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Experts' tips for selling your Spanish home in less time
Wednesday, May 3, 2023 @ 9:14 PM

HOW long does it take to find a buyer for a residential property in Spain?

According to industry experts, the average is around five months, but that depends partly upon where it is. Demand is much higher in city centres and inner suburbs, for example; a home for sale in Madrid will typically only take about three months to shift.

These data, for the year 2022, come from Solvía, the estate agency arm of Banco Sabadell, which was bought out by Swedish firm Intrum at the end of last year.

The Solvia Market View figures show little change over time, so the standard nationwide five months in 2022 is not due to any major surge or fall in demand.


Some unique features of Spanish property buyers

Unlike in many countries, the typical 'first-time buyer home' is not necessarily going to be snapped up in an instant. National Statistics Institute (INE) figures released last year show that the usual profile of someone buying their first property is much older than in, for example, northern Europe or North America – usually in their 40s, often with a long-term partner or spouse and dependant children.

This is because the trend in Spain is to wait until they can afford their 'forever home' – one that they do not expect to ever sell. The concept of 'buying small' to 'gain a foot on the property ladder', then progressing in size, is far less common among first-time buyers in Spain.

Around 65% of Spain's residents live in flats or apartments rather than houses – the second-highest proportion in Europe after Latvia (66.2%) - and well over three-quarters, nearly eight in 10, own their homes rather than renting.

Nearly 65% of people in Spain live in flats or apartments - like these on Gandia beach, southern Valencia province

Rental properties are more likely to be seasonal – for the summer, and based on urbanisations with swimming pools or right next to a beach – or in large cities where young adults, normally in couples, have had to move to for their jobs.

That does not necessarily mean you should forget about renting your home instead of selling it if it is in another area, or you need long-term tenants. Future buyers may well decide to rent for a while until they find the home they definitely want, or to make sure they like the area before committing. Also, those whose income is sufficient to pay rent but not enough to save for a sizeable deposit may not be candidates for buying, or perhaps they prefer not to own their home so as not to have to worry about maintenance and repairs.

Given how only a third of Spanish residents live in houses, even villages have large numbers of flats, not just big towns and cities, and these are often very spacious and can be even more expensive and luxurious than a house.

Another key aspect of the Spanish homebuying market is that, according to research, the overwhelming majority seek properties within the town they grew up in, where their families live, or even in the same neighbourhood; those who cannot find what they want will typically look as close to their local area as they can, perhaps the very next town or village.



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