Cost of Buying a Property in Spain

Cost of Buying a Property in Spain

Costs of Buying and Selling what you need to know!

We at Cleo get asked many times what the costs are for buying a property in Spain. When buying a Spanish property there are both costs for the buyer and seller. However, there are uncertainties as to which costs belong to the buyer and which to the seller.

Buyer

  • Notary fees (between 600-1000 euros)
  • Property registry costs (400-650 euros)
  • Gestoría costs (between 250-500 euros)
  • Property Transfer Tax (between 4%-11%)
  • Property valuation costs (only if a bank mortgage is needed normally around 800 euros)
  • For newly built properties – IVA or VAT (10%)
  • IAJD – Stamp Duty (between 0.5%-1.5%)

Seller

  • Agency commission (between 3%-7%)
  • Capital gains tax (variable 19%,21%,23% for 2018)
  • Income Tax Provision (Retención) (3% non-residents only)
  • Energy certificate (between 100-500 euros)
  • Plusvalía

Notary fees → Buyer

These are the costs for drawing up the deeds in Spain called the “Escritura”. In general, Spanish law states that these costs should be distributed by the signing parties, meaning that the sellers should take care of the original costs of the deeds “escritura” and the buyer for the copies.

However, nowadays it is normal that the buyer pays for all these costs.

Notary fees are based on the selling price stated in the deeds of the property. As an example, you pay around 675 euros for a property of 100.000 euros. But for a property of 1 million, you might have to pay 1000 euros.

Property registry costs → Buyer

It is normally a standard fee also based on the selling price in the deeds. These costs may vary depending on the municipality you live in and in most cases, it is between 400 and 650 euros.

Gestoría → Buyer

The gestoría is like a bookkeeper that handles tax payments and paperwork to formalize the deeds of the property and mortgages.
Solicitors can also handle all paperwork and normally charge around 1% of the selling price.

Property transfer tax → Buyer

When buying a second-hand property, the buyer has to pay property transfer tax. For newly built properties, the buyer pays instead VAT or IVA of 10%.

The property transfer tax is a tax that varies from region to region, in Valencia, Catalonia, and Galicia region, the property transfer tax is 10%.
In the Balearics, it is 8% for properties under 400.000 euros, 9% for properties between 400.000 and 600.000 euros and 10% for properties of more than 600.000 euros.
In Andalucía you pay between 8% and 10%, and in the Canary Islands 6.5%

The average costs for transferring a property in Spain by region

In 2018 the Spanish government plans to change the cadastral value for a large number of municipalities, which has a direct effect of the Property transfer tax and Plusvalía tax.

Property valuation costs → Buyer

In case a buyer needs a mortgage, the bank has to make a valuation of the property. In this case, the buyer will pay around 800 euros for this appraisal.

For newly built properties → Buyer

When buying a new built property directly from the developer you pay IVA or VAT of 10% instead of paying the normal property transfer tax. On top of that, you also pay a Tax on documented legal acts or IAJD in Spanish

Agency Commission → Seller

When you sell a property through an estate agent you will have to pay a commission fee. Estate agents usually charge around 5% commission in Spain. The seller can deduct the Agency commission fee from his capitals gains tax.

Capital gains tax for 2018 → Seller

19% for the first 6.000 euros
21% from 6.000 and 50.000 euros
23% from 50.000 onwards

As an example if the seller bought a house in 2003 for 200.000 euros and in 2018 he sells it for 350.000 euros, he will have to pay capital gains over 150.000 euros in this way:

(350.000 – 200.000 = 150.000). 19% for the first 6.000 (6.000 x 0.19) + (50.000 x 0.21) + (94.000 x 0.23)= 1.140 + 10.500 + 21.620= 33.260 euros.

There are exceptions when the seller does not have to pay capital gains tax and that is when the sellers of the property are older than 65 and have lived there officially for at least the last 3 years.

All official invoices relating to the purchase of the property, such as refurbishing, notary expenses, lawyer expenses and estate agency fees can be deducted from the capital gains tax.

Income Tax Provision for non-residents – Retención → Seller

If the seller is not a Spanish resident he has to pay 3% income tax provision or retención in Spanish which goes directly to the tax office to cover any taxes resulting from the sale. However, the seller can claim for a refund if he believes that his tax liability is less than 3%.

Energy certificate → Seller

From June 1 2013, by Spanish law all property owners who want to sell or rent out their property need an energy certificate.

These certificates must be issued by a qualified certifier, such as architects, surveyors or technical house engineers.

The costs for such a certificate may vary on the size of the property and can be between 100 and 500 euros. The invoice for this certificate can also be deducted from the capital gains tax.

Plusvalía → Seller

The plusvalía is a tax over the increase of the value of the ground the property is on.

This is paid to the local town hall. The plusvalía is calculated on the basis of 3 factors: The period of ownership, the location of the property and the cadastral ground value.
The plusvalía tax can easily be requested at the town hall where the property is located.

By law, the plusvalía tax should be paid by the seller and it can be a substantial sum of money. Nevertheless, the plusvalía can be paid by the buyer if he has agreed to it.

Here is a basic example giving some rough estimates of the costs:

SAMPLE 1. Second hand apartment in Mijas (Andalucia) with a purchase price of 190.000,00 Euros

  • 8% Transfer Tax:…………………15.200,00
  • Lawyers fees (1% + VAT)……….2.299,00
  • Notary Fees:……………………………700,00
  • Land Registry Fees………………….400,00
  • Home Insurance………………………250,00
  • Various (bank charges, etc)……….151,00
  • TOTAL……………………………….19.000,00  Euros ( 10% of the purchase price)
  • mortgage in Spain, you should add  approximately a 5% of the amount of the loan to your expenses .
  • Total % with a mortgage is 15%

SAMPLE 2 Brand new apartment in Marbella (Andalucia) with a purchase price of 190.000,00 Euros

  • 10% VAT…………………………….19.000,00
  • 1,5% Stamp Duty…………………..2.850,00
  • Lawyers fees (1% + VAT)……….2.299,00
  • Notary Fees:……………………………700,00
  • Land Registry Fees………………….400,00
  • Home Insurance………………………250,00
  • Various (bank charges, etc)………151,00
  • TOTAL……………………………….25.650,00  Euros (13,5% of the purchase price)

Other possible costs related with the purchase of your property in Spain, will be the initial fees for the water and electricity supply contracts.

This depends of the type of property and the supplier company.

Sometimes, before you are able to arrange these contracts, you may be requested to carry out some modifications to the electricity and water installations in order to comply with new regulations, especially if the property is quite old. This can be quite expensive for older properties.

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