It’s very important to take into account the taxes and expenses involved in buying a property. Generally speaking, taxes and expenses together constitute between 10% and 13% of the purchase amount.
Let’s have a look at the expenses and taxes generally involved in the property purchase itself, as well as those incurred through the financing (if applicable) of the purchase (typically a mortgage).
Expenses and taxes of the purchase itself
When buying a property, the expenses and taxes involved in the purchase itself comprise the following: fees of the Notary Public (who draws up the deeds), fees of the Property Registrar (who makes the entry in the property register), fees of the administrative agency (if one is hired) and, finally, whichever tax is applicable to the transfer of the property (this varies).
The custom in Catalonia is for the buyer (the paying party) to choose the Notary Public office where the public sale and purchase deeds of the property will be drawn up. Notary Public fees are variable but limited within a regulated range. In the case of drawing up public deeds for the sale and purchase of a property, they normally start at around €400 and increase depending on the price of the property. The deeds must then be registered in the Property Register.
These fees are also regulated and constitute a significant percentage of the expenses involved in buying a property. The fees for registering the deeds of the sale and purchase of a property in the Property Register are similar to those of the Notary Public and also depend on the value of the property.
New-build properties are subject to a reduced Spanish VAT rate amounting to 10% of the value of the purchase. They are also subject to the Tax on Documented Legal Acts of the Catalan Tax Authority. In the case of new-build public subsidised housing the applicable VAT rate is 4%. Re-sale properties are subject to the Property Transfer Tax of the Catalan Tax Authority, which amounts to 10% of the purchase price. Reduced rates also exist for public subsidised housing, large families or persons under 32 years old, providing that the dwelling will be a main residence and that the buyers’ income is below a set threshold.
If you hire an external administrative agency to handle the corresponding tax payments, registration of the property in the Property Register and other paperwork involved in the transaction, you’ll normally be charged a fee of around €300 plus VAT.
Mortgage-related expenses comprise the property valuation, Tax on Legal Documented Legal Acts, Notary Public fees, Property Registrar fees and fees of the administrative agency used by the banking entity.
When you request a mortgage, it’s necessary to value the property for which it’s being requested. This valuation will establish the value of the property, which will be taken into account in calculating a potential mortgage. The banking entity will also factor in several other requirements in order to decide whether to grant the mortgage or not. The valuation will be carried out by one of the valuation companies certified by the banking entity. The fee will depend on the banking entity, the value of the property, its surface area and complexity. The property buyer is liable to pay this fee. Since the new Mortgage Law came into force in June 2019, the banking entity that grants the mortgage is exclusively liable for the remaining expenses, such as Notary Public fees, Property Registrar fees and administrative agency fees, along with the Tax on Documented Legal Acts (1.5% of the amount of lent capital).
Bear in mind that in accordance with the Mortgage Law, Property Tax must be paid by whoever is the owner of the property on 1 January of the year in which the sale and purchase operation is carried out. Nevertheless, in 2016, Spain’s Supreme Court ruled that the seller may make the buyer liable for the proportional part of the tax for the days that remain pending until the end of the year, starting from the day on which the public deeds of the operation are signed. The standard practice, especially for operations completed in the first semester of the year, is for the buyer and seller to reach an agreement that is drawn up first of all in a private contract and then in the public deeds of the sale and purchase operation.
Real estate consultancy services
As a leading real estate agency, Gènion Immobles walks you through the entire property purchase operation and mortgage process, offering you bespoke advice and optimal conditions. Right from the start, you’ll know precisely what expenses and taxes are involved in the sale and purchase operation and in the financing process. Furthermore, we will advise and guide you on finding the most suitable banking entity and the best conditions for obtaining a mortgage, always in line with your personal needs and preferences.