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Spain Surveys offers property surveys,  homebuyer surveys, property inspection, and building surveys in Spain. 



Spanish Technical Architects and RICS reach mutual acknowledgment agreement

Andrew McNamara

The agreement will help facilitate, among other things, the professional activity of Spanish surveyors abroad.

(Translation of the original article published in El Mundo 20/02/17) 

Spanish Technical Architects will now have direct access to the prestigious certification of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), one of the most exclusive and recognized international organizations of real estate professionals, which, among other things, will allow professionals to work abroad and ensure the compliance  to RICS's standards. 

José Antonio Otero, president of the General Council of Technical Architecture of Spain (CGATE) and Maarten Vermeulen, director of RICS, Europe, signed a mutual recognition agreement last Friday that articulates the collaboration that both associations have maintained in recent years.

Thanks to this agreement  Spanish Technical Architects will have direct access become associate  members of RICS.

In order to be an associate member of RICS - in the field of Building Surveying Technical architects need to to have one year of relevant professional experience and to pass an exam jointly developed by  CGATE and RICS along with and ethics evaluation.

The signed agreement establishes the objective of expanding the number of specialities as soon as possible. This access route to RICS allows the possibility of more experienced Spanish Technical Architects to access other routes established by RICS, in particular, the Senior Professional, Senior Expert or Professionally Experienced route.

Likewise, CGATE commits to recognising the professional qualifications of RICS members who fulfil the Spanish legal requirements. The CGATE will advise and where appropriate, report favourably to the Spanish authority - Ministerio de Fomento, requests for recognition of Qualifications in Spain for members of the RICS who possess academic qualifications comparable to those of  Technical Architects. “With this agreement, we have improved the international employability of Spanish technical architects and engineers and contributed to the prestige of our profession,” said the president of the CGATE, José Antonio Otero. Maaten Vermeulen stated during the signing of the agreement that “the current collaboration between RICS and CGATE will be supported, enhanced and expanded, thanks to this agreement.”

The framework partnership agreement also opens the possibility of future collaborations, such as the recognition by RICS of training programs or professional certification systems promoted by the Colleges of Architects and Technical Architects.

RICS is a professional organization that accredits professionals in the field of real estate, development and construction. Founded in London in 1868, it now has more than 125,000 accredited professionals in more than 140 countries.

The Spanish General Council of Technical Architecture groups  55 Colleges of Surveyors and Technical Architects of Spain, to which more than 50,000 professionals belong. launches first online shop for building surveys in Spain.

Andrew McNamara

New online service for home buyers takes the doubt out of buying a Spanish property.  has announced today the launch of a new website offering a variety of for building surveys in English for home and land buyers in Spain. The new platform allows customers to order a home Condition Report  or Land Report online and receive the results by email following a visit to the property by the Surveyor. The system enables customers to order a survey on the website and the nearest available Surveyor to the property will arrange a site visit. Once the Survey is completed it will be sent by email in English and Spanish. Peter Mitchell, Sales Manager for says “ Most of our customers prefer the survey in English but we also provide a copy in Spanish as this is useful to use as a bargaining tool with a Spanish seller or an appointed solicitor ”

Available in the Building Survey Shop are Condition Reports for villas and flats and Land Surveys for people looking to purchase a plot of land for the construction of a villa.  

The Condition Report covers all areas of the property with a strong focus on structural defects which can be the most expensive area to rectify post purchase. It also contains a section of possible legal issues and risks to property or people which is very useful for both the buyer and their legal representative . An easy 1,2,3 rating is used to give a quick indication of defects requiring attention. 

In addition to the Condition Report floor plans, renovation and repair estimates can also be ordered. Peter explains:  “ We spoke to all the Surveyors in our network and the primary concern of customers buying second hand properties was how much it would cost to repair defects or renovate the property. Really the only way to do this is to get different quotes from builders which is a time consuming task for a property which isn’t yet yours. The Surveyor calculates the cost of repairs or renovation according to current market rates so the buyer knows exactly what they will have to spend post purchase. This is also an important bargaining tool while negotiating price. Having a floorpan or a proposed floorpan if you wish to change layout is also an important tool to organise furniture and indeed to know the real size of the property”

Land Reports for new builds can also be ordered from the Survey Shop . The Land Report indicates the viability of building a new home using a simple a 1,2,3 rating and includes detailed planning requirements and restrictions. In addition Design Projects and Build Estimates are available.  A Design Project enables a plot buyer to visualise their proposed home and Construction Estimates how much it will cost them.  The team at Sun Surveys have found that plot buyers often have no idea of the true cost of building a home in Spain and also need precise information as to what they can build so they can weigh up the pros and cons of purchasing. 

The aim of the new Building Survey Shop is to provide property and land buyers with all the information they need to make an informed decision about their property purchase in Spain. is  a network of Building Surveyors specialising in Structural surveys, Condition reports  and Land Reports for new builds in all regions of Spain including the Balearic and Canary Islands. To learn more visit or call + 34 622948420 (7 days) 




What is the real size (m2) of a flat/villa in Spain?

Andrew McNamara

When you see a property advertised for sale in Spain its more than likely that the Size of the villa or flat or plot is listed as being larger than it really is. This is due to the use of both built area (superficie construida) and Usable (or carpet) area (superficie util)

Built area is used:

  • For calculating estimated costs for new builds 
  • By the land registry department 
  • In property deeds
  • For mortgage valuations
  • For council taxes and permit fees
  • For Advertising properties for sale. 
  • For planning permission and regulations
  • In Architectural Projects and plans along with usable area

Usable area is used:

  • In Architects plans along with built area in advertising properties for sale or rent. It is sometimes specified as such but most property ads feature the built area as it is larger than the real usable area. 

How is Built area calculated?

Built area means the total area of the property within the walls a property including terraces, garages, balconies and stairwells except for indoor open patios. Open areas such as terraces, balconies and other covered areas are calculated at 50% except for areas that are covered on three sides which are calculated at 100%. In residential use areas lower than 150cm are not considered to be “built area”  Flats:  Common areas in blocks of flats such as stair wells, lift areas, passageways etc are divided up equally between flats and added to each.  Indoor patios and light wells are not calculated.  

Floor plans, Design Proposals and Projects

As we have seen built area is used for all official purposes but it is important that we know the real usable area as this is the space we need to live in. repair or renovate or furnish. A Floor Plan, Design proposal or Design Project (for new builds)  solves this issue as both measurements are included. offered this service along with Home Condition Reports (for existing properties) and Land Reports (for those buying plots of land with a view to building)