The property-related taxes, fees, and costs in Spain may be surprising and even unique for some foreigners. Plus, there can be a difference in taxes, depending on whether you’re a resident or a non-resident – or even which autonomous community you’re looking at.
Luckily, buying real estate in Spain isn’t altogether hopeless:
With the help of our in-depth guide, you’ll get a realistic idea of the most common taxes, fees, and costs that you’ll encounter when you buy property in Spain. We’ll also discuss the additional expenses you can expect once you’re the owner.
For quick reference, we have included tables with all the important percentages and example costs.
Let’s get started!
Table of contents
- Property Buying and Selling Taxes and Costs in Spain
- Spanish Non-resident Number (NIE)
- Property Registry Filing (Nota Simple)
- Notary Fee
- Registry Fee
- Value-Added Tax (VAT)
- Property Transfer Tax
- Capital Gains Tax
- Surveyor Costs
- Solicitor Fee
- Agent Commission Fee
- Mortgage Arrangement Costs
- If the House Is Listed for Sale at €1,500,000 – What Is the Final Cost?
- Property Owning Taxes and Fees in Spain
- Property Tax
- Wealth Tax
- Utilities (Transfer Fee, Water/Gas/Electricity, Refuse Collection)
- Other Costs
Property Buying and Selling Taxes and Costs in Spain
>When buying property in Spain, you’ll run into many taxes, fees, and costs. Some of them, like the registry fee or property transfer tax, are compulsory and can’t be avoided.
Meanwhile, some other expenses are voluntary – in theory, you can decide not to hire a solicitor or surveyor, but both are strongly recommended to ensure everything goes smoothly with your purchase. Or, mortgage costs might not apply to you if you don’t need a mortgage in the first place to pay for the property.
Below, we’ll go over all the compulsory and recommended taxes and fees. We’ll see what costs are the responsibility of the buyer and which are the seller’s, as well as what’s included in the buying price and what’s extra.
Here’s the quick reference table. Keep in mind that the mentioned ranges can depend on location and other factors. You’ll find more detailed explanations below under each corresponding heading.
|Taxes and Costs||Amount||Paid by||Part of Buying Price|
|Compulsory legal fees||NIE costs||€10.71||Buyer||No|
|Nota simple||€10 to €70 + VAT||Buyer||No|
|Notary fee||0.5% to 1%||Varies||Varies|
|Registry fee||0.5% to 1.5%||Buyer||No|
|Property transfer tax||6% to 10%||Buyer||No|
|Capital gains tax||19% to 26%||Seller||No|
|Recommended third-party costs and fees||Surveyor costs||€500 to €3000||Varies||Varies|
|Solicitor fee||1% to 1.5%||Buyer||No|
|Agent commission fee||3% to 7%||Seller||Varies|
|Optional||Mortgage costs||€500 + 1%||Buyer||No|
Compulsory Legal Fees
Spanish Non-resident Number (NIE)
Spain allows, and even encourages, foreigners to buy properties in Spain. Whether it’s residential property, commercial buildings, or land, Spain seeks to attract more foreigners to invest in its property. Buying a house worth more than €500,000 lets you become a citizen through their Golden Visa residency program.
With that said:
Buying property as a foreigner does come with some requirements and the Foreigner’s Identification Number, or Numero de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) in Spanish is one of them. More specifically, the NIE is a tax identification number given by Spanish authorities to foreigners or ex-pats. This number helps the authorities track your financial and official activities while in the country.
Having your NIE ready helps your purchase run smoothly, as it lets you open a Spanish bank account, run any legal errands, and much more.
Getting a Spanish NIE will cost around €10. It’s separate from the buying cost since it’s a requirement on your part as a buyer.
Property Registry Filing (Nota Simple)
A nota simple is one of the most important documents you’ll need when buying a house in Spain – especially if you’re going to buy the property with a mortgage. It’s a short legal report on the property from the Land Registry and contains detailed information on the property and its owners.
Getting a nota simple costs around €10 if you get it yourself and around €70 (plus VAT) if you pay for a service to get it for you.
It is not part of the purchase price and is paid for by the buyer.
However, should the information on the nota simple be outdated or incorrect, then it’s the seller’s duty to fix it and pay for any associated costs.
