What’s the average price of a property in Spain in 2021?

What’s the average price per square metre for a new build and a second-hand home in Spain? 

What's the average price of a property in Spain in 2021?
The fishing village of Lastres in the northern Spanish region of Asturias. Photo: Sara Riaño/Unsplash

Spain’s property market has not yet experienced the drop in prices that many budding house owners were hoping for in 2021. 

Some may therefore prefer to not wait for any potential downturn in the market and just go for it and purchase the Spanish property of their dreams. 

But what’s a normal price to pay for a property? This of course depends on numerous factors but Spain’s Property Appraisal Society recently shed some light on what you can expect to pay for a 90 square meter home in Spain – approximately the average size of a residential flat – depending on whether it’s completely new or it’s second hand. 

How much can you expect to pay for a brand-new property in Spain in 2021?

According to Spain’s Property Appraisal Society, the average price of a new home in Spain so far in 2021 is €223,380.

That’s equal to $263,169 or £191,683.

The average per square metre price of new homes in Spain stands at €2,482 sqm after a slight annual variation of 0.4 percent and a six-month variation of 0.2 percent across 16 of Spain’s 17 regions.

This is the highest value new builds in Spain have achieved since 2010, when the average square metre was going for €2,537/sqm. 

As the map below reflects, the Spanish regions where the value of new builds is highest are Catalonia (€3,992/sqm), Madrid (€3,682/sqm)  and the Basque Country (€2,762/sqm). 

On the other side of the spectrum are regions like Extremadura in southwestern Spain and Murcia in the southeast, where the average square metre price is €1,209/sqm and €1,265/sqm respectively. 

Spain’s Property Appraisal Society collected data between March and June 2021, using the values ​​of nearly 38,000 homes from 2,900 new developments across the country.

What’s the average price of a property in Spain overall in 2021?

Spain’s Property Appraisal Society doesn’t have data exclusively for second-hand homes for 2021, instead calculating the average price of new and second-hand homes together. 

This at least serves to know what the average price of a 90 sqm property in Spain is. 

The average cost of a residential property in Spain in Q4 2020 was €150,750, the latest available data shows. That’s equal to $177,470 or £129,483.

The average per square metre price of all types of homes in Spain stands at €1,675 sqm, representing a drop of 0.4 percent in the first six months of 2021 but an annual increase of 0.7 percent on last year’s average price.

Madrid, Catalonia and the Basque Country again have the highest prices for second-hand properties, followed closely by the Balearic Islands. 

The average price per square metre for residential properties is below the national average of €1,675 sqm in all of Spain’s other 13 regions. 

What’s the average price of a second-hand property in Spain in 2021?

According to leading Spanish property search engine Idealista, the price of second-hand homes has increased by 10.1 percent during the past 12 months. 

As of July 2021, the average price for a second-hand property in Spain stood at €1,816/sqm.

For a 90sqm used property in Spain, the price is therefore an average of €163,440 – equal to $192,472 or £140,253.

The Balearic Islands, with an annual increase of 2.7 percent, is the Spanish region with the highest price for second-hand housing: €3,169 euros/sqm. 

Next in line are Madrid with €2,945/sqm, the Basque Country with €2,668/sqm and Catalonia with €2,325/sqm. 

On the opposite side of the table, the cheapest regions to buy a second-hand property are Castilla La Mancha (€875/sqm), Extremadura (€933/sqm) and Murcia (€1,056/sqm).

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How to turn a bar, office or shop into a residential property in Spain

Commercial properties in Spain can be a lot cheaper than residential ones, but it’s not as straightforward as buying a former restaurant, office or shop and moving in. Here are the steps to follow and what you need to be aware of.

How to turn a bar, office or shop into a residential property in Spain

One of the tricks budget property hunters in Spain have been using in recent years is buying a local (commercial property), oficina (office) or nave (industrial unit) and transforming it into a vivienda (residential property) to live in or let out. 

It’s a trend that’s roughly doubled in big cities such as Madrid and Barcelona in the last five years. 

Buying a commercial property can work out to be 50 percent cheaper than a flat or house in Spain and there can be other advantages such as it being more open plan than Spain’s typical corridor-themed apartments as well having more money to invest in the renovation. 

Is it possible to turn a commercial property into a residential property in Spain?

Yes, in theory it is, but it’s not always possible. The rules relating to a change of property’s usage from commercial to residential or vice versa are determined by each municipality in Spain, so before you rush to buy un local, you have to do your homework first and be aware of some of the most common pitfalls.

It could be that the limit of residential properties per hectare has been surpassed already, or that without some major changes the property doesn’t meet the standards of size, rooms, space, height, layout, ventilation, air extraction or light of the town or city hall. 

It isn’t the most straightforward process and depending on the property and the individual municipal rules in place, it might just not be possible to live in the property or rent it out to others.

Living in a commercial property is illegal and may cause you problems such as not being able to activate water and electricity or register your padrón at the town hall.

Despite all the paperwork needed, flipping a bar or office and turning it into a home usually works out cheaper than buying a residential property in Spain. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA / AFP)

Don’t be discouraged however, as in many cases it is possible to change the use of a property from commercial to residential and in regions such as Galicia authorities are currently facilitating the process to address the matter of empty abandoned stores and the lack of well-priced accommodation for young homeowners.

What are the steps to follow in Spain to change a property from commercial to residential?

Check the statutes of the community of owners: In order to make any changes within the community of neighbours, permission must be requested in advance. Beforehand, you can ask the comunidad president for a copy of the community statutes to see if the change of use from commercial to residential is mentioned.

READ ALSO: ‘La comunidad’ -What property owners in Spain need to know about homeowners’ associations

Request permission from the town hall: After getting the green light from la comunidad, you have to go to the ayuntamiento (town hall) of the town where the property is to find out if it’s possible to add another residential property to the finca (building). 

Even if this is confirmed, it doesn’t certify that the change of usage from commercial to residential is allowed, for which the town hall will ask you to provide an architect’s proyecto técnico or feasibility report based on municipal urban laws. You will only be allowed to swap from commercial to residential if the project meets the safety and habitability requirements of the Technical Building Code (Código Técnico de la Edificación).

Get the Building Licence: Known as licencia urbanística or permiso de construcción in Spanish, this is an official document required by the town hall for you to carry out a construction or renovation project. In other words, you’ll need this municipal authorisation to begin work on your future residential property, whether it’s major work or minor . 

Get the Certificate of Habitability: Once the renovation work is complete, you’ll need the cédula de habitabilidad to be able to move in or let the property out . The conditions for this are regulated by each regional government and again it’s an architect who must prepare a technical report in order for a town council technician to issue the certificate of habitability.

The certificate we need for the change of use is that of primera ocupación (first residential occupation), which has to include the usable surface area of ​​the home, rooms, address, location, maximum inhabitants etc.

How much does it cost to transform a commercial property into a residential one in Spain?

If for example it’s a 80m2 property with two rooms, the total would be about €50,000, according to property websites Idealista and Habitissimo, with the bulk covering renovation costs (€500/m2= €40,000) and the rest going to cover permits, architecture costs and taxes.