Second-hand or new construction flats, what is the right choice?

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The reactivation of the real estate sector has undoubtedly its own name, second-hand flats. This type of property has been the biggest beneficiary of the economy’s awakening in the housing area, mainly due to three factors over any other:

  • The lower cost (both in the total price and taxes) versus new construction flats.
  • The increase of the investment in renovations and the home staging made by the owners.
  • A more stable economic and labor market situation has increased the number of buyers.

These three elements of influence have marked the boom in the operations of second-hand flats, which have found a very powerful niche of buyers (or rather, of renters) in the young population (around 30 years of age), that finally begins to fulfill their dream of leaving the family nest.

Once entered into the current socio-economic context, it is really necessary to analyze the characteristics that used homes tend to have, in order to find the answer to the title of the post. Therefore, in this article, we will dissect each of the particularities of the real estate market today to find all the advantages and disadvantages that the second-hand flats present with respect to the newly built properties. The objective? Have all the information at your fingertips so that when making your decision, that is the right choice.

Advantages of buying second-hand homes

The positive trend in the housing market is much more than a palpable reality. In the last year (2017), the sale of houses in Spain grew by 14.6% and reached its highest level in nine years, there are truly amazing cases, as in Catalonia, where, for example, the sale of homes in Sitges has tripled the records signed in 2016.

In national data, of the 464,423 properties sold (403,866 in the previous year), 381,163 were already used. The sale of second-hand properties was the propulsion engine of a sector that can be said, without any hesitation, that it has lifted the flight and left behind the take-off ramp.

This boom cannot be coincidence and indicates that beyond the lower acquisition cost, the second-hand floors offer great advantages that are seducing buyers. Beyond secondary factors, there is no denying the undoubted appeal of the most competitive prices for this type of property compared to the newly built.

In addition, the transaction taxes are also lower when it comes to a second-hand home purchase. A clear example is the ITP, which in operations with used properties is between 6% and 8%, while in cases where the property is new, the figure is around 10%.

Another advantage is the location, and is that as can be seen in several studies, the second-hand apartments are in a more privileged geographical situation. This is because in most cases, used homes occupy the most central streets of cities and municipalities where they are located, while new properties are mostly in the periphery, an advantage that will depend in any case on the buyer tastes and needs.

Disadvantages of second-hand flats

Despite these succulent advantages, the truth is that second-hand flats also have disadvantages with respect to the newly built. The most characteristic disadvantage is closely related to the renovations. Although this aspect has not been mentioned in the advantages, the truth is that the possibilities of remodeling a home to our liking are greater in a second hand, but this virtue hides a defect.

Investing in a second-hand apartment or new work will depend on your needs

If the house needs a full renovation, it is possible that the profitability of the operation is null. This is an aspect that must be taken into account, since many of the buyers of second-hand homes seek in the operation an investment that offers a medium-long term return. But for this to happen, one must know the expenses that the renovation would entail and other factors that could directly influence the benefits of the transaction.

But without a doubt, the great disadvantage of second-hand flats with respect to new ones is their technical characteristics. Currently, most new buildings have facilities difficult to find in used properties, such as: swimming pools and sports courts, garden areas, storage and individual garage, etc. Modern comforts that is hard to find in second-hand homes.

Expenses to buy a second-hand floor

We have seen the advantages and disadvantages of buying a second-hand floor, but what expenses accompany this purchase? Eva de Miguel tells us in this YouTube video:

Knowing all this, you can get an idea of what is the right choice, which will depend more on your own needs, and not the characteristics of a property, be it second hand or new construction.

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