Types of Property in Spain


Move to Spain types of property

Spain offers a wealth of different types of property from studio apartments to luxury palaces with just about everything in between.

Whether you’re renting or buying a property in Spain, you’ll find a wide range on the market.

To help you make a considered decision, this article looks at the different types of property available and the pros and cons of each one.

Apartments in Spain

Unlike other European countries where houses are the most popular type of property, most Spaniards live in apartments (apartamentos) or flats (pisos).

Tower blocks form part of the horizon in almost all towns and cities in Spain, particularly in resort areas along the seafront.

Quality of construction in apartments varies hugely as do fittings and fixtures.

While the most common are two-bedroom apartments, you’ll also find small studios and large penthouse properties with up to four or five bedrooms.

Onsite facilities range from little more than an entrance hall, perhaps with a doorman/ concierge, to communal gardens with a pool, sports facilities and 24-hour security.

Storage facilities can be limited, although some blocks include designated storage rooms, and there may not be private parking.

The advantages:

  • Low maintenance.
  • Use of communal facilities without the hard work.
  • Local amenities such as shops, banks and public transport within walking distance.

The disadvantages:

  • Noisy neighbours (possibly on all sides).
  • Potentially high community fees.
  • Over-crowding in high season if the apartment is in a resort area.

Townhouses in Spain

Townhouses (casas adosadas) generally come as rows of terraced houses situated around communal gardens, often with a pool.

They’re popular in resort areas and in suburbs of major cities, particularly Madrid and Barcelona. Townhouses feature lots of space – most have at least three bedrooms – and often include basement parking and a rooftop terrace.

The pros

  • Spacious properties often with plenty of storage.
  • Use of communal facilities without the hard work.
  • More privacy than an apartment.

The cons

  • Over-crowding on the complex in high season if the townhouse is in a resort area.
  • Noisy neighbours.
  • Possibly high community fees

Detached villas

Perhaps the least common type of property in Spain, detached villas (casas or chalets) tend to be located in resort areas where they cater for foreign buyers or wealthy Spaniards who use them as second homes.

Some villas form part of a complex and may share communal facilities such as a pool, while others are completely separate properties with private grounds.

The benefits

  • Privacy.
  • Low or no community fees.
  • Better potential for peace and quiet.

The drawbacks

  • You pay all maintenance costs.
  • More expensive than other properties in Spain.
  • May be isolated and some distance from amenities.

Country properties in Spain

Many foreigners choose to buy a property in the countryside in Spain where there’s also plenty of choice. You may decide to go for a country cottage, farmhouse or modern property.

The purchase usually includes land, which ranges from a small garden to acres of fields with orchards or olive groves.

The advantages

  • Chance to experience the real Spain.
  • Generally cheaper property prices.
  • Lower property rates.

The disadvantages

  • Potential for high maintenance.
  • Utility supplies are not guaranteed.
  • Amenities may be some distance away.

Regional property types

In the different regions of Spain, you’ll find the following property types, mostly located in the country.

In Andalusia – farmhouses are called cortijos in southern Spain. They’re usually whitewashed with small windows covered in iron grills on estates, known as fincas, often with olive groves and/or farmland.

In the Balearics and Catalonia – country properties in the northeast of Spain are known as masías. They tend to be made of stone and wood, and often have small balconies on the façade. Most come with land, possibly with olive groves and/or vineyards.

In Galicia – country houses in north-west Spain are called pazos. These large homes, often with painted or stone façades, have gardens, often ornamental and may be part of a larger estate.

Caves – you’ll also find cave properties in Spain, particularly in Andalusia in the provinces of Granada and Almería, in Murcia and the Canaries.

Despite their often small façade, caves (cuevas) can be surprisingly large and contain several bedrooms.