Buying Property in Barcelona in 2024? District Prices & Legal Advice

Discover the best neighbourhoods, pricing strategies, and insider tips for buying property in Barcelona - one of Spain's most vibrant cities.
Article Last Updated: 19 May, 2024 under Property Purchase
Author: Oscar V.
Profession: Lawyer
Completed cases: 241
Oscar has been assisting English-speakers with legal matters in Barcelona for over 20 years now. He specialises in all matters relating to property conveyances and is experienced in dealing with the full range of property deals - from simple conveyances to complex investments.

Barcelona is a magnificent city which, as a result of its climate, culture, food, architecture, location by the sea - not to mention being within 90 minutes drive of snow resorts in the Pyrenees, has attracted many foreign citizens to make it their home.

However, as a lawyer who helps foreign citizens to buy property in Barcelona, I am more aware than most that, just as with any other real estate market, it is vital to take certain precautions if you are considering buying property in Barcelona.

Often, foreign citizens who decide to buy property in Barcelona, are either already living here, or previously did so - indeed, many people elect to rent property in Barcelona before they choose to own property here. This of course, has the benefit of allowing the person to become familiar with Barcelona before investing in the local property market.

When you are thinking about investing in property in another country, it is important to be aware that there can be limitations and even negative aspects of certain property types and locations, which may not exist in your own country. Assuming that the same laws apply is an easy trap to fall into, and should be guarded against. Make sure to read our overall guide to buying real estate in Spain before you make an investment.

For example, an apartment overlooking a picturesque square in central Barcelona may seem delightful until you are woken-up regularly at 4am by the noise created by people wanting to party on all night long, quite often tourists. Clear to some, not so obvious to others, and certainly not mentioned in the Real Estate Agent's listing.

In this article, we will try to provide some useful information - not just on the legal requirements for buying property in Barcelona - but also the financial and practical steps you need to take when making such an important investment.

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1. Can foreigners buy property in Barcelona?

The first hurdle to overcome, perhaps, is the most practical of them all - are you able to buy property in Barcelona if you are not a resident here. Currently, there are no obstacles to prevent a foreigner from purchasing a property in Barcelona.

Another question is whether a foreigner buying property can remain in Barcelona indefinitely. Any EU citizen may live indefinitely in Barcelona, while anyone else will require a visa if they plan to stay in Spain more than 90 days in any 180-day period, as per the Schengen rules.

If you are in a long-term relationship with an EU/Spanish national, and fulfill the legal requirements, then you may register this relationship with the Spanish immigration authorities and be permitted to remain here. Likewise, if you are married to an EU or Spanish citizen.

Another, more expensive option, currently available, would be to avail of the golden visa Spain programme, which allows participants investing more than €500,000 in property in Spain, may live and work here.

An alternative is the visa option that allows those with sufficient income to live here in Spain, without the right to work. So, normally the income would come from the rental market in another country or a pension or company dividends. Known as the non-lucrative visa in Spain, it is particularly relevant to British citizens planning a retirement in Spain

Finally, the new digital nomad visa provides options for those foreign buyers who, as non-EU citizens, wish to live in Spain and buy property in Barcelona.

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2. The Barcelona Property market

Given that it is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, it is not surprising that most seek to buy a flat in Barcelona. Houses do, of course, exist in Barcelona, but they tend to be further from the centre and outside the reach of most budgets, being in the multi-million price bracket.

So, most people who are buying property in Barcelona will be buying a flat in Barcelona. Apartments can be old or new, with views over the sea, the hills or nothing more than the internal patio or an identical apartment across the street.

Below is a list of the evolution of average price paid per square metre, in Barcelona, between 2013 and 2022 as per the Barcelona Town Hall. This list of average prices is divided into all of the Barcelona city districts:

 

Barcelona District Prices

Price comparison of different districts in Barcelona from 2013 to 2022 (Euros per square metre).

