Homevest makes it easy for you to get the best offer
Homevest makes it easy for you to get the best offer

How to get a mortgage in Spain as a non-resident: your ultimate guide

While many Spanish banks do not impose restrictions based on property value or the nationality of buyers, it's essential to be aware that every application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Learn everything you need to know about getting a mortgage in Spain, including requirements, interest rates, and info for non-resident buyers.

Delia Mihuț
Written by Delia Mihuț
Published at 2023-09-08T11:16:36Z
Last updated at 2024-02-12T08:07:12Z
Readtime 7 minutes

Thinking of getting a mortgage in Spain for non-residents? Learn the steps and make that dream come true, whether it's a coastal villa or a city flat in Barcelona. 

We’ve put together a guide to streamline your mortgage application process. 

Let’s dive in.

What are the main requirements for getting a mortgage in Spain as a non-resident?

To begin with, secure your Foreigner Identification Number and set up a bank account in Spain. These steps are crucial to move forward with your property purchase.

Non-residents can get mortgages covering up to 70% of the property's sale price or appraised value, requiring at least a 30% down payment plus taxes and fees. 

Typically, the debt-to-income ratio should not exceed 40%, even though this may exclude individuals with higher levels of existing debt.

The process for non-residents, involving more documentation, aims to mitigate bank risks; prepare by collecting necessary paperwork in advance.

How are mortgages in Spain structured?

Mortgage loans in Spain offer various interest rate options, including fixed, variable, and mixed rates. The repayment period can span from 3 to 30 years, depending on your age and the specific bank you choose.

While many Spanish banks are not imposing restrictions based on property value or the nationality of buyers – with many accepting applicants from the EU, the United States, and the UK – it's essential to be aware that every application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

What type of mortgage can a non-resident access in Spain?

As a non-resident in Spain, you are primarily eligible for mortgages tailored to non-residents. If you're buying a second-hand property, you can also seek a mortgage for renovations, as UCI is one bank that provides such an option. 

Likewise, if you're 60 and thinking of retiring in Spain, you're eligible for a non-resident mortgage as long as you have a pension.

Even though some banks accept various currencies, including SEK, GBP, USD, DKK, and NOK, you should know that a mortgage in Spain is only granted in euros.

How long does it take to get a Spanish mortgage?

Securing a Spanish mortgage might take up to 12 weeks from application to finalization, covering stages like pre-approval, property valuation, full application, risk approval, and completion. 

Understanding each step will help you better comprehend the duration of the mortgage process.

Which Spanish banks offer mortgages to non-residents?

Sabadell, CaixaBank, Unicaja, Cajasur, Santander, and UCI are some of the top Spanish banks providing non-resident mortgages.

CaixaBankSabadell, and Cajasur are among the most competitive banks in Spain, but even their interest rates can vary. That's why it's important to negotiate the best price for you.

Though UCI and Santander tend to provide pricier offers, UCI is an excellent choice for those seeking tax-efficient renovation mortgages. In contrast, Santander could be suitable for properties valued below 100,000 EUR.

Investigating the various choices is essential and can be time-consuming, especially when aiming to avoid premature decisions. 

Luckily, there’s a better way. 

Homevest simplifies the process of getting the best mortgage offer for you. As a digital mortgage broker, it connects you with top Spanish banks and guides you through the entire process, from application and offer comparison to deed signing

What are the current mortgage interest rates in Spain?

Understanding the current mortgage rates helps you decide whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced investor. 

Homevest evaluated the offers from different banks for its customers, calculating the effective interest rate for each mortgage to facilitate the comparison of fixed, variable, and mixed deals. 

Below, you can find the mortgage offers received by Homevest customers in November, December, and January 2024:

Bank Interest rate (effective rate past three months)
CaixaBank 3.70%
Sabadell 2.75%
Cajasur 5.02%
Unicaja 4.91%
UCI 5,20%
Santander 5.70%

The data in the table reflects the effective interest rate over the entire mortgage term, considering promotional offers. While distinct from the APRC, which includes taxes and fees, the most affordable offers often come with stipulations, like obtaining home insurance from the bank.

Negotiating your initial interest rate offer with the bank is common in Spain, potentially leading to a more favorable deal. Explore tips for negotiating mortgage rates, especially for non-residents.

How to get a mortgage in Spain: step-by-step 

#1. Prepare your documents 

The requirements can vary from one bank to another, but generally, to apply for a mortgage in Spain, you'll need the following documents:

  • valid passport
  • NIE
  • proof of income (employment contracts, recent pay slips, and tax forms)
  • recent bank statements 
  • credit report from your home country 
  • proof of the main residence
  • proof of deposit (statements showing savings and investments)

The good part is that if your documents are in English, most banks in Spain will accept them without requiring translation. 