While you can buy property in Spain through a private legal contract between you and the seller, it’s highly discouraged. You’re more likely to be scammed and have a hard time getting your money back when going to court. Also, if you’re looking to purchase property through a mortgage, you’ll find that no financial institution will facilitate your purchase unless you have a public deed.
To acquire the public deed, you need a public notary to draft the deed of transfer. The notary fee for this service usually runs around 0.5% to 1% based on the purchase price and the transaction’s legal complexity.
The notary fee is typically separate from the buying price.
Spanish law dictates that the notary fee is paid by the seller. In practice, though, it depends on the habits and usual practice in the area. So, you might end up paying the notary fee 50-50 with the seller, paying for it yourself, or not paying it at all
- Table for Property Cost vs Notary Cost
- Who should pay the notary fees and expenses?
- What notary fees must I pay when buying property in Spain?
As with most other countries, the privilege of owning property (whether a house or land) in Spain means you also get certain rights and responsibilities. However, you’ll only get them once you complete your purchase. This means you’ll need to register your ownership in the Spanish Land Registry (Registro de la Propiedad) and pay the registry fee.
The registry fee, a.k.a “stamp duty” or in Spanish, Actos Juridicos Documentados (AJD), usually falls between 0.5% to 1.5%, depending on the purchase price and whether the house has a mortgage.
It’s common practice for this fee to be paid by the buyer and it’s usually separate from the buying price. Still, you should clarify this with the seller’s estate agent.
- Further Information on the Land Registry in Spain
- FAQs About the Land Registry in Spain
- Land Registry in Spain Official Site
Value-Added Tax (VAT)
When buying a home in Spain, the amount of taxes you’ll pay depends also on whether you’re buying a new property or one that’s already been sold before. For example, when you buy a new property (or off-plan properties in some cases), you’ll have to pay VAT (in Spanish: Impuesto sobre el Valor Añadido, or IVA). However, VAT does not apply when you’re buying a resale property.
At the time of writing this article, the VAT rate in Spain is 10% of the price declared on the Public title deed.
And when it comes to buying new property in Spain, VAT is separate from the buying price.
This means that you, as the buyer, will have to pay this tax in addition to the purchase price of the property. You’ll pay it to the seller who then remits it to the Public Treasury.
Property Transfer Tax
As briefly mentioned above, you won’t have to pay VAT when you’re buying a resale property. Instead, when buying a home that has had at least one previous owner, you’ll have to pay the property transfer tax (Impuesto sobre Transmisiones Patrimoniales, or ITP in Spanish). The amount due depends on the purchase price and the region where the real estate is situated.
In general, you can expect to pay between 6% to 11% of the purchase price. As an example of the tax rate differences between regions, a villa resold for €1,500,000 in Costa del Sol, Andalusia, is going to be taxed at 7% (€105,000) and at 10% (€150,000) in Costa Blanca, Valencia.
Similar to VAT, the ITP is not part of the buying price and is paid by the buyer.
Capital Gains Tax
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is a tax that you pay in Spain after you have sold property. It doesn’t apply on the final price, but instead, on the profits from the sale of several types of assets, including houses, land, stocks, jewelry, etc.
The CGT rate depends on whether you’re a resident or a non-resident and it ranges from 19% to 26%. For this purpose, a tax resident is any person staying in Spain for more than 183 days (6 months) out of a single year.
So, as a resident, you can expect to pay 19% tax for profits up to €6000, 21% tax for profits between €6,000 and €50,000, 23% tax for profits between €50,000 and €200,000, and 26% for profits over €200,000, of the actual profit earned from the sale.
If you’re not a resident of Spain, but you’re a citizen of any member state of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), then you’ll pay a fixed rate of 19% on the profits. To non-residents from outside the EU and EEA a fixed rate of 24% applies.
The Capital Gains Tax is not part of the buying price and is paid for by the seller.
If you’re selling property as a non-resident, be aware of the CGT withholding tax levied on 3% of the overall selling price. The buyer retains this amount (not giving it to the seller) and must remit it to the Spanish tax authorities to cover any of the seller’s capital gains liability. The seller can reclaim this amount once the authorities are satisfied that the seller has paid the CGT.
Recommended Third-Party Costs and Fees
Buying property in Spain as a foreigner can be a big decision for you. Ideally, you’d want your prospective purchase to be free of any defects. This is where a surveyor comes in useful.