District 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Barcelona (city average) 3,019 3,188 3,392 3,879 4,284 4,344 4,115 4,009 3,932 4,058
El Raval 2,614 2,404 2,775 3,251 4,029 4,034 4,591 3,587 3,409 3,374
El Barri Gòtic 3,811 3,791 4,236 4,813 4,884 4,660 4,811 4,717 4,351 5,186
La Barceloneta 4,212 4,168 4,043 4,683 5,165 4,815 4,849 4,763 4,672 4,732
Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i La Ribera 3,534 3,682 3,827 4,501 5,152 4,689 4,720 4,837 4,778 4,705
El Fort Pienc 3,038 3,022 3,228 4,012 4,107 4,500 4,250 4,091 4,428 4,644
La Sagrada Família 3,029 2,959 3,187 3,746 4,209 4,202 4,173 4,088 4,060 4,279
La Dreta de l'Eixample 4,296 4,528 4,961 5,949 6,332 6,128 5,514 5,395 5,666 6,267
L'Antiga Esquerra de l'Eixample 3,521 3,551 3,999 4,747 5,091 5,081 5,197 5,190 5,234 5,361
La Nova Esquerra de l'Eixample 3,158 3,292 3,340 4,085 4,465 4,797 4,634 4,312 4,238 4,389
Sant Antoni 2,926 3,000 3,369 3,817 4,591 4,530 4,412 4,219 4,170 4,231
El Poble Sec - AEI Parc Montjuïc 2,495 2,518 2,815 2,771 3,936 4,083 3,911 3,716 3,670 3,599
La Marina del Prat Vermell - AEI Zona Franca No data
La Marina de Port 2,162 2,080 2,174 2,348 2,723 2,879 2,819 2,861 2,588 2,778
La Font de la Guatlla No data 2,580 3,510 3,457 3,893 3,856 3,281 3,673
Hostafrancs No data 2,719 2,742 2,970 3,912 3,398 3,915 3,467 3,493
La Bordeta No data 2,323 2,361 2,829 3,171 3,153 3,114 3,128 3,255
Sants-Badal 2,875 2,392 2,607 3,127 3,469 3,429 3,183 3,239 3,265 3,261
Sants 2,633 2,511 2,816 3,181 3,266 3,556 3,642 3,705 3,621 3,687
Les Corts 3,597 3,712 3,825 4,469 4,821 4,650 4,469 4,654 4,563 4,690
La Maternitat i Sant Ramon 3,262 3,296 3,281 3,875 4,339 4,057 4,043 3,918 3,881 4,305
Pedralbes 4,914 5,185 5,436 5,689 6,340 6,206 6,197 6,460 5,976 6,406
Vallvidrera, el Tibidabo i les Planes No data 3,531 3,579 4,263 3,888 No data
Sarrià 4,384 4,472 4,704 5,824 6,042 5,983 5,743 5,753 5,578 5,632
Les Tres Torres 4,609 4,866 5,243 5,828 5,955 6,248 6,159 5,825 5,735 5,757
La Bonanova 4,788 4,836 5,257 5,970 6,104 6,069 5,998 6,092 5,826 5,814
El Putget i Farró 3,641 3,878 4,278 4,888 5,035 5,136 5,112 5,002 5,167 5,300
Vallcarca i els Penitents 2,691 2,839 3,107 3,531 3,796 3,691 3,666 3,552 3,724 3,759
El Coll 2,553 2,498 2,579 2,912 3,084 3,139 2,978 2,961 2,929 3,161
La Salut 3,069 2,985 3,272 3,785 3,946 4,020 3,887 3,777 3,817 3,814
