Healthplan Spain


Renting vs. Buying Property In Spain: Pros And Cons Expat Tips

When considering a move to Spain, one of the key decisions expats face is whether to rent or buy property. Both options have their advantages and drawbacks, so it's important to carefully weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

In this article, we will compare renting and buying property in Spain, exploring factors such as cost, flexibility, investment potential, lifestyle considerations, legal aspects, and market conditions to provide deeper insights and help you make an informed choice.

1. Cost Considerations:

When it comes to cost, both renting and buying property in Spain have their own financial implications. Renting property in Spain offers lower upfront costs compared to buying property. In addition to the security deposit, the primary expense is the monthly rent. Renting allows you to enjoy the benefits of a property without the significant initial investment associated with buying a property in Spain.

On the other hand, buying a property in Spain involves substantial upfront expenses, including a down payment, taxes, fees, and potential mortgage costs. While these upfront costs are higher, homeownership can offer the advantage of building equity over time. Property values in Spain have shown steady growth, making buying a property an attractive long-term investment option.

Historically, the Spanish property market has experienced fluctuations in prices. Following the global financial crisis in 2008, Spain faced a significant property market downturn, leading to a decrease in prices. However, in recent years, there has been a gradual recovery, and property prices have shown signs of growth.

According to data from the Statista website, the Spanish property market witnessed a sharp decline in prices per square metre in the years following the financial crisis. In 2016, prices reached a record low of slightly over 1,500 euros per square metre, down from a peak of over two thousand euros in 2007. However, the market started to recover, and by the end of 2021, prices had increased to approximately 1,800 euros per square metre.

2. Flexibility:

Flexibility is a key factor to consider when deciding between renting and buying property in Spain. Renting property in Spain provides greater mobility and flexibility. Whether you want to explore different regions of Spain or have uncertain long-term plans, renting offers the flexibility to easily change locations or downgrade/upsize living arrangements based on your changing needs. Renting a property in Spain gives you the freedom to explore different areas and adapt your living situation without a long-term commitment.

On the other hand, buying a property in Spain ties you to a specific location and can limit your flexibility. It's important to note that selling a property in Spain may take time, which can make it challenging to move quickly or change your living situation. On average, it can take around six months to sell a property in Spain. However, the actual time it takes to sell your property will depend on the area it is located in and the current market conditions.

Considering the potential time it may take to sell a property is crucial when evaluating your flexibility requirements. While renting offers immediate adaptability and the ability to explore different regions of Spain, buying a property provides stability but may limit your mobility in the short term. Assessing your priorities and weighing the pros and cons of each option, including the potential selling timeframe, will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your lifestyle and goals.

3. Investment Potential:

Investment potential is a significant consideration when comparing renting and buying property in Spain.

Buying a property in Spain offers the potential for long-term investment and wealth creation. The Spanish property market has shown stability and has experienced significant growth over the years. Owning a property in Spain allows you to benefit from the appreciation in property values, which can contribute to building equity and long-term financial stability. Additionally, if you decide to rent out the property, you can generate rental income, enhancing your investment returns.

On the other hand, renting a property in Spain does not offer direct investment potential. Rent payments contribute to the landlord's income rather than building equity or ownership for the renter.

4. Lifestyle Considerations:

Lifestyle factors should also be taken into account when choosing between renting and buying property in Spain.

Renting property in Spain offers convenience in terms of maintenance and repairs. Typically, the responsibility for property upkeep falls on the landlord, freeing you from the financial and time commitments associated with maintenance tasks. Renting allows you to have a hassle-free living experience and focus on enjoying your time in Spain.

On the other hand, buying a property in Spain allows you to personalise your living space and create a sense of permanence. You have the freedom to make structural changes, paint the walls, or design your dream home to suit your lifestyle. Homeownership provides the opportunity to establish roots in a Spanish community and create a long-term home that reflects your preferences and style.

5. Legal Considerations:

Legal considerations play a crucial role in the renting versus buying decision when it comes to property in Spain.

Renting a property in Spain involves entering into a rental agreement with rights and responsibilities for both tenants and landlords. It's important to understand the terms of the lease, including rent increases, deposit regulations, and maintenance obligations. Tenant rights are well-protected in Spain, ensuring that you have legal recourse in case of any issues.

Spain's new housing law, the 'Ley de Viviendas,' came into effect on May 18, 2023. This comprehensive legislation aims to protect both tenants and landlords by introducing significant laws and regulations. It establishes measures to prevent unfair eviction practices, regulate rent increases, and ensure clear lease agreements. The law also promotes responsible property management and a transparent rental market. By enacting the Ley de Viviendas, the Spanish government seeks to create a fair and balanced housing sector, providing security and stability for tenants and landlords alike.

Buying a property in Spain entails legal processes such as property transfers, title deeds, and mortgage contracts. Additionally, property taxes, homeowner associations, and community fees may apply. Understanding the legal aspects of both renting and buying is essential to make informed decisions and ensure a smooth and legally compliant experience. Seeking advice from legal professionals can help you navigate the legal complexities and avoid any potential pitfalls.

6. Market Conditions and Trends:

Understanding the current real estate market conditions and trends in Spain is vital when deciding to rent or buy property.

Researching local market conditions and seeking advice from real estate professionals can help you assess whether it's a buyer's or renter's market. If the market conditions are favourable for buying a property in Spain, it may be an opportune time to consider a purchase. Conversely, if the market conditions are more favourable for renting, it might be wiser to continue renting until market conditions are more advantageous for buyers. Keeping an eye on market trends and consulting experts can provide valuable insights into making the right decision.

The Spanish property market is expected to experience a slowdown in price growth in 2023. Falling interest rates, which previously contributed to rising house prices, have reversed, and stricter credit conditions are anticipated. Property prices are projected to remain stagnant throughout the year, with a possible decline in the first half. Inflation-adjusted house prices are expected to fall by 7% from 2022 to 2024.

The rapid price growth seen in recent years is unlikely to continue, as the leverage of falling interest rates has disappeared. Mortgage lending rates have continuously fallen over the past decade, increasing borrowing capacity. However, this trend ended abruptly with the sharp rise in interest rates. It is unlikely that extremely low interest rates will return, marking the potential end of rapid price growth.

Data from Eurostat shows a slowdown in house price growth in late 2022, continuing into the first two months of 2023. While all regions experienced a downward trend, there were significant differences. Coastal areas and islands saw the most cooling, while metropolitan areas continued to experience price growth. Limited land availability in metropolitan areas drives strong housing demand, pushing prices higher.

Overall, the Spanish property market is likely to shift toward a more balanced state, favouring buyers with stable or declining prices and providing them with more options.


In the end, the decision to rent or buy property in Spain is highly individual and depends on personal circumstances, financial considerations, lifestyle goals, and long-term plans. Renting property in Spain offers flexibility, lower upfront costs, and minimal responsibilities, making it an attractive option for those who prioritise mobility and convenience.

On the other hand, buying a property in Spain offers potential investment returns, customisation options, and the pride of homeownership. It provides stability, the potential for building equity, and the ability to create a permanent home in Spain.

Carefully evaluate your financial situation, long-term plans, and personal preferences to make an informed choice that aligns with your goals and aspirations. Consulting with real estate professionals and legal experts can provide additional guidance to ensure a successful and satisfying experience in the Spanish property market.