House Hunting in … Spain

House Hunting in … Spain

Interest in property there, she noted, is driven by the low crime levels, the availability of land for horses and by “hobby farmers” interested in income from crops. This home, she said, could also be converted into a small hotel, another option popular with today’s buyers.

WHO BUYS IN SEVILLE

According to the Spanish Land Registry, foreigners bought 13.8 percent of the homes in Andalusia last year.

The British have long been the largest group of foreign buyers in Andalusia, although there have been fewer British buyers “since the Brexit announcement,” Ms. Karlsen said, referring to Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. In recent months, she said, she has also seen buyers from Scandinavia, France, Belgium, Germany and Romania.

While most international buyers are looking for a second home or a place to retire, agents said, others are looking for homes to buy as an investment and for rental income.

But the Seville area tends to be more of a “local” market, said Ms. Maya of Engel & Völkers Spain, attracting buyers from elsewhere in the country, particularly Madrid, who “decide to buy when the economy is going well and when buying in the capital is no longer possible for their budgets.”

BUYING BASICS

There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Spain, although nonresidents must first obtain a tax identification number. There is also a Golden Visa program that provides residency status to noncitizens who invest at least 500,000 euros (or about $588,000) in a property.

But foreign buyers would be advised to hire a lawyer to guide them through the process, as “the Spanish housing market lacks transparency,” Mr. Stucklin said.

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