La Vila de Gràcia 3,379 3,272 3,554 4,244 4,476 4,494 4,244 4,091 4,121 4,221
El Camp d'en Grassot i Gràcia Nova 3,206 3,210 3,430 3,951 4,127 4,298 4,205 4,065 4,129 4,315
Baix Guinardó 2,941 2,909 2,961 3,267 3,547 3,540 3,427 3,319 3,396 3,469
Can Baró 2,738 2,778 2,923 3,282 3,479 3,348 3,394 3,211 3,137 3,229
El Guinardó 2,643 2,706 2,855 3,209 3,398 3,444 3,252 3,197 3,240 3,321
La Font d'en Fargues 2,841 2,949 3,132 3,599 3,756 3,610 3,556 3,452 3,580 3,711
El Carmel 2,288 2,273 2,317 2,635 2,782 2,705 2,611 2,560 2,579 2,692
La Teixonera 2,292 2,306 2,292 2,536 2,732 2,739 2,711 2,586 2,589 2,686
Montbau 2,802 2,752 2,766 2,993 3,169 3,249 3,007 3,009 3,086 3,143
La Vall d'Hebron 2,387 2,491 2,491 2,787 2,920 2,870 2,857 2,861 2,868 2,931
La Clota No data 3,215 2,970 2,849
Horta 2,528 2,579 2,619 3,038 3,221 3,123 2,982 3,025 2,979 3,161
Vilapicina i la Torre Llobeta 2,320 2,353 2,478 2,842 3,084 3,060 2,839 2,798 2,841 2,921
Porta 2,344 2,410 2,566 2,898 3,027 3,086 2,834 2,882 2,834 2,955
El Turó de la Peira 2,030 2,031 2,106 2,462 2,668 2,574 2,395 2,435 2,384 2,486
Can Peguera No data 1,719 1,887 2,176 No data 2,470
La Guineueta No data 2,681 2,498 2,778 2,982
Canyelles 1,733 1,538 1,529 1,644 1,885 2,009 2,176 2,097 2,085 1,997
Les Roquetes 1,733 1,538 1,529 1,644 1,885 2,009 2,176 2,097 2,085 1,997
Verdun No data 1,971 1,710 1,853 2,331 2,420 2,407 2,503 2,319
La Prosperitat 2,001 1,910 1,861 1,940 2,213 2,489 2,684 2,446 2,385 2,474
La Trinitat Nova No data 2,275 2,200 2,105 2,147 No data
Torre Baró 1,426 1,281 1,212 1,313 1,498 No data 1,727 1,690 1,776
Ciutat Meridiana 1,426 1,281 1,212 1,313 1,498 No data 1,727 1,690 1,776
Vallbona 1,426 1,281 1,212 1,313 1,498 No data 1,727 1,690 1,776
La Trinitat Vella 1,612 1,557 1,394 1,438 1,776 1,764 1,926 1,809 1,763 1,974
Baró de Viver No data 2,330 No data 2,375 2,533 2,420 2,365
El Bon Pastor No data 2,330 2,379 2,391 2,757 2,210 2,414 2,380 2,235
Sant Andreu 2,330 2,379 2,391 2,757 3,206 3,317 3,161 3,294 3,371
La Sagrera 2,423 2,218 2,498 2,696 3,296 3,263 3,286 3,250 3,173 3,519
El Congrés i els Indians No data 2,216 2,473 No data 3,272 3,271 3,007 3,274
Navas No data 2,362 2,401 2,720 3,029 3,279 3,560 3,503
El Camp de l'Arpa del Clot 2,482 2,602 2,619 3,159 3,561 3,654 3,605 3,555 3,741 3,725
El Clot 2,509 2,246 2,505 3,144 3,524 3,803 3,822 3,767 3,645 3,644

