Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gains in Spain; the Good Life: Spain Is Popular for Its Warm Weather, Historic Cities and, of Course, Its Beautiful Beaches

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gains in Spain; the Good Life: Spain Is Popular for Its Warm Weather, Historic Cities and, of Course, Its Beautiful Beaches

Article excerpt

Byline: Cathy Hawker

SPAIN remains the number-one choice for British property buyersabout half a million of us own property there. Yet spring 2007 saw buyerconfidence fall amid reports that property was over-valued. Figures fromSavills International show that price growth fell to seven per cent in spring2007. "Some expect a deterioration in the Spanish market but a view is emergingof a 'soft landing' with future moderate price growth and a reduction in newbuild," says Savills director Charles Weston Baker.

So if you want to say ole to a home in Spain, here are some essential facts toget you started: * Prospective buyers will need to obtain an NIE - a fiscalnumber for foreigners. These can be obtained in person from a police stationwith your passport.

* After finding your property and agreeing a price, hire a bilingual lawyerexperienced in Spanish property law. Spain has the law of subrogation, whereproperties carry the debts of former owners, so your lawyer must ensure thereare no outstanding charges. They should also ensure the property has full titleby checking the Registro de Propiedad.

* Buyer and seller sign the preliminary contract, the contrato privado decompraventa. This should outline the agreed sale price, the names of buyers andsellers, the completion date and ensure that the property is debt-free. A 10per cent deposit is normal.

* The final contract, the escritura de compraventa, is signed before thenotary. The buyer should pay the full amount with all costs and taxes. Thenotary then deposits the property deeds in the Land Registry.

Buying costs Costs in Spain are higher than in the UK, up to about 12 per centof the purchase price. Main charges are: * Notary fees and lawyer fees of aboutone per cent.

* Property Transfer Tax on a resale property is seven per cent and on a newbuild is eight per cent, which includes stamp duty at one per cent. …

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