New or second-hand housing Which is better to buy?

Is it better to buy a new or second-hand home? The answer is not easy. First of all, the particular interests of each person greatly influence this decision.

Some buyers prioritize the location of the property, and others, their budget. The state of the house, whether it has to be reformed or not, is also a matter of weight when choosing between new or second-hand houses.

In this post we explain the advantages and disadvantages of buying one or the other.

Why buy a new home?

According to the latest data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), 19.6% of the sales registered in May corresponded to new homes (in total there were 9,199). With respect to the data of the same month last year, the number of operations rose by 115.1%.
It seems that interest in new real estate is growing. However, if we compare these figures with those of used homes, we can see that 80.4% of transactions in May corresponded to the latter (37,834).


  • Both new works and those that have undergone rehabilitation must comply with energy efficiency standards. As explained by the OCU “a priori incorporate all the updated technical characteristics of the Technical Building Code, especially in terms of insulation, energy efficiency and accessibility. This provides comfort and savings in the costs of supplies (gas, electricity, water, etc.)”.
  • If you buy off-plan you have certain payment facilities. Usually 10% of the price is paid as a signal. In the following months, different contributions are established. The rest (which is usually the 80% that finances the mortgage) is paid with the signing of the deed. In addition, you have the option to modify some aspect of the house.
  • The purchase of new housing is taxed by VAT at 10%.
  • There are some homes that have a degree of public protection, so their price is reduced.
  • There is a warranty period for construction defects.
  • By having new materials, the possible reforms that have to be made by the use are postponed more years.

Why buy a used home?

As we have already mentioned, the number of purchases of used homes is higher than that of new ones. If we look again at the data published by the INE, in the month of May a total of 37,834 were bought, 105.9% compared to May 2020.


  • Theused housing is much larger, so we have more opportunities to find the house that best suits us.
  • If you are interested in living in a central area, used homes are the best option. If the house is renovated and kept in good condition, it is possible that over time it will be revalued thanks to its location.
  • Its price is usually cheaper than that of new housing and there is always some room for negotiation with the buyer. If the house needs renovation, the price is likely to drop further.
  • The size of older houses is usually larger. It is common to find homes with high ceilings, large kitchens or large corridors.
  • If a reform is not necessary, these homes are already available to move into.

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By Catharine Bwana