 

Normally, the purchase price will increase if the apartment has a private outdoor terrace, especially if that is not overlooked (almost impossible) and has pleasant views. In Barcelona the most expensive will have sea views, though mountain views are also usually highlighted in the marketing blurb. Also sought after are views over a nice square.

However, as previously mentioned, you will also need to factor in elements such as anti-social noise pollution as well as traffic noise and noise/odours from nearby eating establishments and bars or restaurants.

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A premium price may also attach to areas of the city considered to have good local schools and/or amenities, such as Sarría or Pedralbes.

Of course, it is worth restating that these are average house prices in each district, and you will need to factor in variables such as large outdoor terrace, nice views, high/low traffic noise etc in order to determine whether the asking price is appropriate are not.

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3. Barcelona City Districts

4. Ciutat Vella

As stated, most who are interested in buying property in Barcelona will be quite knowledgeable about the different Barcelona districts and what they have to offer. Still, for those who are new to Barcelona, below is a very brief synopsis of the different areas and will put some of the prices per square metre listed above, into context.

The centre of Barcelona comprises the area occupied by the original walled city - also known as Ciutat Vella (Catalan for Old Town) and today can be said to comprise of the districts of the Barrio Gotico, El Born and El Raval. as well as La Barceloneta, which is the area between the centre and the beach.

The benefits of buying a property here is that you are right in ground-zero and in walking distance of many of the cities attractions, including bars, eateries and nightlife.

As against that, you are likely live so close to your neighbout that you might be able to literally touch your neighbour if you stretch out of a window. Also, the noise levels can be extreme, despite regulations imposed by the city council prohibiting bars from serving customers on terraces outdoors after 12pm.

Typical price per square metre ranges between €3,370 in the less savoury parts of El Raval to just over €5,000 for the nicest parts of El Gotico or indeed La Barceloneta with views to the sea.

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5. L'Eixample

Surrounding the centre of the old town, is the Eixample district, originally built in the 18th century, with large, impressive town houses. It is often referred to as the ‘new left’, the 'old left' or the ‘right’ Eixample, depending on which part you are referring to, and stretches from Sagrada Familia to Sants, separated from the city centre by the Plaça de Catalunya and the Gran Via.

These homes were originally destined for the cities wealthy merchants, seeking to distance themselves from the ever present dangers of filth and disease prevalent in the old city.

These huge homes have long since been converted into individual apartments, though apartments with their original features are not uncommon. They offer somewhat more modern homes, with perhaps more space, though those located beside larger road arteries suffer from significant noise issues. You will also find modernist buildings in this area, by renowned architets such as Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Josep Puig i Cadafalch and, of course, the ubiquitous Antoni Gaudí.

Properties in this zone take into account proximity to the city centre, without the downsides of living in the Old Town. Prices range from approx. €4,500 - €6500 per square metre.

6. Grácia

Other districts of note in Barcelona include Grácia, originally built to house the workers who built the Eixample district. The buildings in Gràcia tend to be less high-rise than the majority of the city, yet it is still relatively close to the city centre. 

It has many squares as well as bars and restaurants, making for a lively nightlife. Many small designers have workshops in the area where they showcase their products and sell their wares. Car parking is complicated in this area, though it is well serviced by public transport.

Some prefer the areas adjacent to Gràcia itself, to enjoy the benefits of having a lively area with bars and restaurants as well as quirky, unique shops, without having to suffer late night noise.

Property prices per square metre vary between €4000 - €5000.

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7. Les Corts

Les Corts is one of the ten districts of Barcelona, ​​consisting of the neighborhoods of Les Corts, Pedralbes, and La Maternitat i Sant Ramon. It is one of the most expensive areas of Barcelona, not just because of the elevated prices per square metre, but also because in some areas, the properties themselves are sizeable, with private gardens and swimming pools.

The district has many upmarket shopping areas and boulevards, as well as 25 private schools and a number of private hospitals and clinics. Barcelona Football Club stadium is to be found in the area.

The three districts that comprise Les Corts represent three different classes of living, with Pedralbes being an exclusive and expensive area, while Les Corts would be a upper-middle class area, La Maternitat somewhat less so. In none of these areas would you find many examples of Barcelona's famed Gaudi inspired architecture, though it is a sought-after neigbourhood that families in particular are keen to settle-down in. 

Property prices per square metre vary between €4400 - €6500.

8. Sants-Montjuic

Representing both mountain and sea, this area is to be found south of the Old Town/L'Eixample areas. It is a relatively large district consisting of the Montjuic hills with walking trails that last for hours, and dotted with museums and various tourist attractions such as Pueblo Español, the depiction of the various styles of architecture to be found in the different regions of Spain.

At the foot of Montjuic you will find the Plaza España with its Bull Ring since converted to shopping centre with roof-top restaurants. This is home to the Royal Palace and the Mobile International Congress is held in it's huge convention centres.

Closer to Sants you will find a more urban area with plenty of night-life and, of course, the eponymous Sants train station, the biggest in Barcelona.

This area is popular with regular commuters and families, given its mix of more affordable residential and retail options.

Property prices per square metre vary between €3300 - €3800.

