General Information - Terms Marbella Eiendom
Real Estate Market development
Purchasing Process
Laws and Regulations
Privacy Policy
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Real Estate Market development

The demand for properties in Marbella has fallen sharply the last few years, and the building activity has halted after a boom that went out of control and imploded after the financial crisis. Prices in the resale market have dropped around 25% the last year while the new projects have dropped on average by 20%. This has created a buyers' market not seen in decades. For those who are looking for a nice property in the sunny Costa del Sol, this is the time to act. 
Why buy now?
A weaker Euro, an ageing population with money, a general focus on quality of life and leisure activities, and the repriced property market where good bargains can be found, makes the market very intersting for buyers with a longer view. The banks have taken over many property developments from bankrupt builders, and when these objects are put on the market, bargains can be made. This will probably happen from the summer of 2012 and onwards. Anyone can find a cheap property, however, there is always a reason why they are cheap. You should on the hand be looking for a good property at a reasonable price in a good location. This is possible in the next year.  

Purchasing Process

Inspection Trip
It is difficult to evaluate a property from small pictures. Therefore, it is essential that you take a trip to Marbella to view the properties and the areas. People rarely find the perfect property, which satisfies all their demands. Very often they end up with something totally different from what they had in mind. It is, therefore, important to view areas and properties with an open mind, but with a clear thought as to what is essential to your well being. The agent, who will show you around, will be of great help in this respect and will explain pros and cons of different areas and properties.
We arrange inspection trips by appointment. The appointment should be made within a week of your trip to Marbella. You will need 4-5 days to familiarise yourself with the Marbella-area and to have enough time to find a suitable property. We have more than 40 English-speaking local agents at our disposal, who will make sure that the search for the right property is efficient. If needed, we will accommodate our clients at discounted rates in centrally located hotels nearby our main office in Puerto Banus. Do not hesitate to Contact Us for appointments and tailor made inspection trips.
Buying second hand freehold property
When you have found a property, which you would like to purchase, the agent will submit your offer to the seller of the property. After a price has been agreed upon, you will pay a non-refundable deposit to reserve the property. This payment is made to one of our lawyers (or a lawyer of your choice) and amounts to about 1% of the purchase price. For easy property reservation, we recommend that our clients bring a bank draft at the inspections, which has a face value of £ 2.000 payable to themselves.

The lawyer who will take full legal responsibility for the transaction, will then check for any liens, embargoes, or encumbrances recorded in the "Nota Simple" obtained from the property registry. The lawyer then drafts the preliminary contract between the buyer and seller (which in effect is an option to buy), which contains the terms and agreements of the purchase (condition report on the property, repairs to be made, who will pay what from the transfer costs etc.). This contract will be signed by the parties 1 or 2 weeks after the property was reserved. At this point, 10% of the purchase price is usually paid to bank guaranteed client account with the lawyer or the Spanish notary.

The sale is considered completed when the public deeds are signed in front of the Spanish notary. At this point, which is 30 to 60 days after the reservation, the eventual liens and embargoes are lifted on the property, and the requirements of the preliminary purchasing contract are satisfied. If unforeseen events unable the preliminary contract to be fulfilled, the buyer may lift the purchase and retain the paid sum less the lawyer's fees. If everything is in order, the Spanish notary will complete the sale and issue the final purchase contract (Escritura Publica). This is signed and registered in the property registry. You are then the happy owner of a property on the sunny Spanish coast.
Buying Projects
Buying projects under construction follow much the same procedure. The non-refundable deposit is made to reserve the property, normally about 1% of the purchase price. The purchasing contract is signed within 10 to 30 days of the reservation. The payment plans of each project may vary, but normally a 30% down payment is then made. The final 70% will be paid upon completion or as smaller down payments at regular intervals in the construction period. Our lawyers will monitor the progress of the project and make sure that the builder is complying with the requirements. All builders in Spain must have a bank guarantee on the projects to protect the down payments of the buyers. Hence, the buyers will get their money back if something unforeseen happens to the project or if the builder does not fulfil the requirements of the purchasing contract.
Costs of Buying
All prices are without taxes and fees. These costs will normally amount to about 10% of the purchase price. One should note, however, that the seller pays the commission to the real estate agent. Our clients, therefore, receive our services for free of charge. The costs may include the following:
  • Transfer tax as a % of the purchase price. Resale properties and projects 7% tax. An official stamp duty of 1% is also added.
  • Notary and registration. Fixed sum from EUR 600 to 1.800 depending on the property value.
  • Lawyer fee. Normally about 1% of the purchase price.
  • Plus Valia tax. Municipal "added value" tax based on the tax value of the property and when it was last sold. Varies quite a bit and could range from 0 to 2-300.000 Euros. This fee corresponds in principle to the seller, but is often paid by the buyer. This tax should be a part of the negotiation process and must be quantified.
  • Agent fee. Paid by the seller.
Costs involved in owning a property
The costs of owning a property in Spain depend on the property value and the maintenance level you wish to have. Normally you should expect running costs between £ 1.500 and £ 3.000 per year. These costs could easily be covered if the property is rented out when it is not occupied. We recommend that you open an account in a Spanish bank to be used for automatic payment of your fixed property costs. The costs could include the following:
  • Local property tax (IBI). Payable annually and varies with area and the property's tax value. The tax value is adjusted each time the property is sold, and is, hence, higher for a recently sold property. The tax value could be up to 75% of the property value, and the tax rate in Marbella is 0,85%. In Estepona and San Pedro, the tax rate is slightly lower.
  • Renovation. In some areas, this is included in the property tax or in the community fees.
  • Community fees. Fees for the general maintenance of buildings and surrounding areas. Could also include security, gardening, administration, insurance etc. A 2-bedroom apartment would typically cost EUR 90 to 300 per month depending on the services provided by the community.
  • Insurance. A standard insurance on a property and contents worth EUR 240.000 and EUR 60.000 respectively, could typically cost EUR 600 per year. If the property is used permanently (not only holiday usage), the premium will be lower.
  • Income tax. Non-residents pay this tax independently of actual income earned from the property. The annual tax rate is 0,5% of the property value. Residents only pay income tax on actual income from the property. On regular income, Spain has a flat tax rate of 25%.
  • Wealth tax (patrimonia). Progressive tax based on the highest of the property tax value and the purchase price on the deed (Escritura Publica). Typically, the tax on a property worth EUR 150.000 will be EUR 300. Residents have a free amount of EUR 100.000 and 200.000 for singles and couples respectively. Taxes are then paid on the surplus values only.
  • Gardeners. The hourly wage for a gardener varies between EUR 6 and 15 per hour. Longer-term maintenance agreements can be negotiated.
  • Maid service. Generally available on a full time salary (EUR 400 to 600 per month) or hourly basis (EUR 6 to 10 pr hour).
  • Electricity. Charged bimonthly with minimum rates, which varies according to maximum possible electrical usage of the property. Minimum rates for an apartment is EUR 25 to 35 per month, and for a villa the minimum is EUR 60 to 90 per month. In addition, usage is charged. Electricity is quite expensive in Spain, and should be taken into account if considering pool heating.
  • Telephone. Charged bimonthly. Prices vary with equipment installed, but ranges from EUR 9 to 15 per month in fixed fees. In addition, usage is charged. Fast access to the internett is readily available.
We could facilitate loans from Spanish banks, which offer mortgages on new properties as well as resales. Common terms include 5 to 15 year mortgages up to 80% of the purchase price. The interest rate would be 1 to 2% above the floating LIBOR rate, which in Euro-rates correspond to about 4 to 5%. Some projects may have particularly favourable mortgages with current Euro-rates as low as 4%. Some banks offer mortgages in the currency of your choice. The bank will appraise the property value. This appraised value often corresponds to the market value. Residents may get mortgages with longer maturities.

