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Madrid property investment: a Case study

01 Feb
A Madrid property investment with a living room featuring wooden beams and a yellow couch.
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Click on any flag to get an automatic translation from Google translate. Some news could have an original translation here: News Nouvelles Nieuws Noticias Nachrichten


Motorways are becoming Toll-free in Spain

It looks like Spain is getting ahead of some countries and getting the control if its motorways.


Here are the motorways that just became toll-free in 2018 and 2019 in Spain:

  • In 2018, the AP1 between Burgos and Armiñón became toll-free. This was the first one.
  • End of 2019, two new motorways became toll-free:
    • the AP-4 motorway between Seville and Cádiz
    • the AP-7 motorway between the Tarragona, Valencia and Alicante


Check our updated Map of the toll-paying, toll-free (and soon to be toll-free) motorways of Spain

Download here your pdf format map.

What happened?

On 31 December 2019, the concession period for the AP-4, Seville-Cádiz and AP-7 motorways, on the Tarragona-Valencia-Alicante section, managed by the AUMAR concession company belonging to the Abertis group, ends, 48 years after the entry into service of the first of these, the AP-4. As of this date, both highways will revert to the State, and will be managed by the Ministry of Public Works, which will no longer collect tolls from users, following the example of the AP-1, whose concession ended on November 30, 2018.

These are two sections of the motorway from those built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This stage was the beginning of motorway construction through public works concession contracts. In these contracts, the concessionaire had to design, build and maintain the motorway, taking charge of the financing, and in return obtained the right to operate it for a period of time, charging users a toll to recover the investment and cover the operating costs.


Here is our Google Map of the next motorways that will become toll-free in Spain:


What are the future “toll-free” motorways in Spain?

  • Montmelo-La Jonquera AP-7 (E-15) will become toll free on the 31 August 2021
  • Barcelona-Tarragona AP-7 (E-15) will become toll free on the 31 August 2021
  • Montmeló-Papiol AP-7 (E-15) will become toll free on the 31 August 2021
  • Zaragoza-Mediterráneo AP-2 (E-90) will become toll free on the 31 August 2021 (those 4 represents 475 km)
  • Bilbao-Zaragoza AP-68 (E-804;E;805) will become toll free on the 11 November 2026 (it represents 295 km)


Are the Spanish motorways toll or toll-free in general?

  • Spain road network has 26,402 km
  • 12,017 km are high capacity roads, i.e., motorways, expressways and multi-lane roads.
  • 1,191 km remain with a toll as of the 1st of January 2020
  • So 90% of the motorway are FREE in Spain


How to take advantage of those new developments?


Why not invest in Valencia?

We think that this “toll-free” environment will be beneficial to Valencia and Castellon and the Valencian community economy in general as it will allow all the businesses in the region to move faster and decrease their costs.

Read our last quarterly report and the last trends of the real estate market in Valencia

Here is our research on Castellón.

Read more on the Costa del Azahar: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Costa del Azahar

Read more on the Costa de Valencia: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Costa de Valencia


Need a car rental company in Spain for your next holidays?

Check the price we get from our partner, the most effective car rental screener, here

Some more FAQ on the Spanish motorways

Are motorways in Spain free?

Motorways are 90% toll-free in Spain. Since 2018, Spain isn't renewing old concessions coming to end.

Is the AP 7 in Spain a toll road?

The AP 7 is a toll road but since the 1st of January, all its parts in the North and South of valencia are free. The part in the North of Barcelona will become free in 2021

Which roads are toll roads in Spain?

Some of the motorways in Spain are toll roads, some are toll-free. 90% of the Spanish road network is toll-free

What is the speed limit in Spain?

The speed limit on motorway in Spain is 120km/h.


Source: Fomento

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Senior analyst and strategist at HTBIS

Check the full HTBIS team here

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Click on any flag to get an automatic translation from Google translate. Some news could have an original translation here: News Nouvelles Nieuws Noticias Nachrichten


Madrid property investment: a Case study


Purchasing a “fixer-upper” and renovating it is one of the best ways to make money in property investing. This is particularly true in a city like Madrid, where the housing stock is old. This article explains why Madrid is such a good city for property investment, then shows a case study from one of Brian past clients.


Madrid is in the sweet spot for property investment

Madrid offers some of the best returns in Europe. The entry price is extremely low, and average returns on Madrid property investment are some of the best in Europe- particularly among leading capital cities.

Madrid and Barcelona are the top 2 main European cities in term of yields

according to Deloitte. Check the rental Yields for the major European Cities, Madrid and Barcelona have rental yields close to 5%.

If you want to read more on real estate investments in Spain, read our article we wrote a few weeks ago: What is the return on your Spanish property investment in 2018?… 10.9% according to the bank of Spain.

Madrid is the 3rd biggest city in Europe in terms of size…

Although Madrid property prices rose in 2017, there is still much room for appreciation. Prices are still 54% off their peaks of mid-2007.

