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March 16, 2018

Tips when choosing a Real Estate Agent in Spain

You have made the decision to sell your property in Spain as the market is in a healthy position and agents are looking for properties for their clients/investors – so how do you choose who to work with? It all may seem very daunting the first steps to selection of an agent, so here are some ideas to help:

On-Line or Office-Based
With the power of the internet, on-line is a great way to sell your property and just pay an upfront fee. An on-line agent will advertise your property, but you will be responsible for the viewings, negotiation of sales price and dealing with the end to end process. For some people who are living in their property, this is certainly an option – but what happens if this is not your primary residence or would like more of a business transaction approach? Office-based real estate agents in Spain offer a no sale, no fee service where they will organise all the viewings, marketing, take care of the whole process for you and work with your lawyer to ensure all runs smoothly – perfect if you are not based in Spain or prefer to hand over the reins to a professional.

Make a Shortlist
Make a short list of agents who have a high-street presence and look at their window display, website, portal usage, referrals or social media. If you find the way they present properties is pleasant and the images reflect a positive image, then add them to your list. You should be able to narrow the list down to 2-3 agents and call or pop in to their offices to have a chat about your property and expectations. Established Agents are certainly going to provide you with the best service so choose agents that specialise in property sales with experience in your area.

Valuation of your Property
An experienced agent will know the marketplace, surrounding area and urbanisations, particularly ones who have a high street presence in the municipality. They will offer examples of recent sales within your area to support their valuations and other analysis/statistics to explain the market historically and at present. A good agent will take the time to explain the cost implications and the full process of selling your property from start to finish. Property is our biggest financial asset and investment so we all want to secure the best price possible but be wary of agents who ask you what you want to sell for. Your expectations may not be possible in the current market or once all the costs for selling have been explained to you.

Ask questions
From your short list, you will already have an idea of how your chosen agents will create campaigns and promotions for property. Professional agents will have a campaign map in place and will happily share this information with you. Ask questions: Do you just focus on property sales? How long have they been in business? Any prospects looking at this style of property at the moment? Do they provide performance statistics and feedback? The last thing you want is to market your property and not hear back from the agent, even if sometimes it is not good news. At the same time, be honest about your circumstances as they will have a better grasp of your objectives and timeframe.

The Agent Fee
Spain is a different marketplace to the UK and the fee varies from 5% up to 9% in some places. For this area of Spain, the industry standard appears to be 5%. Established agents collaborate and offer additional marketing services to ensure maximum coverage for your property to secure you a sale. Make a value judgment on the services and don’t assume that the cheapest is the best – it rarely works out that way.

A Team Effort
You have met with several agents and some you liked and some you didn´t but base your decision on what you have seen and heard. In Spain, sole agency is not common but an established agent will have the best network and coverage to ensure maximum collaborative coverage in and outside of the area to entice viewings. Give the agent the good news you would like them to market your property and if you have decided to be “sole agent” tell them and set your expectations with them. Working as a team you will be successful in selling your property and moving on.

February 21, 2018

Property tax and bills in Spain – What you need to know

So, you have bought that wonderful bit of paradise where you spend as much of your downtime as possible. There are financial obligations for owning a property in Spain and here are some pointers to get you started:

Utilility Bills – Water, Electric & Gas (where applicable)
If you have used a lawyer for your conveyancing, as part of their service they will have transferred the utility bills in to your name – there may be a slight overlap with the previous owner and if so, the lawyer may have kept a retention to ensure funds for any outstanding financial commitment from the previous owner. The water and electric bills are usually around every 2 months, but not exactly and a direct debit should be in place – make sure this has been actioned. With the electric bill, check your consumption is in line with your usage as sometimes the previous owners may have been heavy users and you are more conservative with the level of power you require. You can request your lawyer to ensure this is at the right level or by contacting the provider to inform them direct. Gas is usually in bottles as mainline gas is only available in major cities in Spain. It is certainly cheaper than electric but not as convenient. ***Very Important Point*** Always make sure you have sufficient funds in your bank account to pay your utilities as if there is a failure in collection of a direct debit the utility provider will cancel the direct debit and take steps to cut off supply.