9. Poblenou (Sant Martí)

Poblenou is a district next to the Olympic Village built for the 1992 Olympic Games. It offers proximity to both the city centre, and the sea, however is also renowned for being the location of multiple nightclubs, so care must be taken to avoid being next to or near one of these, if you value peace and quiet.

Also in the Sant Martí district, and more family friendly perhaps, you will find the Diagonal Mar shopping centre. Next to this, are seaside apartment blocks that are among the most expensive real estate in Barcelona. 

Property prices per square metre vary between €4800 - €7500.

10. Finding a Property in Barcelona

Usually the first stop for those who want to sell a flat in Barcelona is to visit their local estate agents to put their property on the market, so this is where you are likely to find what you are looking for.

Real estate agents here typically come in 2 flavours in Spain - large chains such as Technocasa, Don Piso and Engels & Volkers (who seem to specialise in luxury properties) come to mind, and other, smaller, more local real estate agents.

Estate agent fees are typically the responsibility of the seller, though care should be taken by the buyer when this seller's estate agent asks you to sign a reservation contract since this does not of itself - unless specifically stated - remove the property from the market.

It is therefore important for anyone buying Spanish property that they understand the role of the 'arras' contract. This is effectively a 'contract to contract' and establishes which property will be bought by whom, from whom, at what price and when.

Failure to adhere to the terms of the arras contract will typically cause the buyer to forfeit any deposit paid - often a considerable sum, up to 10% of the purchase price of the property, while the seller can expect to lose double the amount of the deposit if they are the responsible party for the failure of the arras contract.

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Whether you are buying a holiday home, permanent residence or even a commercial property in Spain, it can be necessary - and even tax efficient - to arrange financing. 

Unfortunately, for many foreign buyers, this can be problematic due to:

  • Dealing with incomprehensible and unending documentation requests,
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  • At the mercy of the banks who know they are dealing with clients who have greater difficulty to ‘shop around’
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The mortgage brokers gather and prepare the necessary documentation, which can be particularly challenging for non-residents unfamiliar with Spain's bureaucratic requirements.

Ultimately, the mortgage brokers goal is to ensure that you get a much better deal, and by reducing the overall cost of repayment of your mortgage substantially, they more than justify their fee. 

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11. Financing your property Purchase in Barcelona

Most people who plan to buy property - whether in Barcelona or elsewhere, are unlikely to be able to fund 100% of the purchase price from savings or personal wealth. 

However, the Spanish property market is unusual in this regard, since many foreign buyers are in fact pensioners who are deciding to retire to Spain and so, may be investing the proceeds of sale of a property in the UK, in which they have seen their equity grow enormously in the last 30 - 40 years.

That said, the profile of typical foreign buyers of property in Barcelona, tends to be somewhat younger and typically, they will end-up speaking to a Spanish bank about a mortgage to help finance the purchase. Given the value of property in Barcelona, it is important to consider the financial impact of all decisions at this time. Fore additional information, see our article on the costs of buying property in Spain

Getting a mortgage in Spain is as straight forward and difficult as in any other European country.

Typically, if you are a non-resident in Spain, you will be offered a lower loan to value mortgage than residents.

Obviously the amount of any loan will depend on the property price, the amount of deposit provided by the buyer and the ability to repay the loan.

Also relevant will be the purpose for which you are buying the property - is it to be a principal private resident, a holiday home, an investment property etc, since a Spanish bank will be prepared to offer a higher or lower loan to value amount, depending on the purpose of the property purchase.

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Current homeowners and those planning to invest in a second-hand property may wish to extend or upgrade the property. Indeed it is often the case that buyers acquire a property on the basis that they will be able to extend or refurbish the property to make it suitable for their purposes.

Property extensions will in most cases require planning approval and the assistance of a local architect to whom you can convey your plans and obtain expert advice on the viability of those plans.

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12. Getting a survey of the property

If you are using a mortgage to finance the purchase of the property, then you will be obliged by the bank to pay for a survey, which you will not receive too much information about, since, while you are paying for it, the objective is for the bank to avoid any loss as a result of the transaction.

If you really want to get a detailed survey, you will need to pay for this separately, especially if you want the report written in English. In terms of structural safety it is unlikely that you will need to be concerned, since buildings in the city need to conform with the various building regulations.

