All Things Real Estate: Taking a look at the market in Spain

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Turn Key Real Estate 31RA0874656

All Things Real Estate: 

All Things Real Estate: Many market lessons learned on trip to Spain

Being in Madrid, Spain, for the first time over the last few days has been an eye-opener to say the least. I am here on business and will be going to Seville to meet with my Global Committee.   We have an MOU (memorandum of understanding) to facilitate and grow our long-term relationships with the Realtors, so we may successfully perform & complete current and future real estate transactions here with our American investors and purchasers and other countries’ clients and with the Spanish investors back in the States.

I became one of the 3,720 C.I.P.S. (Certified International Property Specialist) Designees many years ago out of 7.2 million agents around the globe.  This has had a major impact on connections and networking, leading to many successful transactions here and with those in other countries.  Volunteering on our global as well as other local and National Association of Realtors Committees has enabled us to learn so much more about many other cultures. We can absorb and apply the local customs to be more knowledgeable when meeting current and future clientele from around the globe.

We also have a multitude of MOUs with other European, Asian and South American countries, too. Being involved at the local, national and international level puts us in a prominent position with our network and clientele that is second to none in the real estate industry.

I have never experienced such vast and varied, inspiring classic architecture from 250 to more than 800 years old.  The crucial reason is that the structures throughout the years have been attended to and continue to be in quite amazing and pristine condition. The government and private sector money is always being proactive and on top of all used to make necessary repairs and upgrades to keep all their buildings in tip-top condition.  Nothing gets left behind and the palaces and other structures are in such perfect condition that you wouldn’t know they are as old as they are. But they are in absolutely spectacular showroom appearance and condition.

The United States is in its infancy in terms of our construction and has many, many years to go and I doubt that our buildings will be comparable.  And will they last for hundreds of years into the future? Our architecture is so vastly different and is not generally considered classic from the Renaissance or Baroque periods, although some of the details could be construed from early 18th and 19th century European descent.

In Europe, however, they used more permanent materials and vinyl or aluminum siding is truly looked down upon as inferior material.  The way things were constructed and methods used back then were and even now are always with the idea of permanence and to last forever.  Unfortunately, much of our residential and commercial construction that has been built in the past had obsolescence built into the construction (like all our appliances and other goods today which maybe last eight-12 years) to be replaced every 50-100 years.

In the past it has always been about the money and the economy, not what’s best for the cities, towns or local villages to preserve and be eco-friendly.  However, it appears that  more and more the ideas of sustainability and more permanent structures that use less energy with solar and energy cells, recycling rainwater to irrigate plantings and that use materials that are more friendly to the environment with less polluting components are now taking hold and are becoming a requirement and standard procedure in many localities throughout the United States.

Having a L.E.E.D. (Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design) certified rated building of of Silver, Gold or Platinum is now a standard building code in many areas of the U.S. and will be part of all codes in the future.  My son, Matt, has an engineering degree and earned his L.E.E.D. Certified designation many years ago when it wasn’t exactly in fashion, but he saw the future and it is extremely important in today’s construction.  Europe in many ways has been practicing these methods for years and it is evident in how they retrofit and upgrade their buildings.

Properties in the capital city of Madrid can be considerably less or even more than prices in New York City but can vary depending on the locality of the units.  Prices can range from $500,000 Euros into the millions of Euros for a four-bedroom/two-bath flat w/a terrace w/an elevator in good condition. Down payments are usually a minimum of 30% or 70% loan to value (normally in the U.S. it’s 20%).

Rents can be 5,000 Euros per month, which is somewhat comparable to the United States.  It all depends on the location.  Mortgage rates as of the third quarter of 2021 were 2-2.5% for a maximum of 20 years and with the borrower age limit at 70 years.  Everything is based on Euro denominations and the Euro at this time is one dollar equals 0.945626 Euro.

Madrid, Spain can be an excellent place to retire as an expatriate, but do some thorough research before pulling the trigger and come and visit for a week or two.

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Comments (4)

Barry McCormack
Ultimate Homes - Autaugaville, AL
Homes in Spain for your dreams

Delighted to hear you are enjoying your trip to Madrid.

I'm a real estate agent located in a coastal town called Altea, a bohemian white village (pueblo blanco) in the Alicante region of Spain, we enjoy first and foremost an amazing climate, a beautiful coastline and also some great architecture - a blessing to live and work here.