There are plenty of providers offering different services including or excluding WIFI but we recommend you shop around and get what´s best for your lifestyle – you may want a fixed line, then Movistar is the main provider, but there are other services on offer if you require cheap calls to your home country or want a plug and play scenario for you and your guests.

Community charge (where applicable)
Community charges vary, depending on the facilities within your community and are usually paid quarterly or monthly. Check with your administrator to ensure you are meeting your commitments and some communities offer a slightly reduced rate if you have set up a direct debit. Failure to keep up to date with community payments could result in loss of using communal facilities, such as the swimming pools, spas, gym, tennis courts etc.

Council tax – Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles (IBI)
(Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles) is like the British council tax and usually includes refuse collection although this is sometimes charged separately either with your water or your community payment. It is a yearly bill paid in August, but you can set up a payment to come out monthly.

Property income tax (IRPF/Renta)
Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Fisicas (IRPF if your Spanish property is not rented out or not your primary residence (i.e. a holiday home), you will be liable for the “deemed rental income tax” even if you do not let out your Spanish property. They will assume you are making 2% of this value each year from letting your Spanish property and charge you 25% of that “income”, which equates to a total of 0.5% of the valor catastral (rateable value) of your Spanish property. For example, if you own a Spanish property with a valor catastral (rateable value) of €100,000 and you are not renting it out, you will still be liable for 25% of €2000, which equates to €500. It is important to keep on top of this tax on a yearly basis as you can be charged interest and fined if not paid on time.

Home Insurance
Shop around – the banks will offer insurance when you are completing on a property, but see what other providers can offer and always when it comes to renewal – check your renewal timeframe as some ask for 90 days’ notice if you are changing to another provider.

Car Ownership
If you own a car you are responsible for ensuring the car is roadworthy and if the car is over 4 years old, the car will require a yearly ITV (MOT). The test centre is based in Estepona in the industrial area (Poligono) and an appointment is required so it is best to ensure you make it in advance of the expiry date. Insurance papers, details of the car, driving licence must be with you at all times when driving in Spain because if you are stopped by the police or Guardia civil and fail to produce the correct documents, can result in a fine. Whether you are buying a new or second-hand car, it is very important as the new owner you ensure the address details are correct as soon as possible and not rely on the person or business who has sold you the car to complete the paper trail.

This information is purely informative and only from our own experiences, but we highly recommend if you are unsure of your commitments, get an independent lawyer to check all is correct.

IBI, Electric and Water Bill in Spain


February 13, 2018

Manilva, Duquesa and Casares Costa – The place for investment in 2018

Filed under: 101 reasons to love Manilva,News,Property,Useful Information — Barrington Homes @ 3:54 pm

Property prices have increased throughout the Malaga Provence and show no sign of slowing down. According to Kyero, the median asking price is 330,000 Euros with an annual trend of plus 7.7%. When I reviewed their stats, they focused on 10 destinations within Malaga – Marbella came out top with an average price of 650,000 Euros to Torrox with an average price of 149,000 Euros.

Mijas Costa had the highest annual trend of 28.9% with Estepona area not far behind. This is due quite heavily in the new development surge at the end of 2016 and 2017, with a lot of focus in Mijas Costa – particularly La Cala and areas surrounding Fuengirola. In Estepona, there are many new developments around La Resina, Selwo, Estepona Golf and frontline towards Casares Costa.

Demographically, the highest investment groups are within the 45 – 64 age range – Nationality is 61% European, 29% British and 15% International. The main investors are English speaking with a high percentage of Dutch, Flemish and French investment.

The most interesting figure for us as an Estate Agent in Manilva is the comparison between property available for sale versus buyer´s enquiry patterns. Investors are still looking for bargains and demand for property between 100 – 150,000 Euros is the focus when 2 years ago, it was below the 100,000 Euro mark. In comparison the budget of 250 – 500,000 Euros is the price bracket of new developments, but not a high investment at this time. We have heard of Scandinavian investment within this price range but long term this is not sustainable due to their smaller populations. The British buyer is still the strongest and most consistent on the coast.