Continue reading for a detailed breakdown of the necessary documents and guidance on navigating the Spanish mortgage process. 

#2. Mortgage pre-offers

Once your documents are in order, the next step is to get a mortgage pre-offer. This provides a snapshot of what you might expect in terms of loan amounts and interest rates. 

Homevest can assist you with this process by matching you with banks, allowing you to compare mortgage offers and choose the one that's right for you.

#3. Open a bank account and obtain the NIE

When choosing the right Spanish bank account, consider what's more important: opening an online account, lower commissions, or mortgage discounts. After pondering these factors, pick the option that suits you best.

Also, if you haven't already, you'll need to obtain the NIE, the Foreigner's Identification Number in Spain. This is essential for property transactions and other legal processes. 

You can apply at the Spanish embassy in your country if you have all the documents ready.

#4. Find a property

Make sure you conduct thorough research, possibly with the help of a local real estate agent, to find the ideal property in your desired location. 

If you're interested in a property in Barcelona, it could be an excellent opportunity to rent it out, given the many expats there. Likewise, if you're considering buying a house in Madrid, the capital attracts people from all over the world. If you want a perpetual vacation ambiance, a property in Tenerife or Mallorca might be worth considering.

#5. Prepare the property documentation

Once you've identified the property, confirm that all requisite documentation is up-to-date and accurate. This includes property deeds, energy certificates, and other related documents. 

Verifying that the property has no debts or legal issues attached to it is crucial. Explore our checklist of essential documents for the property to complete your purchase.

#6. Negotiate your offer

After confirming the property's details, you can negotiate an offer with the seller. Consider factors such as property conditions, market conditions, and any other relevant aspects when determining your offer price.

#7. Complete your mortgage

First, secure an accepted offer from the bank to complete your mortgage application. Next, submit any required documents and undergo the official mortgage approval procedure.

Once approved, the bank will handle most of the remaining legal and administrative tasks. Ensure you understand all terms and conditions before signing the final mortgage agreement.

Is there a way to speed up getting a Spanish mortgage from abroad?

When looking to speed up the mortgage application process in Spain from abroad, Homevest is your go-to platform.

Homevest streamlines your experience by offering access to leading non-resident banks on a single platform. With just one document upload, you can secure multiple offers. They manage comparisons, appraisals, and even schedule signings, while earning a success fee when the mortgage is signed.

Are there any tax implications for non-residents with a Spanish mortgage?

Besides the interest rate, there are other fees associated with the mortgage loan, such as administration fees and property valuation costs. 

Keep in mind that fees vary based on the property type, ranging from 8 to 12% of the property's value. Learn more about the costs of buying a property in Spain so you know what to anticipate.

Frequently asked questions

1. Can I get a mortgage in Spain from the UK?

Yes, UK citizens can still obtain mortgages to buy properties in Spain, despite the UK's exit from the EU. Learn all about applying for a mortgage in Spain from the UK, including key requirements and post-Brexit changes.

2. Can I get a mortgage in Spain from the US?

Yes, US citizens can obtain a Spanish mortgage by demonstrating their eligibility and financial reliability. Learn how to secure a mortgage in Spain as a US citizen with Homevest's guidance, comparing leading international bank offers.

3. Can I get a mortgage in Spain as a Canadian citizen?

Non-EU citizens with stable incomes and low credit risk can apply for a Spanish mortgage. Continue reading to learn the key requirements when applying for a mortgage in Spain as a Canadian citizen.

4. Is life insurance required when applying for a mortgage in Spain?

While it isn't mandatory, many banks provide incentives in the form of discounted rates when you purchase supplementary products, like home insurance, from them.

5. What's the age limit for obtaining a mortgage in Spain as a non-resident?

Non-residents must usually be under 75 years old at the end of the mortgage term, though some banks may allow up to 80 years.

6. Which income currencies are accepted when getting a Spanish mortgage?

Most options are available if your income is in EUR, followed by a substantial selection for GBP, CHF, SEK, DKK, NOK, USD, or CAD earners. Those earning in PLN, CZK, BGN, HUF, HRK, SGD, ILS, AED, QAR, SAR, MXN, JPY, NZD, or AUD have limited choices, with possibly only one or two banks available, though larger mortgages may offer more options.

7. How much do I need to travel to Spain to complete the mortgage process?

To complete the mortgage process in Spain, you must travel there at least once. During your visit, you'll need to open a bank account, complete the bank's verification process, and sign the mortgage contract at the notary.

If you prefer a simplified process, you can hire a lawyer to handle everything on your behalf.

 

We recommend obtaining professional or specialist advice before taking or refraining from any action based on the content in this article. The information in this article does not constitute legal, tax, or other professional advice from Homevest Limited. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties, or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in this article is accurate, complete, or up to date.

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