However, there are a number of issues that could affect the property that you might feel more assured going ahead with the purchase once you have a surveyor's report.

One such issue that you should be aware of when buying a House in Barcelona is Aluminosis. This is a fault that affects many of the buildings built in the 60s and 70s in Barcelona. During that time, there was a technological innovation whereby aluminium was added to cement which made the cement dry faster, which saved time and construction costs.

What they didn't know at the time, was that over many years humidity would make the cement lose consistency, putting the stability of the building at risk.

This problem does not affect buildings in cities that are far from the coast like Madrid, but in coastal cities where humidity is higher. So, if you are buying a house in Valencia, for example, you should also bear this in mind. during the 80’s and 90’s many buildings had to be demolished for security reasons and others had to undergo extensive, and costly, renovations.

If you buy a property in a building that was built at that time, it is important to make sure which cement was used in its construction, and if so, check if the relevant refurbishments have already been taken place, otherwise it is very possible that in the future they will have to be made with the consequent costs and inconveniences.

On the other hand, this should be seen not only as a challenge, but also as an opportunity. If you are a bargain hunter, a property affected by aluminosis may have a discount for this reason, more than what you would reasonably expect to spend on repairs.

For example, you could potentially get a discount of 50,000 euros for a property with aluminosis, while in the future the restructuring works will cost you 1,000 euros and two weeks of inconvenience.

13. Costs of buying a property in Barcelona

When considering the total costs of buying a property in Barcelona - in addition to the actual purchase price of the property, you might then want to consider the following:

  • Mortgage arrangement fee (plus stamp duty)
  • Surveyor's fee
  • Notary costs (for signing the property deed)
  • Land registry office fees (like a title deed tax)
  • Property Transfer Tax - currently approx. 10% of the value of the property up to €1m, and 11% thereafter. Note, resident tax payers can spread this payment over 12 months. For new properties, VAT is payable at national rate of (for most people) 10%.
  • Legal fees (lawyers in Barcelona will help you to arrange a tax identification number - NIE, necessary for buying a property, preparation/review of the arras contract, preparation/review of the property deeds/notary visit etc)
  • Don't forget to take into account ongoing property taxes that you will be liable to pay as a property owner in Barcelona e.g. Council tax, Community payments as well as non resident property tax in Spain if you are not planning to be resident in Spain

Normally, you will need to set aside approx. 12% - 14% of the value of the property you are buying to cover additional expenses (mostly property tax, in reality).

Provided by Advocate Abroad
NIE Express

Who Is This Service For?

NIE Express
  • For anyone who needs to arrange an NIE (Foreigner Identity Number) in Spain fast!! 
  • Whether for purchasing property, inheriting assets, establishing a business, or paying taxes, the process can often be time-sensitive and require minimal hassle.
  • However, this is where the challenges arise. The NIE application process is overseen by the Spanish National Police or diplomatic services, and as a result, it is typically a slow procedure that can take weeks or even months to complete. 
  • This delay can prove costly for individuals who urgently need to address business or personal matters.

Requirements

Requirements and Conditions:
To apply for a Spanish NIE number, certain requirements and conditions must be met, including:

  1. Not being in an irregular situation in Spain.
  2. Clearly stating the reasons for requesting the assignment of the NIE.

Procedure

  1. The NIE can be obtained in person at the request of the interested party. 
  2. The application can be made directly through the General Directorate of the Police, or it can be submitted through the Foreigner's Offices or Police Stations. 
  3. If the foreigner is not in Spanish territory at the time of the request, the NIE can be requested through the General Directorate of Immigration and Borders, via the Spanish Consular Offices abroad.

Required Documents:
When applying for an NIE, the following documents are typically required:

  1. Completed NIE application form (Form EX15), including personal information.
  2. Identification document from the foreigner's country of origin or passport (original and copy of all pages).
  3. Passport-sized photograph.
  4. Document certifying the reason for requesting the NIE.
  5. For EU residents, proof of residency in Spain is necessary, while non-EU foreigners need to provide proof of entry into Spain.