Demand for apartments out-weighs villas and townhouses, so perfect for Manilva and Casares Costa with all the wonderful established developments we have in close proximity to facilities and the beaches.

This information is very encouraging as growth may have spiked in certain areas of the Costa del Sol, but Manilva and Casares Costa is showing a positive healthy increase and property sales are buoyant.

In summary, Manilva, Duquesa and Casares Costa are the areas who have the supply for the demand of the current investor and if the start to 2018 is anything to go by, the future is very promising indeed.


February 6, 2018

Bitesize Property Review with Barrington Homes

2017 has been a good year for the real estate market with interest and confidence growing due in part to an improvement in the European economy. House prices have increased in the second-hand housing marketplace with an average increase of 5.1% over the previous year. This is the largest annual increase since 2006 when it was an increase of 7.7%. The highest increase is in the Balearic Islands with a staggering 15.1% and Catalonia of 10.5% showing even with the recent political climate, it is not putting a damper on investment.

Malaga has had an increase of a very healthy 4.5%. This supports our successful year with sales of property in Manilva, Casares and Estepona. According to Tinsa (leading independent valuation experts with over 30 years’ experience), the average timeframe for selling a property in Spain is 8.6 months and in Malaga 7.2 months. Barrington Homes averaged for 2017 at 5.7 months and we are extremely encouraged by our strong start this year with an impressive January, historically a quieter month.

Manilva, Casares and Estepona are certainly providing the best investment opportunities with new developments both east and west of Estepona offering new contemporary, modern living. Good news for those already invested in this area as prices are moving in the right direction albeit not to the values achieved prior to the economic crisis. According to Tinsa, the residential market maintains moderate price growth but it is still 38.3% below the maximum reached in 2007.

In 2014 and 2015, the average sold price of a property was approx. 15.6% below the marketed price and in 2017 this percentage shrunk to an average of 10.2%, demonstrating demand and quality has improved.

Mortgage applications are highly sought after with all nationalities being approved and processed quickly. Savvy British buyers realise the potential in applying due to the weak pound against the euro and are securing up to 70% mortgages, (this will change to 60% for non-EU residents when Britain leaves the EU) and the average monthly mortgage payment for Malaga province is 555 Euros.

Barrington Homes wanted to provide you with a summary of 2017 and not bombard you with pages of stats and percentages. We hope this blog is helpful for those investing or selling, but please feel free to get in touch with the team if you require further information.

Manilva Municipality Spain

Manilva Municipality Spain


April 21, 2017

The change to Plusvalia – what does this mean when selling your property?

Filed under: News,Property,Useful Information — Tags: , — Barrington Homes @ 12:34 pm

Spain’s Constitutional court in a landmark ruling on the 16th of February 2017 declared that Plusvalia property tax cannot be charged when a vendor sells property at a loss. This basically means – no profit – no taxation.
I am involved in listing and marketing the properties for our clients and I wanted to try and explain how this will affect our clients in the past, present and future. I hope this helps you gain a little more understanding:-
The Plusvalía is a local (municipal) tax charged by the town hall on properties when they are sold. It is calculated on the rateable value of property and the number of years that have passed since the property was last changed hands. The objective is to tax the increase in the value of the land on which the property stands, some of which is due to improvements to the area carried out by the local government and the community at large.
The base for this tax is the catastral value (valor catastral) which is found on your IBI statement you receive around August time. The amount due in tax will depend on how long you have owned the property, so if you have owned it for 2-3 years it will be much lower than if you have owned the property for 10+ years. The maximum amount of years for Plusvalia taxation is 19 years, so anyone owning over that period only need to take into account the first 19 years taxation.
An important point for buyers is to ensure their lawyer arranges for the Plusvalia calculation and withholds those funds before completion for payment within the 30 days or the new owner could be liable. Note for Buyers! This is why is it so important to work with a lawyer when buying a property in Spain.

