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Property Options and Types

Spain - Property Options and Types

Spain’s property types range from small studio apartments to large villas, so the country has something to suit everybody. In addition there are properties which are unique to the region that they are in.

An apartment is one of the most popular property types in Spain and many Spanish people prefer apartment living. If you choose one of the resort areas such as the Costa del Sol or Benidorm then you will find that the vast majority of property that is available is apartments (apartamento). Most have these have been developed with the tourist market in mind and come in all shapes and sizes. There are many apartment blocks which are filled with small studios, and these are aimed at holiday makers or those who want a second home for brief holidays in the sun. Modern developments for those who have more to spend may have luxurious fittings such as marble floors. Those who live in apartments in Spain are obliged by law to respect the rules of the apartment building they are in and any management fees and charges must be paid promptly.

Townhouses (casa adosada) are often found in towns and cities, usually set out in a square with either a communal garden or a swimming pool in the centre. The houses are terraced and they can usually be found in the suburbs. Where this type of house is found in a coastal town they are often whitewashed or painted different colours. This type of property has a lot more space as the living area is spread over at least three floors, often with basements and roof terraces. There is not usually much of a garden. Again there are community rules and charges to be met.

Many people will move to Spain hoping to find a villa. Detached homes like this cannot often be found in a town or city except those owned by the very wealthy. However, this type of house is readily available on the coast and many are used as second homes. There are those which have been built as part of a complex, with shared gardens and pools but there are others which are set in their own grounds. Those villas which date from the 1960s or 1970s are usually single-storey properties, and these can be found at a reasonable price as they often need some renovation work. Newer homes will normally have two storeys and a great deal more space. These can often be very expensive, particularly in some parts of the Costa del Sol.

There are housing estates in Spain which are known as urbanizations. They will include properties of all types and these are often found in resort towns, so many are used simply as holiday homes. Some of these estates are fairly small but there are others which are made of hundreds of properties and will have their own shops, leisure facilities and transport system. One of the advantages is that there are many expats that choose this type of community so there are usually social clubs already in existence to join so that you can get to know others, but they are not so good for those who wish to immerse themselves in Spanish culture.

Properties in the country tend to be more affordable than those on the coast and more and more expats are looking inland for a property. Most properties in rural areas are referred to as ‘fincas’, which is a term which is used to describe anything from a cottage to an old farmhouse. Many of these need some renovation work doing and many come complete with a good parcel of land. A property such as this gives the homeowner the opportunity to experience traditional Spanish life.

When buying in Spain there is a fairly even split between those who opt for an older property and those who want a modern new-build. Development is ongoing in many areas of the country, particularly in coastal regions and it is possible to purchase off-plan at a very reasonable price. Many new developments are apartments. Older properties are generally being sold by former owners rather than developers and expats are often able to find a bargain if they are prepared to do a little renovation work. Shared ownership is not an option that is popular in Spain.

Read more about this country

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.