In summary, total acquisition costs are typically 14.25% of the purchase price. The buyer has to have this amount of cash in addition to any deposit as the mortgage is based on the value of the property.
The rental property rate of return (yield) is shown for Barcelona. Anywhere outside of Barcelona will likely give you a lower rate of return.
Annual net returns after ongoing taxation of property tax (IBI) and income tax (rental income is added to employment income). The example uses a tax rate of 33.8% income tax on your rental but the top rate of income tax in Catalonia has recently risen to 50%.
This means it will take you just over 6 years to cover your costs from rental income.
Of course, with a bit of luck, the property will increase in value. There is an oft repeated mantra that “Oh but the property will increase in value”. It may well do, especially if you keep the property for many years. However, here are some other points to be aware of before buying a rental property for profit.
- You benefit from the increase in value when you sell the property
- Yet the true benefit is only the increase in value above inflation; not the difference in buying price and selling price but only the bit of profit above the revised value caused by inflation
- Capital gains tax is payable on the increase in buy to let property value, even if you are over 65. Inflation is not taken into account by the tax man so you pay tax on the full difference between buying and selling
- Capital gains tax in Catalonia is between 19% and 26%
- Estate agent fees in Catalonia are typically 5% of the sale price
- A further tax is called Plus Valor. Raised by the local council the tax is based on the increase of the value of the land that the property is built on. This applies to freehold properties too
- The property is part of the assessment for Inheritance Tax in Catalonia even if you return to the UK or your home country
Property investment works best when expectations and reality are matched. Knowing realistic figures, based on data, is very important. We hope that this article provides some insight and helps you with your assessment of whether it is right for you.
Are there alternatives? There are and one or two that are very tax efficient. In some cases a combination of property and other investments can work well.
For more information on these elements of investing in property in Catalonia you can book a call with the author Barry Davys. Please use his online system so you can choose a time that is convenient for you for the call. The call can be a video call or a telephone call.