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  • Tenerife, Adeje, Fañabe
  • Calle Londres 8, Yucca Park

Types of real estate in Spain


What is the difference between a duplex and a townhouse, a penthouse and an atico, a house and a villa, and what is "adosado" in general? The Spanish system of real estate types is very diverse and uses a number of English, Spanish and local names, which can make a Russian buyer - accustomed to more precise definitions - indecisive due to the confusion with the terms.

The following explanation can clarify this variety of housing types. 

Apartment (apartamentos) 

Apartments in Spain are located in a residential compound consisting of low-rise buildings, united by a common architectural style, similar layouts and an internal area with a garden or a swimming pool. Thus, an offer "to buy a flat in Spain" can mean both the purchase of an apartment and the purchase of a flat in a typical city house. This, however, is not the same, so a potential buyer should be able to distinguish between them. An apartments and a flat can have completely the same layout: the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a garage, a terrace or a balcony.

The difference will not be inside, but outside. A flat is a housing, most often located in a block of flats in a buzzing urban area, while an apartment will be situated in quieter residential or resort areas. Apartments are the most popular type of real estate among foreign buyers who want to buy accommodation on the coast of Spain for a comfortable stay, rest or for renting out to tourists. 

Penthouse (atico)  

A penthouse is a luxury apartment, located on the top floor and often occupying the entire floor. This concept came to the Russian language from English, but in Spanish there is its own word for it - "atico". These two different words denote one and the same type of property. The key advantages of the penthouse-atico are the large floor space, impressive views and a luxury housing status. In Tenerife, you can sometimes find a hybrid of a penthouse and a duplex which is called "duplex-penthouse." In such cases, we are usually talking about two-level apartments occupying the upper floors of a building. This kind of a flat on the coast of Spain, in Tenerife is the high-end housing with superb panoramic views of the ocean, neighbouring islands and mountain peaks. 


A townhouse is also one of the popular and sought-after types of real estate in Tenerife. This spacious accommodation of the high level of comfort is located - same as apartments - in a comfortable modern residential compound. A townhouse is a two- or three-level housing, most often with its own garage for two cars and a small garden. It is distinguished from a villa by a smaller size of both the internal spaces and the adjacent territory. Although it a semi-detached house, in general, it is no less comfortable than a detached house, and it is designed to accommodate a family of 4-6 people. Many people decide to buy a townhouse in Tenerife for permanent residence. In addition, this type of property is in constant demand for renting out both for a long-term or for summer holidays.  

Duplex (duplex, casa adosada)  

A duplex in Spain is a two-level accommodation in a house divided into two or more independent spaces. It is a duplex that usually causes confusion, since the same house in Spain is often called differently. For example, there are such options as a duplex chalet, duplex-adosado or, as was already mentioned above, a duplex penthouse. Duplexes are often confused with townhouses. The main distinction is that townhouses are semi-detached low-rise buildings in a single architectural style, while duplexes can be located in a detached two-storey house divided into two parts, each with a separate entrance. And still, the differences between a duplex and a townhouse in Tenerife are not always obvious. In Spain, this kind of property is more typical for the resort rather than for the urban area. To buy a duplex on the coast in Tenerife means to buy a cosy and comfortable two-storey house on the seaside with a garage, a small garden, one or two walls adjacent to the neighbouring housing of the same type. 


A villa in Tenerife is high-end property. In Spain, both on the mainland and on islands, villas are in constant demand among wealthy foreigners. This is a status real estate which is located in prestigious areas on the coast or, on the contrary, at some distance from tourist routes. In the latter case, it can be a mansion with a large plot of land. Another opportunity that you can consider if your goal is to purchase high-end property in the Canary Islands is to buy land in Tenerife and build a house according to your own project . The advantages of buying a villa are obvious: this is a luxury housing with a large area, isolation from neighbours and the noise of tourist areas. It has a private pool, a garden, a spacious garage and possibly some other facilities. A villa in Tenerife is often surrounded by golf courses and magnificent mountain landscapes or is within the boundaries of convenient urban areas with well-developed infrastructure. Renting a villa in Tenerife is also a popular request. The choice of luxury accommodation in Tenerife is huge: from 100 percent classics in colonial style with a shady patio and fountains in the fruit garden to constructivist minimalism with a 360-degree panoramic view.

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