The reason for having a Spanish bank account has, as far as I know, mainly been based on the need to have direct debit (automatic billing) tied to the account. Since SEPA was introduced this is not necessary. I have had an apartment in Spain for more than 8 years and started with a Spanish bank account which cost me close to €100 per year (account fee and fee to check non resident status). I found out about Euro accounts in Swedish banks that also supports Spanich direct debit. I have now used my Swedish account for more than two years. I pay community fees, electricity, local taxes (IBI) and water using direct debit.
Works great for me!