Buying a property in Seville

Seville property
Updated 2021-08-13 11:41

Dreaming of settling into a modern neighbourhood with great restaurants and green spaces or a luxury penthouse in the historic centre with a view of the Giralda? The Andalusian city of Seville is a highly desirable and popular destination for expats looking for a laidback lifestyle, a pleasant climate, and a high-quality standard of living. While renting in Seville is a popular option, many foreigners planning to stay long-term prefer to own their place.

As with most cities, prices are higher in the centre and become cheaper the further you move out while also giving you more space for your money. According to the Numbeo database, the average price per square metre to buy an apartment in central Seville is 2,750.00 €. The average cost to buy an apartment outside of the centre is 1,650.00 €.

How to buy a home in Seville

There are no restrictions on buying property in Spain. In fact, Spain welcomes and encourages investment by foreigners, residents and non-residents.

Buying a home in Seville is not complicated, although as with any other property purchase, there are numerous steps involved and a lot of form filling.

An excellent place to start while searching for your ideal home on online portals is to engage an estate agent, an inmobiliario. Not only will they help you with your search, but they are also knowledgeable about the neighbourhoods and best places to buy for your needs.

You will also need to appoint a lawyer (abogado). The Association of International Property Professionals advises working with an independent lawyer and not one linked to the agent or developer selling the property you want to buy. Another member of your team is the gestor, someone to navigate Spanish bureaucracy and regulations on your behalf. For example, they will organise the connection of utilities.

Then there is the notary. Your property cannot be inscribed in the property register, Spain's version of the UK's land registry until a notary has witnessed the deeds of sale. A notary's signature is required.

Expat property buyers also need an NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero). You can't obtain a Spanish mortgage, buy a property, or connect to utilities without it. Getting an NIE is pretty straightforward. If you are already in Spain, you can go to your nearest immigration office or a specially designated police station to fill in the official Ex-15 form.

You will need to bring your current passport and a photocopy, two passport-sized photographs and a document explaining why you need an NIE. For example, a job contract or mortgage approval. If you don't yet live in the country, you can apply for your NIE number at the Spanish embassy or a Spanish consulate near you.

Seville's housing market

Like everywhere else in Spain, Seville's property market was hit hard by the global economic crisis that started in 2008. In the years before the downturn, housing prices had been among the highest in Europe as many people sought second homes, pushing prices up.

However, after the crash, prices tumbled by 40% to 60% in some places. That was bad news for homeowners wishing to sell but great news for buyers. Although the prices started to come back, the property market was hit again, this time by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, prices only suffered a slight drop and not the collapse that some forecasters were predicting. It is still very much a buyer's market, and there are many bargains out there, increasing the chances of your property purchase being a sound investment. Now is a great time to buy.

Costs of buying property in Seville

When buying a property in Seville, there are several costs and taxes you will need to pay over and above the property price.

  • Property transfer tax (between 4% and 11% of the property price/value)
  • Notary fees
  • Property registration fees
  • VAT (or IVA) for newly built properties
  • Stamp duty
  • Gestoria costs
  • Property valuation costs

In general, you should budget for 12% to 15% of the property price to cover all fees and taxes. So, if you purchase a two-bedroom apartment for €100,000, factor in paying between €12,000 to €15,000 to cover these additional costs.

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