Madrid is the 11th City in Europe in terms of price/m²


Source: Deloitte property Index 2017, Overview of the European Residential Market

Moreover, Spain has some of the highest economic growth prospects in Europe. Remember, GDP growth in Spain is one of the biggest in Europe in 2018 as foreseen by the European Commission… Check our interactive chart (click on any country)


This, combined with efforts the Madrid Government has taken to build the city’s infrastructure and attract direct investment, augurs extremely well for property prices according to the team of Brian, our Property hunter in Madrid.


The icing on the cake? It could be Brexit. As businesses move out of London, many are choosing Madrid. In fact, The Guardian recently published an article detailing how the city stands to benefit from Brexit.


The benefits of apartment renovation

Being a successful property owner boils down to one thing: maximizing your rental yield. One of the easiest ways to do this is to buy a property relatively cheaply and refurbish it to improve its value. This is true in any market, but particularly so in Madrid.


The typical Madrid apartment is in an old building. Historically, they were divided into many small rooms and were often dark and rather forbidding. The city has been late to the game, compared with other European capital cities, in embracing the light-filled, open spaces that are so popular nowadays. Moreover, most Madrid apartments contain very old appliances- most lack dishwashers and dryers. Bathrooms rarely have modern showers and often lack the water pressure and/or boiler capacity for a proper bath.


Corporate clients and wealthier tenants prefer refurbished properties with modern conveniences such as dishwashers, microwaves and even wine refrigerators. Luxury and convenience rule the day. To meet these needs, one needs to do a full renovation. In the long-run, the money and time invested are well worth it.
In short, we have found that every additional 1€ our clients spend on refurbishment add an additional 1.5€ to the value of their apartment.


Case study: Calle de la Palma

This is typical of a renovation we managed for a client. The apartment is on Calle de la Palma, situated in the trendy neighbourhood of Malasaña. The street is a small side street, directly off the thoroughfare Calle de San Bernardo. Like many streets in old Madrid, it is narrow, lined with yellow and pink buildings trimmed in white. Houses are festooned with old gas lights and iron balconies- it is particularly evocative at sunset.


Relatively quiet at night, it has a number of excellent places to enjoy tapas. Bodegas el Maño, founded in 1927, is a traditional old bodega (wine shop) where you can still enjoy a glass of their speciality, wine from Zaragoza. Or if you like the new and fashionable, you can get a glass of wine and tapas at the sleek, sexy La Loca Juana. At the end of Calle de la Palma is the atmospheric Plaza de las Comendadoras. Here you will find a number of outdoor terraces and modern restaurants, such as Federal and Roll, mixed with traditional Spanish fare.


The renovation

This is what we call a “lifestyle renovation.” Our clients wanted a property they could use as a vacation home, but also rent for profit. After much looking, we found this property for them. Their total investment was 358,000€.


The apartment was a typical Madrid property- dark and forbidding with very few modern conveniences. Here is a before photo:

As you can see, the drop ceilings were very low, creating a hovel like effect


We opened up the drop ceiling to reveal the beautiful old wooden beams. We opened up walls, enabling the light and energy to flow freely through space. The kitchen and baths were re-tiled, although we retained some of the old touches to supply a bit of old-style Spanish flair. All appliances were modernized. Here is the final result:

The living room with opened up walls, enabling the light and energy to flow freely through space.

The kitchen was completely renovated, in a style which appeals to higher-end renters.

Old plumbing was replaced with modern sinks, toilets and showers. We let as much light into the apartment as possible.

We added luxurious touches to the Master Bedroom.

The smaller bedrooms let the light in and maximize the number of Airbnb guests.


Overall return

After five years their total overall returns, based upon a total initial investment of 358,000€, were as follows:


Total investment 358,000€
Gross rental return 9.7%
Net rental return 6.0%
Gross return in 5 years 69%
Net return in 5 years 46%


Read the September 2018 update from Brian on the Madrid real estate market: Madrid real estate prices are up 21%: Is this sustainable?

If you are looking to buy in Spain, we would suggest that you read our earlier paper on Property hunting: 6 essential reasons for loving your Spanish real estate shopper. This paper is very interesting and gives you some of the important reasons why working with a property hunter is very useful for foreigners looking to buy in Spain. You will find specific samples our independent local partners worked on in Alicante, Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid. If you are looking to buy a property in Barcelona, read our Barcelona “Case study” article of May 2018.

About Brian and his team, our Property hunter in Madrid.

We help clients locate, purchase and renovate property in Madrid. We also serve as a full-time property manager for those who wish to let their properties. We have a large portfolio of actively managed properties and have helped over three hundred clients find their dream homes and investments. Get in touch today if you’d like to learn how we can help you invest in Madrid.

Send your request to our property hunter in Madrid, or follow the link if you are looking for a property hunter anywhere else in Spain. Ask us directly and benefit from the strength of our network!

Check the full profile of Brian, our local partner, Property Hunter in Madrid


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