How Long Does It Take To Sell A Spanish Property?

Time on market by province. The darker the colour, the longer the average time to sell a property

Time on market by province. The darker the colour, the longer the average time to sell a property

It takes an average of 10.6 months to sell a property in Spain, according to research by Tinsa, an appraisal company, but the time varies significantly by region.

Property spends the shortest time on the market in the regions of Madrid, Barcelona, and the province of Malaga (home to Costa del Sol property) – between 6 and 12 months.

At the other end of the scale, vendors need to have the greatest patience in the Northern Spanish regions of Cantabria, Alava, and Segovia, where homes take on average between 18 and 24 months to find a buyer.

Looking at provincial capitals, Madrid has the shortest times on market, with 6.4 months, followed by Barcelona (6.6 months), Zaragoza (6.9 months), Seville (10 months), and Valencia (15.1 months).

Tinsa estimated the average time it takes to sell a property using the stock of homes for sale and the sales rythm of each province. The time it takes to sell a property in Spain has been getting longer with every passing year of the crisis.

Longer ownership periods are the flip side of the coin. The longer it takes to sell a home, the longer someone owns it. In 2007 the average ownership period was 7 years and 4 months, rising to 11 years and 107 days in 2014.


The time a property spends on the market is a function of supply, demand, and price. In Spain supply has been going up, demand going down, and prices not falling fast enough, which explains why ownership periods have been getting longer.

Part of the blame lies with the mentality of vendors in Spain (not just the Spanish), who hold on to unrealistic price expectations far longer than they should, and often end up poorer for it.

But in some regions price is not a particularly relevant factor. The supply is so large, and the demand so small, that property might have no price in those segments. That is not the case, however,in popular coastal areas where foreigners tend to buy second homes in Spain.



10 thoughts on “How Long Does It Take To Sell A Spanish Property?”

  1. Phillip

    No idea about Madrid but those figures are highly unlikely for the Costa del sol. Too much property stock. Houses linger for years. Just a glance at one property agents website reveals they have almost 10,000 on sale in Marbella. Benahavis 1500 and it is quite a small area. There must be many more with other agents.

    Totally unbelievable.

  2. Jake

    Hi mark,

    Big fan of your newsletter. I’m an expat living in Bcn.

    I’m looking to buy a 1-2 bedroom in el borne and I’ve been circling the market for a year to understand it. It appears price drops have stopped here (overall) and the really cheap properties are gone.

    Barcelona appears to be on its way up, at least in the city center (gotico, borne, etc).

    Wondering what your take it and where your property holdings are? If any.

    Thanks in advance.


    1. Profile photo of Mark StücklinMark Stücklin Post Author

      Hi Jake,

      Thanks for your kind words. Overall I think the prime Barcelona market bottomed out last year and is now recovering. I think we could see a significant upswing in city districts where foreigners buy, like Gótico and Eixample, but less so in areas that rely on local demand. I bought a flat in the Eixample last year so I’m long on property in Barcelona. I still think prices are relatively cheap, but I agree with you, the real steals have now gone.

  3. Will Needham

    Philip. Listing with multiple agents is extremely common in Spain, especially in popular coastal areas. If a property is on sale with an average of 3 agents, it can be easy to over estimate the amount of properties on the market.

    Some Estate agents will take a property on even if it is vastly over priced, just so they can put a board on it. This is effectively free marketing. Extra points if the property is by a busy road!

  4. Phillip

    Will, I only looked a one agent. There would be more if I had looked at a few. Don’t you agree that 10,000 properties on sale in Marbella, with ONE agent makes a mockery of the claims in the article.

  5. David

    Phillip, you are absolutely correct about vast numbers on the market. Another agent has 26,000 on their books on the CDS, even small agents have upwards of 500 to 1000 and they are not all duplicated elsewhere. That’s just the re-sales, then there’s the new builds to add, let’s not forget the private Se Vende as well of which there are many, oh, and then the Banks’ properties. Some of these articles miss out the full story. Most UK agents are lucky to have 50 in a branch, nowadays 15 to 30 seems the norm.

    1. Profile photo of big bad albig bad al

      Hi Most estate agents are part of one network or another and advertise other peoples listings. E.G. resales online provides agent with the opportunity to share commisions 50% for the lister and 50% for the seller. at present there are 24,000 properties available to share from their network. You can list your property on the network and share it with 1000 other estate agent. one reason there are so many properties

  6. Marner

    I bought a house 2,5 years ago in Malaga area, I could still see my house for sale in several different webpages for at least 1.5 years after I bought it, so many of the houses out there are probably sold a long time ago.

  7. David

    But there are still 1.6 million homes for sale in Spain according R R Acuna, and as property sells there are more coming to the market from those who’ve taken hits on price.

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