There are 2 questions to arise from this change:-
I have paid my Plusvalia and made a loss on the sale of my property or no capital gains, can I make a claim?
The answer is yes, but you can only claim for the last 4 years as any tax collected before February 2013 is now time-barred. In other words, any vendor who’s sold a property at a loss since February 2013, and has paid ‘Plusvalia’ tax, can make a request to claim. This is great news and we highly recommend you contact your lawyer or come in and have a chat with Juan Mateo, our independent lawyer. The first stage is to issue a letter to the town hall at a cost of 70 Euros plus IVA and if this is accepted, then the lawyer can draw up a proper claim. For further information, please contact Juan on:- info@mateo-abogados.com
If I want to sell my property now and I am making a loss or no profit, will I have to pay Plusvalia?
Looking at different information coming out, I believe that in principle under Spanish Law, you will have to pay upfront, and then claim back. I do not think you can refuse to make a payment, but if you are working with a lawyer, you should be able claim back a full refund. As with other property taxation issues, such as complimentaria tax and 3% retention – a lawyer to act on your behalf is advisable.

February 23, 2016

Home sales and prices up in 2015, growth forecast to continue for now

Filed under: News — Barrington Homes @ 9:44 am

The December and full year figures from the General Council of Notaries – just out – paint a picture of a market slowly recovering from a deep crisis. That’s good news in itself, but it doesn’t negate the effects of the crisis, which can still be seen all around. Some segments, in particular those that benefit from foreign demand, are recovering, but many others are still deep in the doldrums. So figures like these from the notaries, which aggregate all segments into national figures, conceal big differences between local markets. Not all areas and segments are heading in the same direction.

The notary figures are the most timely available, as they are based on sales witnessed by notaries each month, rather than sales inscribed in the property register a month or two later (published by the registrars and the National Institute of Statistics). They probably give us the best picture of what actually happened (at a national level) in 2015. So I’ll run through the main figures with a chart for each.


There were a total of 401,236 homes sold last year (including subsidised housing), with sales of both flats and houses rising for the second year in a row. Sales are still less than half what they were in the last boom year of 2007, but we should not expect to return to the inflated sales levels of a speculative bubble. That said, the market is still depressed by normal standards, so there should still be room for more growth in sales in the coming years, assuming that economic growth continues.


Source: Mark Stucklin, Property Insight, February 19, 2016


February 18, 2016

TARIFA: Big new development planned called Surf City

Filed under: News — Barrington Homes @ 2:50 pm

The Spanish developer Metrovacesa is planning a big new development in Tarifa, in a sign that Spain’s second-home resort market is coming back to life.

Metrovacesa, one of the biggest developers in Spain, now owned by a consortium of banks including BBVA and Banco Popular, and controlled by Santander bank, will invest €70 million in a mixed-use development including hotels, commercial space, and up to 250 “upmarket” homes, walking distance from the beach and Tarifa town centre.

The company says the development, called Surf City (Ciudad del Surf), will be positioned internationally to take advantage of “surf tourism, the principal attraction of the area,” in a clear sign that Metrovacesa has international buyers in mind.

The company claims the project, which is expected to create up to 500 new jobs in the area, will be “one of the most innovative” residential developments on the Spanish coast. Sustainable development and ‘green’ architecture will be involved, whilst the slope of the site will be used for wind protection and offering panoramic views.

Tarifa is the southernmost town in Spain, located in Cádiz province, home to the Costa de la Luz, facing Morocco across the Straits of Gibraltar. Once part of the hippy trail, it is an ancient and picturesque town that has become a fashionable if somewhat niche destination as the wind and kite-surfing capital of Europe, attracting an affluent and young international crowd. Expats and property investors in Tarifa are looking for something out of the ordinary.

Tarifa Surf City Plan

Tarifa Surf City Plan


February 14, 2016

Junta gives three-month deadline for owners to register holiday properties

Filed under: News — Barrington Homes @ 11:20 am

Just in case you have not heard, this has been reported in the Sur in English, Friday 5th February 2016 and we would like to share this very important information for people renting out their accommodation:-

“The Andalusian government has given owners of tourist accommodation three months to officially register their properties. This week the Junta approved its new decree which aims to close the existing loophole regarding apartments, houses and rooms which are rented to tourists.

