As Andorra transforms from one of Europe’s best kept secrets into a popular holiday and expat destination, the demand for property is rising. Its great location (sandwiched between France and Spain in the Pryenees), low property taxes and the fact you can apply for residency if you buy a property worth €400,000 or more, makes investing in Andorran property very attractive.
When purchasing property, it is sensible to go through a real-estate agency that is accredited by the Association of Real Estate Agencies of Andorra (AGIA). This will ensure the price is in-line with the current market and you get a good deal.
The buying process
Andorra has a straight-foward, standardised process for buying property.
- A Promesa de compra-venda (Commitment to buy and sell) is signed by the buyer and the seller.
- The buyer pays a non-refundable 10% deposit of the purchase price. This is designed to protect both parties: it protects the seller from the buyer withdrawing suddenly and the buyer from the seller trying to repay the deposit if given a better offer by someone else.
- Non residents: All non-residents need to obtain ‘permission to buy’ from the government. It’s easy to get; simply submit the Autoritzacio d’inversio estrangera en immobles (authorisation for foreign investment) form. Authorisation usually takes one to two weeks.
- A locally registered architect (hired by the seller) inspects the property and issues a Certificat d’habitabilitat (Certificate of Habitability). This certificate confirms that the property meets all legal requirements to be lived in.
- A notary oversees the final purchase: the buyer will demonstrate he/she has paid the remaining amount for the property - plus notary fees - and the Escriptura publica (Public Title Deeds) is signed. The Escriptura publica transfers ownership of the property to the buyer.
- The keys are handed over to the buyer.
As the official language in Andorra is Catalan, all legal documents need to be in Catalan. If you do not speak the language, you may need to hire a translator. French, English and Spanish are also quite widely spoken. Your real-estate agent or notary may be able to speak one of these languages and translate for you so make sure you check before paying extra for an official translator.