A surveyor can inspect the property before you finalize the purchase. That said, Spanish contracts don’t usually include inspection by a surveyor in their terms so you have to be clear about your wishes while drafting the reservation contract.
Property inspection by a surveyor usually costs around €500 to €3000 depending on the property and complexity of the report.
Whether surveyor costs become part of the purchase price depends on the contract between the buyer and the seller. In some cases, the buyer may request the seller to have the property surveyed at the seller’s expense.
Before buying a house in Spain, it’s important to understand the contracts you’re entering into and to be aware of the total costs you’ll be paying. This is where you’ll need advice from a Spanish lawyer (solicitor). Having a solicitor takes away all the guesswork when it comes to the seller’s ownership, charges on the property, necessary documents and permits, and much more.
Of course, the solicitor requires a fee for their services. This solicitor fee is usually 1% to 1.5% of the purchase price but you can expect a higher fee if the buying process involves a mortgage, complex legal issues, negotiations, or if you hire an especially well-known solicitor.
The solicitor fee is separate from the purchase price. As the one who hired the solicitor, the buyer has to pay the fee.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to hire a lawyer, you can instead go to a gestoría. A gestoria can ensure your taxes are paid on time, collect and deliver deeds to the Land Registry for registration, register you for local taxes and charges, as well as facilitate the transfer and payment of utilities. Gestoría services usually start off at around 100 euros and are paid by the party that hired the gestoría, which is usually the buyer.
- Managing the relationship with your lawyer in Spain
- How lawyers charge for their work
- Professional fees (Madrid)
Agent Commission Fee
Searching for the perfect property (with all the features you want) can be time-consuming, not to mention, frustrating. To save yourself the hassle, you can contact an estate agent to help find the dream property you’re looking for.
Most estate agencies that you’ll run into have been commissioned by property sellers for a fee and therefore represent the seller’s interests. But you can also hire a top agent to exclusively focus on your own interests and help look for properties for you.
Usually, agent commission fees run from 3% to as high as 7%, depending on the agreement.
This agent commission fee isn’t part of the purchasing price. However, there’s no need to worry as it’s usually paid for by the seller – especially if they hired the agent. In some cases, you and the seller may agree that you issue an additional cheque to pay the agent on the seller’s behalf, the value of which will then be deducted upon completing the purchase.
That being said:
Some sellers may simply add the agent commission fee to the price of the property without informing you, so you might end up paying it after all.
- Taxes and Costs When Selling Property in Spain
- Selling property in Spain: A complete guide
- Real Estate Agencies in Spain
Mortgage Arrangement Costs
If you plan to purchase property in Spain through bank financing, you have to be aware of the extra costs associated with getting the mortgage.
First, there’s the property valuation, which usually costs around €500. Then, there’s the mortgage cost, which is typically between 1% and 1.5% depending on the type of mortgage and the amount loaned.
Mortgage arrangement costs aren’t part of the buying price. As the buyer, you will have to pay them yourself.
What Is the Final Cost?
So, by now you should know about the additional taxes and costs of buying property in Spain.
Next, let’s take a look at an example scenario, using the lowest fees and tax rates that we have covered above. Please note that the actual tax and fee rates will vary depending on the location of the property and whether any tax exemptions are applicable. The below table is a rough estimate for informational purposes only.
So, if you’re buying a new house listed at €1,500,000, you’ll have to pay an additional total cost of €151,020.71 at minimum. This brings the final cost of the house up to €1,651,020.71.
Here’s the breakdown:
|Taxes and Costs||Amount|
|Notary fee||€7,500 (0.5%)|
|Registry fee||€7,500 (0.5%)|
|Property Transfer Tax||€105,000 (7%)|
|With surveyor costs||€500|
|Solicitor fee||€15,000 (1%)|
|With mortgage costs||€15,500 (€500 + 1%)|
|Taxes and Costs Total||€151,020.71|
Property Owning Taxes and Fees in Spain
At this point, you already know about the taxes, fees, and costs you’ll need to pay when you are purchasing a home in Spain. In this next part, we’ll take a look at what more you can expect to pay once you already own your Spanish home.
|Taxes and Fees||Rate||When to Pay|
|Property tax (IBI)||0.4% to 1.3%||Annually|
|Wealth tax||0.2% to 2.5%||Every 31st of December|
|Utility transfer fee||€250 to €350||When ownership changes|
|Garden caretaking||€100 to €500||Monthly|
|Pool maintenance||€50 to €200||Monthly|
The Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles (IBI) is a property tax levied on real properties. It runs around 0.4% to 1.3% but varies depending on the type of property and from one municipality to another.