The three month period will begin once the decree has been published in the Official Bulletin of the Junta de Andalucía (BOJA). The authority believes that by ensuring that all such properties are registered, it will prevent fraud and unfair competition.

To make their properties legal, the owners have to register them with the Registro de Turismo de Andalucía and will then have one year to comply with the requirements laid down by the new regulations.

The Junta calculates that there are about 80,000 unregistered properties in the region at present, offering 400,000 beds. The Andalusian Head of Tourism, Javier Fernández, said he was confident that the register will be “operative” by May and that all properties will be registered by the summer. Anyone who fails to comply will face fines of up to 150,000 euros.

Javier Fernández said the new rule has “maximum support” from the sector but he did not want to discuss criticism from the Fevitur federation which has called for changes in the status of the properties affected.

The text classifies tourist accommodation as properties located on residential land which habitually offer accommodation for tourism purposes in exchange for payment, through travel agents, intermediary companies or organisers, using methods which involve reservation.

The decree differentiates between complete properties, which are rented in their entirety and can sleep no more than 15 people, and properties in which the resident owner rents rooms, which must have capacity for no more than six people.


The new regulations do not apply to properties for which no money changes hands; rental contracts for more than two consecutive months for the same tenant; and properties in rural areas (the last two cases are already subject to their own regulations).

Also excluded are complexes of three or more properties, all owned by the same person, located within the same building or group of buildings, whether or not these are adjoining. These will now be covered by another decree, Decreto 194/2010, for tourist apartments, which has been modified for this purpose. This section implies that if two or more properties belong to the same owner and are more than one kilometre apart they are not included in the decree, something which has been rejected by the Spanish Federation of Tourist Apartments and Houses (Fevitur).

The new decree was drawn up at the request of owners who were left unregulated by the modification in 2013 of the Law of Urban Rentals (LAU).

Now the Junta will ensure that tourist accommodation matches the standards of quality and comfort laid down for other types of accommodation, such as hotels. Properties must have an occupancy licence and fulfil certain specifications, including external ventilation, air conditioning, suitable furniture, household linen, kitchen equipment and first aid kit.”


January 15, 2015

Fiberoptic Broadband is coming to Manilva !

Filed under: Lifestyle,News — Barrington Homes @ 3:37 pm

The new Mayor of Manilva, Urieta Diego met with Telefonicas regional director Maria Jesus Almazor, to present the expansion plans that the company has in place for Manilva. Telefonica, Spains telephone infrastructure provider, has confirmed that it has began the deployment of ‘Fiber to the Home’ (FTTH) allowing home owners and local businesses to benefit from a fiber optic internet service with up to 100MB downloads and 10MB upload internet connections which is currently in excess of 10 times faster than the current ADSL option. The plans also mean that 4G mobile connectivity should be available in 2015 at no extra cost to Telefonica customers. The Mayor of Manilva commented that  “New technologies and operation is essential for the progress and development of SMEs and the Townhall, while also providing a service to the public on their personal devices. With this agreement Manilva will be at the leading edge of available technology”

fiber optic in Manilva

The benefit to individuals living or visiting the area on holiday will be tremendous. Since Sky has ceased to provide terrestrial UK channels the majority of TV is viewed via the internet. This will allow faster downloads of films and programmes as well as a superior quality of live TV channels. Businesses will hope to gain the most benefit allowing them to operate quickly and efficiently resulting in a much more productive and enhanced service for consumers.


November 6, 2014

Promising development to boost the local economy

Filed under: Local Businesses,News — Barrington Homes @ 3:10 pm

The Manilva local economy is showing strong signs of improvement. 14 new opening licenses have been granted to local businesses this month. This positive development is a clear indicator the Manilvas business community are very optimistic about the growth in the local economy which in turn has a positive impact on employment, tourism, the property market and a development of interest in Manilva town.

The licenses have been granted to 2 Bars, 2 Hairdressers, 3 Estate Agents and 7 other small businesses. Manilva Department of Commerce commented ‘Its always satisfying to facilitate local business and projects which in turn strengthens the future of Manilva municipality’. They have also announced that they are currently working on new campaigns to aid businesses in Manilva and to make local business the first reference for local consumers.

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