Benefits

  • Fast NIE Service: - obtain an NIE number in days rather than weeks
  • No need to queue at the local Foreigner's office - all is managed with the simple signing of a Power of Attorney which can be completed in less than 5 minutes at a local notary office
    For those seeking to obtain an NIE quickly, there is a service available that can expedite the process. This service typically includes the following steps:

What Does This Service Consist Of?

  1. The service starts with an initial phone call or office consultation to explain how the service works
  2. Dual language power of attorney provided to you for local notarisation and legalisation wherever you are located and then can be sent directly to our lawyers
  3. Once we receive the paperwork from you, together with payment for the service, your NIE number(s) will be ready within a few days!
Add a NIE Express quote to your legal or tax enquiry?
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14. Cost of Living in Barcelona

Housing Costs

According to analysis carried-out by Kelisto, Barcelona ranks second in the highest property prices, with an average cost of €393,030 for a 90 square meter apartment, which is 114% above the national average of €183,621. Only San Sebastián is more expensive at €511,830. In terms of rental prices, Barcelona tops the list with an average rent of €1,800, which is 104.7% above the national average of €879.

Taxes

  • IBI (Property Tax): Barcelona is not among the top cities with the highest IBI; Soria, Tarragona, and Lleida have the highest rates.
  • Vehicle Circulation Tax: Barcelona, along with several other cities, has a circulation tax rate of €68.16, which is 10.6% above the national average of €61.62.
  • Waste Collection Tax: Barcelona is third in waste collection costs at €156.65 - 76.9% above the average of €88.57, behind San Sebastián and Girona.

Transportation

  • Public Transport: A bus ticket in Barcelona costs €2.40 - 91.6% more than the national average of €1.25, making it the most expensive in Spain.
  • Taxis: Not the highest; San Sebastián holds the top spot.
  • Fuel: The cost of gasoline in Barcelona is not listed among the highest.

Cost of Groceries

Barcelona is not among the top cities for the highest overall grocery basket cost. However, San Sebastián and Palma de Mallorca have the highest prices for common items like bread and milk.

Leisure

Barcelona, along with Madrid, has the highest cinema ticket prices at €9 - 22.7% above the national average of €7.33. For beer, Almería holds the highest price.

In summary, Barcelona stands out for its high rental prices and public transport costs but is not always the most expensive in other categories like taxes, groceries, and leisure activities.



Cost of Living Comparison in Spain

Cost of Living Comparison in Spain

Position City % Above National Average Income (€) Income Ranking
1 San Sebastián 33.44% €39,023 4
2 Barcelona 26.76% €38,226 5
3 Madrid 16.18% €41,830 1
4 Palma de Mallorca 15.73% €34,522 9
5 Bilbao 9.95% €37,242 6
6 Granada 7.89% €26,373 45
7 Valencia 6.25% €31,208 21
8 Pamplona 6.12% €35,430 7
9 Santander 5.66% €31,545 20
10 Málaga 5.04% €27,084 39

15. Property Buying Process in Barcelona

 The following steps are a reasonable summary of the steps normally taken when buying a property in Barcelona:

  1. Begin the search for a property, normally by local estate agents in the district of Barcelona where you would like to live
  2. Consider securing a mortgage, if this will be required
  3. Property found, negotiate price, contact an English-speaking lawyer to handle due diligence
  4. Sign arras contract, which includes agreed purchase price, amount of deposit and date of purchase, as well as repercussions if such terms are not adhered to
  5. Appointment made at notary office to sign the public deeds, along with the representatives of the buyer, seller and bank (if a mortgage is being used)
  6.  Deeds sent to the Land Registry for registration of the new title to the property

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Our Lawyers

Raffaele, Lawyer in Barcelona ...
Raffaele is a registered lawyer in Barcelona who speaks perfect English, Spanish and Italian. He is an expert in intellectual property, commercial law, property law (buying and selling property), civil law, procedural law, fiscal matters and providing extrajudicial legal advice.
Was able to get to the point quickly with regard to my legal options in the matter. Was practical and helped me to evaluate a few paths of action.
Jess Parks
Jess Parks
02 May 2024
344 completed cases
Speaks languages
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