As a foreign buyer, you might choose to buy land and build a property on it. This is quite popular in Spain, especially in places like Costa del Sol and the Canary Islands. As a matter of fact, due to a large number of inexperienced foreign buyers, there have been many scams regarding land purchases. Many scammers and faux estate agents have sold illegitimate properties to buyers who have not done their due diligence.
For example, sometimes the planning permission has not been acquired before building. This led to the government eventually tearing down the property. Another example is poorly built properties which lead to very expensive repairs.
How To Avoid the Pitfalls
If you want to buy land, we advise you to use an attorney and we can help you with that.
There are a few steps you can take as a foreign buyer to be sure that you don’t get scammed. To make your life easier, we’ve prepared a checklist that can help you ensure you’re getting the right deal:
- Check the land registry or (Registro de la Propriedad)
- Check that the proper planning permission has been acquired before building
- Check the debts of the property
- Check the credentials of any lawyer or real estate agent you’re planning to work with
- Have a surveyor or architect check that the property is up to code and not cheaply built
You can usually obtain this information in the land registry office. You need to put in a request by email, phone, fax, or in-person to access this information. You can also have a trusted attorney check them for you.
The land prices in Spain also vary depending on the location and the seller. There’s usually some room for negotiation as it is a tradition in Spain to bargain a bit. Check below figures per m² in different regions.
- Andalucia: €171
- Catalunya: €184
- Castilla y Leon: €66
- The Canary Islands: €245
- Madrid: €338
- Valencia: €158