My wife is originally from Madrid and my daughter is at university there now, so I know Madrid pretty well. As capital cities go (in Europe anyway) it is very economical to buy and to rent.

May 31, 2022 12:01 AM
Philip A. Raices

Hey Barry, GM  My trip to Madrid and Sevilla, was quite amazing and off-the-hook as business/vacation trips go and I fell in love with Spain! 

I had never been to Europe before (better late than never!) and don't ask why because I don't have a logical answer outside of previously being a "true workaholic" which I have now realized one thing, that there is life and a huge world to explore (which I never really grasped the concept until later on)and it's a test that I provide all our agents.  What one word = $$$ + Time, that 90+% of the world's population will never experience?  You and everyone else that reads my response, gets 3 guesses as well.  I am very curious as to the answers.  I have only had 3 individuals come up with the correct answer in 51 years.  I came up with this concept in college;  4I had never seen or experienced such construction of buildings from 250 to almost 1000 yrs old; and in perfect pristine condition.  Although our country is a baby in terms of age, 346 years young compared with Spain that is approximately 543 years old.  But the architecture is so so impressive it is hard to comprehend what talented and professional artisans and craftsmen of the day assisted in the building of these massive structures.  The ornate and appliques and designs that were created especially on the exterior of most major buildings actually blew me away and I was in awe as to the beauty and details and I couldn't put down my iPhone 12ProMax; as I was quite busy snapping photos and taking videos. 

I will be going back again and this time to Barcelona as well as to Ibiza (heard about his place many years ago on a weekly show, if you remember, called "Wild On" hosted by Brooke Burke.  Malaga is another destination point that I will consider too, as one of my Global Committee members had did an excursion there and said the beaches were magnificent!

I also realize there will be no "U-Haul Behind our Hearses" so we will not be taking anything with us except our "Souls" and "Memories."  So it's time to build up and accumulate more "Memories" and the way to do this is family and global trips!  (sorry for the long rant, but I am a journalist too and love to write as I create a weekly real estate/business column that 125,000+ homeowners, realtors and consumers subscribe too!

Jun 01, 2022 07:35 AM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

I love Spanish real estate… I am building a home in Estepona and the new girlfriend from Slovenia loves Marbella!!

May 31, 2022 12:12 AM
Philip A. Raices

Hey Paddy, GM😄,

Estapona is a beautiful port location.  Just curious as to what made you decide on that town?  Marbella is near by as is Malaga, so I will add this to my list of places to visit the next time I go back to Spain, and if you would like, I'll pay you a visit, is I know your address!  Good luck with your build!

Jun 01, 2022 07:48 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Thank you for sharing ... enjoy your visit in Madrid!  

May 31, 2022 09:12 AM
Philip A. Raices

Hi Diana,

It was the most awesome trip that I have ever embarked upon.  You don't know what you are missing until to begin to travel, so it's in my blood and will be doing quite a lot more of it going forward!


Jun 01, 2022 07:51 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Very interesting post!  I've been to Spain a few years back, beautiful place.  LOVE the architecture!  As a former director at my Scottsdale Association I've heard of the Global Committee.  nice to see a member!  We have a few members in Scottsdale. Good for you

LOVE that you have expanded your knowledge into sustainability as a LEED GA.  Yes, LEED commercial buildings are in demand. In Phoenix, we are in the top 20 cities in the US for LEED Certified buildings. 


As a volunteer with USGBC, Arizona Chapter, I highly recommend realtors understand that certification, but most importantly, other re-sale certifications since LEED is expensive.  NAHB offers the National Green Building Standard, which is less costly and easier to attain; there's also Pearl and a variety of other green building certifications with different points based or other methods used to certify them.  

Jun 01, 2022 12:34 PM
Philip A. Raices

GM Jan,  Thank you for your comment.  I just found out that <1/10 of 1% agents volunteer for committees and probably the same seek higher education through designations, e.g. G.R.I., C.I.P.S. or my most recent designation the N.A.R. Green Designation.  Most agents do not understand the value of those designations and how it puts you in a stronger position, knowledge wise as well as potential earnings.

BTW, how is your market the last few weeks?  Last Wed, June 8th CNBC reported the lowest number of mortgage applications since 2018.  I think the top has been reached in prices and adjustments are and will be made going forward.  However, due to the severe lack of inventory, I firmly believe it will take 3-5 years for it to become normal, e.g. 6-7 months

Jun 14, 2022 05:53 AM