Law & Regulaions

Resident vs non-resident
If you live more than 6 months a year in Spain, you are obliged to apply for a residency (Residencia). It takes 3-4 months to obtain residency, and it is normally valid for 5 years. To obtain residency, you need regular income (for example pension benefits), income from Spain, or you own a property in Spain. Residency status induces rights and obligations similar to Spanish citizens. If you wish to move permanently, you should check your situation with a tax expert.
Tax Considerations
If you are a resident, you will have to pay taxes to Spain. However, beware that Spanish wealth taxes have a maximum marginal rate at 2,5%, which are high in European terms. The capital gains tax is 20% if the stock has been owned for 2 years. You should also look into inheritance taxation issues. We recommend that you consider setting up a will to be registered with the Spanish notary. This would significantly simplify the settlement procedures in the event of death. This will cost about ESP 25.000 to register.
Social benefits
Residents have the same rights and obligations as Spanish citizens. The benefits are particularly important with respect to health services and subsidised medicine. Residents of Spain going abroad on vacation must fill in an E111 form to ensure medical treatment in another country. Non-residents, who live part of the year in Spain, should bring an E111 form from their home country to Spain to ensure medical treatment in Spain. The private health services in the Marbella area are numerous, and many people chose to buy private health insurance.
Other Matters
  • Spanish social security number (NIE). Everyone, who purchases a property or opens a bank account in Spain, must have an NIE-number. The authorities use this number to identify tax payments etc. It takes a few weeks to obtain this number.
  • Car. Residents are only allowed to drive a Spanish-registered car in Spain. Non-residents may drive a foreign-registered car up to 6 months per year.
  • Driver's license. Residents must convert their foreign license to a Spanish license. Non-residents may use their home-country license if they stay less than 6 months in Spain.
The responsibility of Marbella Eiendom
All information given is meant to be informative and could be subject to change. Marbella Eiendom will not in any case be held responsible for the use of this information. It is the full responsibility of each person to get acquainted with the applicable laws and regulations.

Marbella Eiendom is an agent and will provide information on the properties supplied by our partners and facilitate the purchase process for our clients. We will not take physical part of any money transfers between the buyer and seller. All transactions will be channelled through our licensed Spanish partner and their lawyers who have bank guaranteed client accounts.

Privacy Policy

We have prepared this privacy statement in order to demonstrate our firm commitment to privacy. The following discloses the information gathering and dissemination practices for this Web site.

Personal Information
Given the nature of our business and in order to provide you with best personal services, we do request you to supply or openly collect, limited personal information which personally identifies you or allows you to be personally contacted. However, we hold all such information in strictest confidence and shall never share any of your personal information with any third party except with the Owner/s of the Properties on whose behalf we aim to conduct the sale. We further confirm that such personal information shall never be used for any unlawful purposes.
We may or may not use an outside ad company to display ads on our site. These ads may contain cookies. While we may use cookies in other parts of our Web site for the purpose of tracking visitor trend (such as in Counters/Raw Log files), cookies received with banner ads may be collected by our ad company, and we do not have access to this information.
External Links
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Mailing List
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Marbella Eiendom AS 
Phone +47 97121313