It’s well known that the Spanish housing market is in a terrible state with really nothing selling at all.
What’s perhaps less well known is that you have two types of house in Spain, a residencia (a residential dwelling) and a nave agricola (a barn).
You might think that a barn is going to be pretty easy to distinguish from a normal dwelling. But it isn’t. In truth, you can do what you like to a nave agricola. You can take a beautiful plot of land and build a palace on it but it’ll be legally classified as a barn. It needs to bear no relation whatsoever to a barn or have any function of a barn.
In fact, that’s a ‘barn’ in the photo above.
So what’s the problem?
You can’t use a nave agricola as a primary dwelling address. This means that you can’t get post there so you can’t register to vote there. Most importantly, you can’t get a bank loan registered against a nave. In short, it’s fine as a second home for cash buyers but it really isn’t any good for a primary residence.
This situation has caught out many foreign buyers. At the time they wouldn’t know to have asked or worry about the status of the property they are buying. Now that these people are having to sell those houses, it gets complicated.
Overseas buyers have dried up during the crisis and in any case there is a huge oversupply of housing designed with foreign buyers in mind.
This leaves the owners of houses classified as barns looking for domestic Spanish buyers. Spaniards looking to buy a second home, in cash are a rare breed at the moment.
As a result you have large, lovely houses which are not being lived in, can’t be sold and are gradually crumbling though disuse. All because they aren’t houses at all, they’re barns.
The housing market in Spain may be in the doldrums but Spain is still a wonderful country to visit so have a look at our holidays to Spain and come see for yourself.