Foreign Office message to British house-hunters in Spain

Foreign & Commonwealth Office guide to buying property in Spain

FCO guide to buying in Spain

Think hard, and do your research is the message from the Foreign Office to Britons pursuing their dreams of owning a property in Spain.

During the boom years the British were around 75pc of the foreign market for Spanish property, so they suffer a corresponding share of the problems that emerged in the go-go years when cowboys, corruption, and greed abounded. As a result, British consular officials have their work cut out dealing with problems associated with property purchases. Even now, the British are still the biggest group of foreign buyers (22pc in 2012), though the risks of buying in Spain are smaller today than there were at the height of the boom (paradoxically, booms are riskier times to buy than busts).

Prevention is always better than cure, which is why the Embassy in Madrid has made a video reminding Britons to think hard about what they are doing, and then do their research (and some) before they buy in Spain. They have also prepared a summary guide on how to buy property in Spain. There is no better protection than being well-informed. Please share.



3 thoughts on “Foreign Office message to British house-hunters in Spain”


    It’s imperative to always do your homework, whether your buying a home abroad or buying a second hand car. Take your time, speak with Estate Agents local to the area you’re interested in. Don’t be pushed to use a solicitor that the Estate Agent provides, again do your own research ask other Estate Agents, do they all recommend the same one? If you’re unsure at any point, don’t continue. There will always be another property to look at.

  2. Flora Klar

    Dear Sir

    Even the very astute, and well prepared, Briton can be so easily outfoxed by unscrupulous, dishonest and deceitful locals, who, moved by sheer greed, consider ‘us’ a lame duck plus enormous target. By locals I mean not only the proprietors of the house/flat/etc you fell in love with [often leaving reason at home in the UK], but many, many others in an interminable chain stretching from the estate agent [crook] via the solicitor handling your transaction [crook legally knowledgeable] to the various town, province and central government officials [crooks ‘protected’ by their status]. Any wonder the Britons have problems?

  3. Nicola Morris

    “unscrupulous, dishonest and deceitful locals,” I feel that this is a little harsh towards the local Spanish people. Whilst living and working in Spain I have found that Britons “trying” to make a living here are equally “unscrupulous, dishonest and deceitful,”
    Desperate times bring out the worse in people so, yes, do your research and call upon independent legal advise but do not be deterred as Spain is still a wonderful place to live just do not leave your brain back in the U.K.

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About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based property market analyst and consultant, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008). He can be reached by email on