properties for sale in Spain

Bank repossessions in Spain

Updated on 10 April, 2019 by Robbert Dekker |

There are still thousands of repossessed properties in Spain available in 2019, despite the fact that the crisis years have long passed.

The prospect of buying a bank repossessed property is an attractive thought because it is often a good deal and these are sold at bottom prices.

Foreclosures forecast

According to the latest figures from the Spanish Registry, in the 1st quarter of 2017 there were 8758 foreclosures and in the 2nd quarter, there was a decrease of 23% totaling, 6744 foreclosures.

Compared to the number of foreclosures carried out in the second quarter of 2016, the total decline in foreclosures was -41.20%.

In 2017, the regions in Spain with the most foreclosures were:

  1. Andalucía
  2. Valencia (Costa Blanca area)
  3. Catalonia
  4. Madrid

Advantages and disadvantages of buying a repossessed property in Spain

One of the main advantages of buying a property in Spain directly from the bank is the low mortgage interest rate and the possibility to arrange finance for up to a 100%.

However, you should be careful when buying a bank owned property since in many cases these properties are not in a good condition and may have outstanding debts.

TIP: Make sure you do a due diligence check of the property and/or have a solicitor help you out.

Owners whose properties have been repossessed often leave their former house in a terrible state.

I have personally encountered houses with electricity cables cut off, wash basin and fittings ripped out, windows and frames broken and walls and ceilings destroyed.

Repossessed homes can be sold for the outstanding debt, but in most cases banks want to get the most out of it and sell them at the price that suits them best.

Some Spanish banks are more flexible than others in terms of pricing and receiving bids from interested parties, while other Spanish banks maintain more of a fixed price for their portfolio.

Some banks may also change their policies, by making arrangements to sell their portfolio within a certain time period. A recent example is the acquisition of the Banco Popular by Banco Santander in June 2017, which together with Blackstone (an American multinational) is planning to sell more than 30 billion euros of property assets from Banco Popular.

During crisis times, bargaining with the bank was much easier than nowadays. In 2019 the bargaining position when buying a property from the bank much depends on the situation the bank is in and their urge to get rid of their property assets.

Also important when negotiating with the bank is the demand for a specific property. If there are many potential buyers interested in the property you may not have a strong negotiating position.

For property viewings and marketing, Spanish banks often use the services of third parties and estate agencies. Spanish Banks usually pay these estate agents a fixed fee of around 2% (depending on the bank) if they manage to find a suitable buyer for their property. This commission percentage if often much less compared to selling a mainstream property in Spain.

A property is normally seized by the bank when the owner fails to pay his monthly mortgage instalments. In case of non-payment, the bank will require the debtor to also cover the expenses late payment interests, notifications, as well as other operations that the bank as incurred as a result of non-payment.

Branch managers know who is failing to comply their mortgage payments and have access to information about the newest homes that have been repossessed or are soon to be seized.

TIP: If you buy a house in Spain through the bank, make sure you have a Spanish bank account and that you have a good relationship with the branch manager and or bank employees of your Spanish branch.

Branch managers and bank employees have direct contact with the bank´s headquarters for submitting bids but in some cases, bids are also submitted through the estate agent.

Banks and estate agents are not always aware of the deficiencies a property might have, so make sure before placing your bid that you have done the necessary legal and building checks.

TIP: Make sure to you bring with you a builder or architect to check for any major construction flaws and deficiencies before buying a repossessed property.

TIP: Not all repossessed properties are online. Check with your Spanish branch to see if they have any new offers and let them alert you should and interesting property emerge.

Where to find repossessed properties in Spain online

Bank websites offering repossessed properties in Spain

You can also check the Spanish bad bank, called SAREB, which groups listings from many of the websites above.

National property auctions website

There is an official national auction site in Spain, however, it is only available in Spanish

The site is called "Portal de subastas BOE"

auctions in Spain official website

To search for property actions, you can best go directly to the advanced search option available on, then click on "inmuebles" and choose a province from the drop-down.

You might also be interested to read more about "Spanish Property Tips", which includes handy pointers on buying and selling properties in Spain.
» List your property as an owner
» Views all houses under 50.000 €

Send us your questions

Join the Q&A discussion on repossessed properties in Spain

Do you have a burning question?. Send us your question through our "Spanish Property Tips" page, and we will be happy to answer it.

Q: » Norman says:
Hello, I have put forward an offer on a bank repossession but the estate agent said the bank wouldn’t accept it although he did not put the offer to the bank. Don’t agents have a legal obligation to put forward offers as in the U.K.?

A: » Robbert says:
Hello Norman,

Having been an estate agent for several years and having myself bought a property from the bank I can tell you a thing or two about bank repossessions in Spain.

To answer your question first, agents do not have any legal obligation to put forward your offer as they do in the U.K, mainly because of the estate agent's trade not being regulated by any institution in Spain.

Virtually anybody with a mobile phone can call themselves an estate agent in Spain. On top of that banks only offer between 1% and 2% commission to the agents in case their clients buy a bank property, while agents usually get between 3% to 6% if they sell a property in the free market. So there is not a big incentive for an agent to sell you any property from the bank.

When buying a repossessed property try to put forward your offer as close to the source as possible, for example by talking to the bank branch manager from which the property belongs to. From my own experience, I can tell you that the more middlemen involved in the negotiation the less of a chance you will have to get the property.

Q: » Linda says:
I am thinking of buying Bank owned property in Almeria Spain which has just been released by the Bank and has not been lived in . The asking price is €76000 and the estate agent says that price includes his fees. Is that correct and if so what other fees will I have to pay. Thank you

A: » Robbert says:
Hi Linda,

Thanks for your question.

The asking price normally includes the commission fee, since it is the bank that pays the estate agent, not you. However, you normally end up paying 10% more than the actual price. So buying that property will cost you in the region of 85.000 euros.

Please have a look at the following to see what these costs are:

Since the property is located in Almería, which belongs to the region of Andalucia, you will have to pay quite a lot on property transfer taxes, which is between 8% and 10 %.
You also have other smaller costs like: property valuation costs (around 800 euros), notary fees, registry costs, and solicitor fees (not obligatory). So more or less you will have to pay around 85.000 in total (rough estimate).

Hope that helps.