Comparing Different Types Of Property In Spain

Are you thinking of moving to Spain? Then you’ll need to find the right property for you. This might sounds easy but it can be overwhelming with so many different property types to choose from. Not to mention the different language surrounding property types in Spain that is often unfamilar and different from what you’re used to. 

To help you choose the right type of property for you, here is a comprehensive list of all the different types of property available in Spain as well as some brief pros and cons of each:

Villas/chalets (detached houses)

Completely detached properties are relatively rare in Spain compared to other countries, particularly countries such as the U.S. where they are in abundance. In Spain these types of properties are referred to as each villas or chalets. They are often luxurious, but this term can be used for any detached home.

Due to space constraints in the bigger Spanish cities you will generally find chalets on the outskirts or towns and cities. There are also chalets in the countryside. The detached houses that you find close to the coast in Spain are likely to be called villas.

So what exactly is a villa or chalet? Well as we’ve already mentioned above these are detached homes on their own private plot of land. They can either be single level buildings or spread over several floors. Sometimes these properties stand alone but they can also be located in larger residential compunds. They tend to be amongst the most spacious of Spanish homes.

So what are the drawbacks of choosing a villa or chalet? Well as you might expect the running costs for these types of home tend to be higher because of their larger size. Living in a remote villa or chalet can also feel isolated sometimes, and is not the right choice if you want to integrate quickly into the wider community. 

Adosados and Pareados (Terraced and semi-detached houses)

Semi-detached or town houses in Spain are generally referred to as casas adosadas and these offer a similar level of privacy to living in a chalet or villa but at a more affordable budgets. Just like a semi detached property in the UK with as casas adosadas your property will be attached to one other property meaning that you will have one immediate neighbour or they could be attached to more than one property in a terraced house style.

These properties differ from chalets and villas because they generally don’t stand on their own private land. Instead it is likely that you will share facilities such as parking, gardens, or pools. In this regard a casas adosadas is less private, and for many this might be considered a con of this type of property.

The pros of choosing a casa adosadas are that they are located on the outskirts of cities where you will find good transport links and connectivity to the city centre. They are also great places to immerse yourself in a new community allowing you to experience the best of both rural and urban living. 

Casas rurales and fincas (Country homes, rural properties and farmhouses)

Not interested in city living? Then this is the property type you should add to your search as this is the term given to properties that are in really remote rural locations. Often these are larger farm houses or rural properties with a lot of land attached.

The obvious pros of choosing this type of property is that you would be in the heart of the countryside and would have very few neighbours to overlook you. Property in the countryside tends to be cheaper than property by the coast too.

But the cons are that these properties tend to be older and need more extensive repairs and renovations. With the maintenance costs that come with this. They can also be very isolated meaning you would have to drive to get to the nearest shop, medical center, or any other facilities you might take for granted in your current everyday life.

Pisos and apartamentos (flats and apartments)

By far the most common types of properties in Spain are pisos and apartamentos. In fact 7/10 people living in Spain will live in one, and this figure rises to 9/10 people in the country’s cities. There are many different types of flats and apartments. Some share the front door, a foyer, or even a lift. They may also have shared common areas such as gardens or roof terraces.

The pros of a pisos or apartamentos? Running and maintenance costs are significantly lower. And because apartment living is so common these properties are easy to find. They are also more secure than other property types, making them a great choice if you’re looking for a safe and secure second home in Spain.

But there are some cons of apartment living. Privacy can be an issue, particularly in the older Spanish apartments that have paper thin walls. And if you don’t want to know everything about your neighbours or live on top of other people this isn’t the right lifestyle for you.

Áticos (Penthouse apartments)

If you’re not already familiar with the term penthouse then you should know that these are apartmentos at the top of a block of flats. These apartments are generally the same size as the others in the complex but these do often benefit from having a big terrace which makes them appealing.

Tiny top floor studios are called buhardillas, they often have low ceilings and are located in older buildings. The abundance of natural light and access to your own outdoor space are huge pros of these properties but it is worth noting that they do tend to get hotter than other apartments during the summer months as a result.

Dúplex (Two-floor apartment)

Duplexes tend to be bigger than apartments as they occupy two floors instead of one. Duplexes still share lifts and staircases like other apartments but they are often on the highest floors of a building.

They're often centrally located yet offer more space and privacy than other types of flats. So what are the pros? Well Duplexes are still apartments which may not appeal to anyone who doesn’t like apartment living and duplexes also tend to have steep spiral staircases connecting the two floors which can be off putting for families with small children or anyone with mobility issues.

Estudios (studios)

These are very small apartments and often incorporate a single space, although sometimes these are two space areas. Usually rhe bedroom, kitchen, and living area are all in one room. A studio will then have a separate bathroom.

These sorts of properties are most popular among young, single people looking to save on costs. People usually rent studios rather than buying them which means they are ideal for buy to let investment. If you’re not looking for a buy to let investment then you’re likely to get more bang for your buck elsewhere.


Retirees from foreigners, particularly from the UK, love bungalows and these are highly sort after but in Spain this term doesn’t have quite the same definition as it does in the UK.

In Spain the term bungalow often refers to small two-floor property, often with a veranda or terrace, and even a bit of land. These properties are very small and as a result they are amongst the cheapest property types. Many bungalow buyers invest for the location of the property, rather than the property itself, as a result.

Have you always dreamt of retiring to Spain? Or looking to make the move to Spain with your family? Whether you’re looking for golden mile properties in Marbella or bargain property in Andalucia, our local property experts are perfectly placed to turn your dreams into a reality. Why not get in touch to find out more about how we can help you.