UPDATE 29/04/2020 - Questions and answers: Spanish real estate in times of COVID-19 29 Apr 2020
It's been 4 weeks since Spain went into lockdown. We are obliged to stay at home and are only allowed to leave the house for essential movements: once a week to the nearest supermarket or to the pharmacy, doctor or hospital.
Despite this lockdown our team remains available for you through the known channels. Because many of you have questions, we have gathered the most frequently asked questions and answers here.
If your question is not listed, please feel free to ask them by mail, phone, chat or via the contact form.
Latest updates are marked in orange.
Question: The notarial deed for my apartment/house has been postponed and the contractual end date for the execution of the deed has been exceeded, what are the consequences for me.
Answer: There are clauses in all contracts in case of force majeure. This pandemic is of course a case of force majeure, which means that both, the buyer and the constructor/vendor are protected. The execution of the notarial deed will be rescheduled as soon as the Spanish government gives the green light to the opening of notaries and law firms.
Question: What if I cannot be present when the deed is executed because I am not allowed to travel to Spain?
Answer: If you are unable to travel because of the measures taken in Spain or in the country where you are staying because of COVID-19, there are two possibilities. You can give your solicitor/gestor in Spain a power of attorney to sign the deed in your name, or you can set a new date together with the constructor/vendor. This new date will be added to your contract as an addendum.
Question: At the moment I am in the middle of a purchase and I have to make a down payment in the next weeks/months, will this also be postponed?
Answer: No, your payment will not be postponed. The sales contract still remains a binding contract. If you are not in a position to make this down payment it is best to contact your estate agent or lawyer to discuss this with the constructor.
Question: My apartment/house should be delivered in December; will this be ready in time?
Answer: It is expected that these completions will not be exceptionally delayed. If this will be the case, the constructor/sales agent will of course inform you of this.
Question: Can construction still be carried out in Spain at the moment, or have all the construction sites also been shut down?
Answer: On 28th March the Spanish Government decided that all non-essential companies should be closed down. The construction sector, too, was therefore forced to stop working. From Monday 13 April onwards, the construction sector will be allowed to resume work by taking the necessary measures.
Question: Will the prices of real estate in Spain fall due to this COVID-19 crisis.
Answer: Due to the measures taken in the different countries, investment in real estate is obviously decreasing and no one can predict what will come. This is true for all real estate markets around the world. Several consultancies indicate that when the situation normalizes, the real estate market will reactivate. Trends in China indicate that the sector will recover.
Question: We have already been to Spain and still want to reserve the apartment/house we have seen, is this possible at the moment?
Answer: Yes, if you wish you can reserve an apartment/house. Due to this exceptional situation, most constructors also have exceptional clauses that allow you to cancel in some occasions free of charge. Your estate agent can provide you with more information about this.
Question: Can we come to Spain this summer?
Answer: It has been written in the press that Spain will not allow tourists during the summer 2020. This has not yet been confirmed by the Spanish government. The Spanish government will consider both the economic and public health implications when taking this decision. At the moment, there has not been taken a decision by the Spanish government as to whether or not to travel to Spain during the summer 2020. Of course, the question whether you can travel to Spain or abroad will also depend on the decision of your own government.
UPDATE 29/04/2020 - Yesterday, Prime Minister Sanchez announced that Spain will go back to the "new normal" in 4th phase, if all goes as expected each phase will take at least two weeks. The government's intention is that all the phases will be completed by the end of June.
Phase 0, the preparatory phase and that is actually the phase we are already in. It looks like going for walks and performing individual sports will be allowed as from 2nd May. Take-away restaurants that work by appointment are allowed to open again, of course, maintaining strict rules.
Phase 1 starts for almost all provinces on 11th May (the small islands of Formentera, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa are allowed to enter this phase on 4th May if the number of infections remains low). In this phase churches, small shops, terraces, hotels and apartments may be reopened, again with strict rules, including a strong limitation of the number of people present so that 2 meter-distance can be maintained.
Phase 2, an intermediate phase in which restaurants will also open (up to 1/3 of the capacity) for customers seated at tables. The theatres and cinemas will also be allowed to reopen, with reserved seats and filled with no more than 30 percent of the capacity. Concerts for a maximum of 400 people in the open air (seated) and a maximum of 50 people indoors will again be allowed to take place, again under strict conditions to prevent contamination.
Phase 3 we are almost at "the new normal". Mobility will be further increased. In restaurants, 50 percent of the capacity may then be used. The rules for restaurants will also be further moderated, but in such a way that necessary separation between customers is ensured.
No decision has yet been made on opening up the borders. The details of each phase will certainly be clarified in the next few days.
Question: I am currently renting for a long term and my contract ends in April or May, can the owner ask me to leave.
Answer: If you are renting for long term it is not possible by law to ask you to leave your property as long as the corona measures are in force. Of course, it is advisable to contact the landlord to make clear arrangements for the period of the corona measures.
The answers in this section has been applied at the time of the question. We will update the answers when changes have been made by Spanish Government.