Guide for Canadians Buying Real Estate Property in Spain

Santa Cruz, Costa Blanca, Spain
Santa Cruz, Costa Blanca, Spain


Say "olá!" to being the proud Canadian owner of a splendid Spanish property. Here are the essentials you need to know, including the best way to pay for your property online.

Looking to buy property in Spain as a Canadian? This can be the best choice if you're looking for a stable property market, high quality of life, and low cost of living. Spain also offers siestas under the sun, an exciting Mediterranean vibe, and an excellent healthcare system.

But, buying property in Spain might also come with a dose of bureaucracy and complexity. So, before you start the acquisition process, it's essential to gather all the necessary information you need. This article covers the whole enchilada to get you started with buying Spanish property as a Canadian.

Common reasons to buy property in Spain

Spain is a southwestern European country that occupies over 80% of the Iberian Peninsula, leaving the smaller share to Portugal. Canadians looking to invest or join the ex-pat community might be interested in buying property in Spain for the following reasons:

  • Excellent healthcare system. Spain has one of the most efficient healthcare¹ systems globally. It offers free, universal healthcare for residents and non-residents. 
  • Golden Visa opportunity. With the Golden Visa Residency program², you can get a residency visa if you buy property worth at least 500,000 Euros. 
  • Favorable mortgage conditions. Spanish banks offer mortgages to foreigners though the loan-to-value ratio (LTV) is often lower than for residents. That means you'll need a bigger deposit. 
  • Affordable cost of living. Spain has one of the highest homeownership³ levels in Europe, and places like Barcelona⁴ are known to have some of the lowest living costs. 
  • Overall great environment. There's a lot to love about the country, including the warm weather, friendly Spaniards, and a vibrant, diverse culture.

5 steps to purchasing property in Spain

Your buying process is bound to be unique, but you can generally expect to go through the following steps:

1. Get Your NIE

The sooner you apply for your NIE, the better, because you can't do anything without it. The Número de Identificación del extranjero is a unique tax identification number legally required for all foreigners looking to buy property or transact in Spain.

2. Find the right property

Consider staying in Spain for a long spell to familiarize yourself with the wide choice of properties. To streamline your property search, you can seek help from local agencies, international real estate brokerage companies, and popular real estate websites like Idealista.

Whether you choose a modern apartamento or a luxurious resort-style villa, it's also a good idea to arrange a survey to rule out any serious issues. Once you find the perfect property, you must make an offer and sign the preliminary contract, (contrato privado de compraventa), before paying your deposit.

3. Appoint the required professionals

It's recommended to get a local "gestor" or (or gestoría) that knows the ins and outs of Spanish administrative bureaucracy, tax laws, and how it all applies to your case. You can also hire a trusted tax representative, lawyer, solicitor, or notary to complete due diligence and finalize the sale.

4. Make the payment

After signing the preliminary contract and paying the deposit, the next step is getting the rest of your finances in order. This might mean arranging a mortgage or finding a way to send money from Canada to Spain. You then sign the contract of sale or la escritura de compraventa. Keep in mind that Spanish property purchase costs typically include a property transfer tax, notary costs, and legal and real estate agent fees.

5. Setup your Spanish property

Once you have paid the applicable taxes, you're free to update the Land Registry with the new information. In addition, you can tie up loose ends by setting up utilities and telecommunications and applying for home insurance.

Consider the Canadian Dollar to Euro exchange rate

When making an international money transfer to pay for your Spanish property, you can save money by exchanging your Canadian dollars for Euros at a favorable rate. Otherwise, failure to consider the EUR/CAD could mean huge conversion losses. 

Exchanging large amounts of money is especially tricky because a slight unfavorable variance in the exchanger rate could mean tens of thousands of dollars lost. So, if you're planning to send money from Canada to Spain, monitoring the EUR/CAD currency trend is wise before initiating your transfer.

Take a look at the MTFX live rate calculator to see what competitive exchange rate you can snag when converting your dollars today. 


Where to find the best exchange rates?

The best exchange rate gives you more Euros for your Canadian dollars. Knowing where to find the best exchange rate can make all the difference if you want to maintain the maximum value of your money after conversion. 

You generally find the best exchange rates for small and large currency exchanges with an FX specialist. Here you can discover mid-market rates that are more competitive than banks. 

A currency specialist like MTFX typically offers rates 3-5% better than any provided by the banks. For instance, if you're looking to qualify for a Spanish Golden Visa, your property purchase of 500,000 can save as much as 25,000 or more.

Paying online without going to the bank

Skipping the bank saves you from poor exchange rates and significant conversion losses when sending money abroad. Additionally, you can add more convenience to the process with online payments and eliminate the need to go to the bank. 

MTFX offers a secure 24/7 platform you can use to send payments online to a Spanish bank account from anywhere. After paying for your property this way, there could still be times when you want to send money to the same destination. Perhaps you want to convert currency to pay your Spanish mortgage lender or cover common expenses for the property ("Gastos de Comunidad").

In any case, sending money online regularly is a breeze with MTFX automated technologies.

Make the most of your property investment with MTFX exchange rates

If you're paying for your Spanish property abroad, you can save money with secure and convenient transfers with MTFX. As a foreign exchange specialist, MTFX offers more value per transaction with lower fees and better exchange rates than banks.

What's more, you can rely on guidance from FX experts or use the range of FX tools available to enhance the value of your transfer. Your money will safely arrive where you want to go on the same day or within 24-48 hours.

Register your account with MTFX today and send money to Spain securely, conveniently, and cost-effectively.

Buy property in Spain – FAQs

Can Canadians buy property in Spain?

Yes. There are no restrictions on property purchases for Canadians. 

What's the current Spanish property market like?

The Spanish real estate market⁵ is showing a positive trend and has become more stable. This means it's an excellent time to find a suitable property investment in Spain.

What factors do I need to be aware of when buying Spanish property?

Location is always a top priority. In this case, your main options are big touristic cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, which tend to be expensive, smaller cities and towns that are more affordable, or villages in less populated areas. You should also be aware of scams and avoid them by working with a trusted agent. 

What are the best places to buy property in Spain?

Spain is the second-largest European Union (EU) country, so you have many options to choose from. For instance, Madrid and Barcelona are great if you like big city life, while Alicante is mid-sized and more suited for a beach lifestyle. Other options to explore include Costa de Sol, Mallorca, and Valencia.


  1. World Index of Health Care Innovation
  2. Spain Golden Visa
  3. Home Ownership Rates
  4. Cheapest Cities to Live in Europe
  5. Spain's Housing Market

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