Note that the 0.4%–1.3% range doesn’t apply to the purchasing price or the actual value of the property at any given time – instead, it’s calculated from the “valor cadastral” that’s assigned by the local town hall. It can be around 60%–70% of the actual value of the property, so the tax is 0.4%–1.3% of the 60%–70%.
Thus, the property tax on a detached villa in Andalusia can vary widely from a detached villa in The Golden Mile or Puerto Bañus, depending on the valor cadastral and the local tax rates. So, for a villa with a valor cadastral around €1,000,000 (which means the total house value is about €1,500,000), the IBI can range from €4,000 to around €13,000 a year.
Property tax is paid annually.
Wealth tax, a.k.a Patrimonio, is a tax that might come as a surprise to foreigners in Spain. It’s a progressive tax with a sliding scale, meaning the higher the worth of your assets, the higher the tax rate, with the maximum rate capping at 2.5%. As an example, you can find the value scale and corresponding rates for Andalusia in 2022 in the first helpful source mentioned below.
The wealth tax applies both to residents and non-residents but with different rules for each:
Residents have to pay the wealth tax on all their assets worldwide. This does come with liberal tax-free allowances, though.
Non-residents only pay the wealth tax on their assets located in Spain. However, they also don’t enjoy the same tax exemptions as residents.
As of 2022, Andalusia’s tax rates will range from 0.2% to 2.5% depending on the value of your assets.
So, for example:
If you’re a non-resident and own a €1,500,000 villa in Costa del Sol, taking into account the common €700,000 euro tax-free allowance, you’ll be taxed at a 0.9% rate on your €800,000 net wealth. This means you’ll have to pay €7,200 of wealth tax as a non-resident.
And if you’re married, an additional €700,000 allowance will apply on behalf of your non-resident partner. So, as a married couple, you’ll pay wealth tax only on the remaining €100,000 of the €1,500,000 total worth of the villa.
As a resident, on top of the €700,000 tax-free allowance, you’ll also have a €300,000 permanent dwelling deduction. This means you’ll only be taxed at a 0.5% rate on the remaining €500,000 net value of your villa, which brings the wealth tax as a resident to €2,500. The permanent dwelling deduction also doubles if you’re married, giving you an even larger tax-free allowance.
The wealth tax is payable every 31st of December.
Utilities (Transfer Fee, Water/Gas/Electricity, Refuse Collection)
Your newly bought Spanish home won’t be complete unless you have utilities.
First of note is the utility transfer fee. Most Spanish regions require a technical inspection of a property whenever it changes ownership to see if the property can be safely connected to the main utility services (water, gas, electricity). Expect to pay between €250 to €350 for the inspection.
The rates for electricity, heating, cooling, water, rubbish collection, and internet will depend on the municipality your house is located in. Here are some estimates of the total monthly utility payments per location, according to Compare My Move:
- Spain (Average): €110
- Alicante: €80
- Barcelona: €130
- Madrid: €120
- Malaga: €90
- San Sebastian €160
- Seville: €120
- Valencia: €110
- 10 hidden costs of buying a property in Spain
- Setting up utilities in Spain: electricity, gas, and water
- Compare My Move: The Cost of Living in Spain
Apart from the above-mentioned costs, you may also need to pay for the following services:
- Garden caretaking: from around €125 to €500 per month, or 1500–6000 per year, depending on the specific garden and its area.
- Pool maintenance: between €50 and €200 per month, depending on the region.
As a foreigner, buying a house in Spain can involve a lot of hassle and wasted money if you don’t come prepared. Be sure to budget for your NIE, solicitor fee, nota simple, notary fee, VAT, and registry fee as well as the recommended surveyor costs – and, of course, any mortgage costs if you plan to finance the purchase with a loan.
On top of the taxes and fees accompanying the purchasing process, you also have to think about the future costs that you’ll have to pay once you’re the owner. You should include in your yearly budget the property tax (IBI), wealth tax, utility transfer fee, and monthly utility rates, as well as garden caretaking and pool maintenance services.
This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. Majestico.com will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.