Truths and myths about purchasing and owning real estate in Spain

Truths and myths about purchasing and owning real estate in Spain

Specialized websites talk a lot about the situation in the Spanish housing market. Realtors offer to purchase real estate in Spain, mentioning the investment attractiveness of local residential property, claiming that now it is the time to buy and that prices are about to go up. How much can we trust the agents in these matters? In this article, we will refute or confirm certain statements about Spanish villas and apartments.


1) Everyone who buys property in Spain gets residency

That’s true, you can get a residence permit in Spain by buying local real estate.

Foreign citizens can obtain residency if they purchase a property worth at least €500,000.

Buyers of such property can get a Golden Visa with which they only have to visit Spain once a year, no more than that. Golden Visa holders have the right to travel around countries that are part of the Schengen Area.

Buyers of villas and apartments that cost less than €500,000 can apply for other types of visas.

2) You must buy property in Spain to get a type D visa

It is a misconception that you have to purchase a house or apartment to get a long stay visa for Spain.

You can get a type D or C visa by renting a property for a long term. The tenant is not eligible for a Golden Visa.

Truths and myths about purchasing and owning real estate in Spain

3) Agents don’t show the best options

It is believed that real estate agencies in Spain intentionally hide good housing options from foreigners. This is wrong. If you are shown housing that does not suit you, it is likely that you did not clearly explain to the agent what exactly you are looking for.

Realtors seek to satisfy the requests of different groups of potential buyers as much as possible. It is unprofitable for agents to hide offers from customers. Experts carefully study the client’s requests and look for options that match the needs of a potential buyer. Realtors take into account not only wishes for the type of housing, its area, and the number of rooms, but also for the location of the property, its remoteness from the center or sea, schools, kindergartens and so on.

4) Bank-owned properties are the most profitable to buy

Some buyers are sure that there are many profitable options at low prices among bank-owned properties. This is not entirely true.

Bank-owned properties are houses that have been seized due to unpaid property-secured mortgage or consumer loans. Good bank-owned properties are sold in a short time.

In most cases, foreclosed properties in the kingdom are inferior in terms of characteristics to other residential units in the country. Besides, bank-owned properties are often located not in the most attractive areas.

Despite the fact that the cost of such housing is usually about 30% lower, it is better for the buyer to think twice about whether it is worth buying the foreclosed housing. Moreover, you should keep in mind that luxury housing does not normally become bank-owned property, so it probably makes no sense to expect the opportunity to purchase an elite villa for peanuts.

Truths and myths about purchasing and owning real estate in Spain

5) Okupas in Spain cannot be evicted

What frightens those who want to buy real estate in Spain the most is stories that in the country any person has the right to occupy a property while the owner is not at home. This statement is not entirely true, but it has a point. The fact is that Okupas don’t have the right to occupy a free property. But it will be difficult to evict them.

According to the Ministry of the Interior of Spain, the number of cases of illegal squatting of other people’s houses and apartments in the country is increasing every year.

According to the Spanish law, occupying a property without the consent of its owners is a crime that requires intervention by law enforcement. But why is it difficult to evict Okupas even with the help of the police?

Representatives of law enforcement agencies cannot evict Okupas without the appropriate court decision. The owners of real estate also do not have the right to independently evict Okupas. This must be kept in mind so as not to bear legal liability.

If an occupied house or apartment is not a permanent place of residence of the owner, then the law qualifies the occupation by Okupas as trespassing rather than a break-in. If the owner permanently resides in the occupied property (a home can be occupied when the owner, for example, is at work or on vacation), then the Spanish law classifies the illegal squatting as a break-in. In the latter case, eviction occurs faster.

6) Houses and apartments in Spain will drop in price in 2023

Spanish residential properties will drop in price in 2023: is it true or not?

Most analysts believe that prices for local houses and apartments will decline this year. However, the opinions of experts on this issue still diverge.

For example, some experts argue that this year real estate will drop in price by 1–3% compared to December 2022.

Other experts suggest that prices this year will increase by 1%. Some experts predict price increases by 2% in 2023.

This January, residential property prices in Spain showed year-over-year growth of 5%, i.e., compared to January 2022.

While most villas and apartments universally rise in price, some properties may go down. This applies to a low demand category of apartments, which include apartments in industrial areas, far from the sea, or in the immigrant areas of cities.

Buyers show the biggest interest in villas and apartments in prestigious areas, near the sea coast. Sellers of such properties do not reduce prices even if they can’t find a buyer right away. Owners prefer to rent out a house or apartment until there is a buyer who is ready to purchase the property at the price offered.

Truths and myths about purchasing and owning real estate in Spain

What’s for sale in Spain right now?

The cost of an apartment or villa in Spain depends on many factors, including the area and location of the property.

You can compare the prices for townhouses, villas, and apartments of different areas in Spanish cities. All of them are on sale right now.

  • A 270 m2 townhouse in Seville costs €780,000.
  • A 600 m2 townhouse in Alicante is for sale at €1.5 million.
  • A 192 m2 villa in the city of Finestrat, Alicante costs €795,000.
  • A 225 m2 house in Lloret de Mar, Girona costs €355,000.
  • A 94 m2 villa in the city of Torrevieja, Alicante costs €450,000.
  • A 90 m2 apartment in Torrevieja costs €230,000.
  • A 250 m2 apartment in the town of Sitges, Barcelona is for sale at €890,000.
  • An 88 m2 apartment in the city of Salou, Tarragonès costs €250,000.
  • A 110 m2 apartment in Palma de Mallorca, on the island of Mallorca costs €1 million.
  • An 88 m2 apartment in the city of Dénia, Alicante, can be purchased for €290,000.
  • A 90 m2 apartment in Santa Susanna, Barcelona, is for sale at €180,000.


There are many truthful and incorrect stereotypes regarding Spanish real estate. Potential buyers cannot always make an informed decision on the purchase of a property on their own, since they do not know which claims about residential properties in Spain to believe in and which should be considered rumors. In this case, it is better to contact experienced realtors. Experts will answer all the questions related to real estate, provide assistance in choosing a villa or apartment, and, together with lawyers, will help to conclude a purchase and sale transaction.

Subscribe to newsletter