Property buying costs in Spain: taxes and fees in 2023

  • David by David
  • 8 months ago
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Buying a house in Spain can be a both exciting and daunting for many reasons, especially for expats who are moving abroad and buying property in Spain for the first time. The process also varies between countries and is likely to be different in some or many ways compared to where you are from. As well as the price of the property, remember that you will also need to factor in other costs and expenses, such as property tax in Spain and additional mortgage fees, for example. If you’re planning on buying a house in Spain, let’s look at the taxes and fees for 2023.

When buying a property in Spain, a mortgage is not the only major expense involved in the process and you’ll have to do your calculations to make sure you don’t run into any unexpected surprises. Banks in Spain generally finance 80% of the value of the property you wish to purchase (if the property is to be used as your main residence), meaning that you need to have at least 20% of the property value saved up in order to pay a deposit. This however is not all: there are a range of other expenses and property taxes in Spain that must be taken into account and paid to formalise the operation before you can become the owner of your new home in Spain. 

Between the valuation of the property, the notary, registry and the corresponding taxes, experts recommend having additional savings of between 10% and 12%, depending on where the property is located and its price. These percentages are on top of the 20% you need for the mortgage deposit. Take note that if you don’t require a mortgage, you still need to pay these additional fees. All of these are compulsory expenses that revolve around the purchase of a home, although the total amount to be paid will depend on whether you are buying a new or pre-owned home, where you are buying the property and the amount involved. Here is a summary of what each one consists of and the approximate price/value in 2023;

The cost of buying property in Spain

The notary

One expense to consider when buying a house in Spain, both new or pre-owned, is the notary. Notaries in Spain do the job that a solicitor usually does when you buy a house in the UK, and their fees are regulated by the State, meaning that they all charge the same for identical services. In the case of granting the public deed of sale, prices are usually between 600 and 875 euros, but greatly depend on the price of the property. For example, for a 100,000 euro flat you would pay approximately 850 euros, while for a 250,000 euro flat you would have to pay around 1,000 euros.

The Land Registry

It also costs money to register the deeds that have been signed by the notary. Once again, these fees are fixed by Spanish regulations and depend directly on the price of the property, although they are usually between 400 and 700 euros.

Taxes when buying property in Spain 

The buyer of a home must also keep some extra money aside to pay Spanish taxes, although the amount will depend on the price of the home and whether it is new or second-hand.

If you buy a brand new home in Spain, then you will have to pay more taxes. This is because new-build homes are subject to VAT (IVA in Spanish). In 2023, VAT will amount to 10% of the property price. In other words, you would need to save up an additional 10,000 euros in the case of a 100,000 euro home and 25,000 in a 250,000 euro home. It is worth noting that this tax is lower in the Canary Islands and isn’t known as VAT: the equivalent of VAT on buying a house is only 7.0% and is known as the IGIC-Indirect General Canary Islands Tax. In the case of public subsidised housing, VAT may be 4%, but this varies depending on the Autonomous Community and the type of social housing in question.

second tax must be added to VAT in the case of buying a new home in Spain: the Documented Legal Acts tax (IAJD, also often known simply as AJD). This tax is the equivalent of stamp duty in Spain and is still paid by the buyer. The amount also depends on each Autonomous Community. Note that these taxes do not apply to previously owned homes, just new builds.

Taxes to be paid when buying a new home in Spain

Autonomous CommunityAJDVAT
Andalucía1.2%10.0%
Aragón1.5%10.0%
Asturias1.2%10.0%
The Balearic Islands1.2%10.0%
The Canary Islands0.75%7.0%
Cantabria1.5%10.0%
Castile-La Mancha1.5%10.0%
Castile and Leon1.5%10.0%
Catalonia1.5%10.0%
Ceuta0.5%10.0%
Madrid0.75%10.0%
Valencia1.5%10.0%
Extremadura1.5%10.0%
Galicia1.5%10.0%
La Rioja1.0%10.0%
Melilla0.5%10.0%
Murcia1.5%10.0%
Navarre0.5%10.0%
The Basque Country0.0%10.0%

For pre-owned homes in Spain, the most important tax to keep in mind is the Property Transfer Tax (ITP). In this case, the amount depends on the percentage applied to the registered price and the autonomous community in which the house is located, although as a general rule, a rate of between 6% and 10% is applied. The following ITP rates are to be applied in 2023:

Taxes to be paid when buying a pre-owned home in Spain

Autonomous CommunityITP
Andalucía8.0%
Aragón8.0%
Asturias8.0%
The Balearic Islands8,0%
The Canary Islands6.5%
Cantabria10.0%
Castile-La Mancha9.0%
Castile and Leon8.0%
Catalonia10.0%
Ceuta6.0%
Madrid6.0%
Valencia10.0%
Extremadura8.0%
Galicia10.0%
La Rioja7.0%
Melilla6.0%
Murcia8.0%
Navarre6.0%
The Basque Country4.0%

It should be noted that for VPOs in Spain (Spanish subsidised housing), for large families (known in Spain as familias numerosas), people with disabilities and for young people there are often lower rates. For example, in Madrid, families with 3 or more children who buy an independent property will pay 4% of the registered price as a tax on the property, provided that the home they buy is their main residence.

An adviser

The only optional expense of buying a home is getting a “gestor”, someone who will be able to process tax settlements and carry out other paperwork. Hiring an adviser like this may be particularly useful for expats who don’t speak Spanish. They don’t have specific fees, and they are usually only contracted when a mortgage is opened to purchase the property with an approximate cost of 300 euros.

Additional mortgage costs in Spain

All of the above taxes and fees are aplicable whether you need to take out a mortgage or not. If you plan to purchase property in Spain by taking out a mortgage, then you need to keep in mind that there may be some additional charges that you weren’t expecting. Keep in mind that mortgage costs and conditions may also be different if you are not a resident in Spain. 

The valuation of the property

If the buyer is going to apply for a mortgage, then he or she will have to pay a surveyor to value the property. This is often organised by the bank and after this property valuation, then the bank will know what percentage of financing it can provide.

As mentioned, banks in Spain usually lend an amount equivalent to 80% of the purchase price or appraisal value, although some are managing to finance 90-100% of the purchase price, usually settling on the lowest. In 2023, the valuation will cost between 250 and 600 euros depending on the company carrying out the process, the type of property and its valuation. Some Spanish banks will cover these costs but not all, meaning it is important to check this in the conditions of your loan. Once the valuation is complete, it is valid for 6 months from the date of issue. 

Opening fee

Some banks may charge you a fee to either open an account or take out a mortgage and this fee can be up to 2% of the capital loaned, as agreed with the financial institution. However, in Spain nowadays there are many banks that do not apply these fees. Note that in order to take out certain mortgages, banks may also require you to take out home or life insurance as well, something that also often lowers the interest rate of your mortgage. 

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