ever purchased a bottle of wine in Spain that is readily available in a UK supermarket, you will have noticed the shocking price difference. On average, Spain’s prices for food, clothing, transport, hotels, tobacco, alcohol, and restaurants are 10% lower than the rest of Europe.
If you are serious about buying a villa or apartment in Spain, particularly in the sunny region of Murcia, contact us for more information.