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Where in Spain are the biggest apartments for sale?

The majority of people in Spain live in apartments and two-thirds of these are smaller than 100m2. Find out which cities have the biggest and smallest houses in the country and how this compares to houses in the US or the UK.

Where in Spain are the biggest apartments for sale?
Apartments in Spain are small. Photo: Ralph (Ravi) Kayden / Unsplash

Only 35 percent of homes for sale in Spain are larger than 100 metres squared, according to a study published by real estate giant Idealista.

The size of the most common house in Spain is between 75 and 90 m2, which represents 24 percent of the entire market.

However, there are municipalities where 50m2 houses dominate.

There are only two municipal capitals where the majority of the housing is bigger than 100 m2. These are Albacete in Castilla–La Mancha, where 57 percent the homes are larger and Palma in Mallorca, where 55 percent are bigger.

They are followed by Lugo and Murcia where 49 percent are bigger, Valencia and Pontevedra, where 48 percent are larger, Soria with 47 percent, Alicante with 46 percent and Granada with 44 percent.

On the other hand, the municipal capitals with the smallest number of homes over 100m2 were Oviedo in Asturias where only 21 percent were bigger, followed by 23 percent in Huesca, and 27 percent in Huelva, Salamanca and Burgos.

In Barcelona, 30 percent were bigger, while Madrid is above the national average with 36 percent.

Surprisingly, homes smaller than 40 m2 barely account for 1 percent of the market, while those between 40 and 60 m2 account for 9 percent.

Even more surprising is that the price per m2 of a small home is actually 94 percent more expensive than those between 100 and 120 m2.

Those wanting to find a big house in Spain may have some difficulty because according to the latest Idealista report, only 2 percent of homes are over 240 m2.

The small size of Spanish homes may be partly to do with the fact that 64 percent of people here live in apartments as opposed to houses. That is the highest number in the EU, apart from Latvia.

If we compare the size of homes in Spain with those in the US, where the current average size of a house in the US is 210m2, according to Statista, it’s more than double. This is a fact that many Americans point out when they move here.

Of course, there are big differences between cities and states in the US, the tiny apartments in the likes of New York and San Francisco can’t compare with the huge homes in Georgia or Utah.

Only 14 percent of Brits live in apartments, the latest stats from the UK government reveal, but the average size of a terraced house in the UK is between 64 and 100m2, according to real estate agent David Wilson Homes. This means the average house in the UK isn’t actually much bigger than the apartments here in Spain.

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MOVING TO SPAIN

How to find temporary accommodation in Spain when you first arrive

One of the most common questions people moving to Spain ask is where they can rent temporary accommodation while looking for somewhere more permanent. This can be particularly tricky, but we've found some of the best places to look.

How to find temporary accommodation in Spain when you first arrive

So you’ve sorted out your visas, you’ve done all your packing and have either sold or moved out of your home, but when you arrive in Spain you’re not exactly sure where you’re going to stay.  

Of course, it’s not the best idea to sign a contract ahead of time for a more permanent place before you’ve actually seen it in person. Photos don’t always accurately represent what the house or apartment looks like in reality and you won’t really be able to get a feel for the neighbourhood without being there. 

On top of this, rental scams are rife in some places in Spain, particularly in the bigger more popular cities like Barcelona. Often people will place an ad (which usually looks too good to be true) and get you to wire over a deposit to secure it in advance, but here’s the catch – the place doesn’t usually exist.

This is why it’s important to never hand over money to secure a place to live in Spain before you’ve actually seen it in person and you can get the keys as soon as you sign the contract.

But, finding a place to live in a new country can be difficult and it can take time, so while you look for somewhere, you’re going to need temporary accommodation for a couple of months. This can be tricky too because often temporary accommodation is geared towards tourists and you’ll be paying tourist prices too.

While Idealista and Fotocasa are two of the most popular sites to look for accommodation in Spain, when you only want somewhere for a couple of months, there’s no point looking there, as most places will have yearly contracts.

Keep in mind with short-term rentals for a couple of months, you’re going to be paying higher than the average monthly rent, however, for this, the apartments are usually fully furnished, including kitchen utensils, wi-fi already connected and offer you the flexibility of shorter contracts.

Short-term rental agencies

Specialised short-term rental agencies are the best way to go, which will allow you to sign contacts for less than the typical one year. These types of agencies are usually found in Spain’s big cities that are popular with foreigners, such as Madrid and Barcelona.

Trying searching in Spanish too by typing alquiler de temporada or alquiler temporal plus the name of the city or town you’re looking in. This way you may be able to find places that offer better value. 

Barcelona

In Barcelona, check out aTemporal an agency that started up precisely to fix the problem of trying to find accommodation in-between tourist accommodation and long-term rentals. They rent out apartments for anywhere from 32 days to 11 months.

ShBarcelona is another agency that specialises in these types of rentals and have properties all over the city.

READ ALSO – Moving to Barcelona: A guide to the best neighbourhoods to live in

Madrid

In Madrid, try DFLAT, which was created by two professionals from the Instituto de Empresa University after discovering the difficulties professionals and foreigners found when looking for an apartment in Madrid. Sh also has a good branch in Madrid.  

Valencia

In Valencia, Dasha Living Space has both short and long-term fully furnished flats available and  Valenvi Flats also offers rentals for between three and six months.

READ ALSO – Moving to Valencia: A guide to the best neighbourhoods to live in

Airbnb

While the nightly rate of Airbnb apartments is typically too expensive to rent for a couple of months, you may be able to find some deals. Often when you input dates for a month into Airbnb, you’ll find that several places have a monthly discount offered. Also, some owners will do a deal for a couple of months. If it’s winter for example and they know they’re not going to get many tourists anyway, they may be willing to negotiate.

Vrbo

Like Airbnb, the properties on Vrbo are rented out directly by the owners. While the site is also mainly focused on tourists, some owners may negotiate outside of the tourist season.

Housesitting

If you’re willing to try something a little bit different, then housesitting could be the way to go. This is where you live in somebody’s house for free, in exchange for looking after their pets and their property.

Often people only need someone for a few days, but sometimes you’ll see house sits available for a month or longer. This is perhaps a better option for those who are flexible on where they might want to live and are trying out a few different places. It’s also better for those wanting to live in smaller towns or villages rather than the bigger cities, as there are fewer postings for these popular locations. Trusted Housesitters and Mind My House are good options. 

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