We calculate below total transaction costs, i.e., the costs of buying a property plus the costs of selling. Click on the country name for more details.

Transaction Costs Compared

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The Global Property Guide provides transaction costs in two formats:

  1. Transaction costs as a range.

    We give a range because the costs paid by the buyers and sellers vary widely. Agentsand lawyers costs are often negotiable. Purchasers of expensive properties often pay proportionately less registration fess than purchasers of new properties. The reasons for the variation are explained in detail in the footnotes.

    Transaction costs as a range example: Philippines

  2. Transaction costs 'typical case'.

    We provide 'typical case' transaction costs in order to allow comparison between different countries. For comparisonthe following assumptions are adopted:

    1. The property purchased by a non-resident in the country where he/she is buying.
    2. The property worth USD 250,000 (€ 250,000 for Europe).
    3. Is paid in cash.
    4. Is a condominium located in a major city.

    Transaction costs comparison example: Asia

Our method for calculating transaction costs.

Some transaction costs are difficult to quantify. Others are very subjective. For the purpose of our research we focus on four major costs:

  • Registration costs are the fees and taxes incurred in registering the property with the competent land cadastre or registry. These include registration fees, stamp duties, and notary fees.
  • Real estate agent fees best capture various search costs. Real estate agent acts as a middleman in a property purchase, matching buyers with sellers, acting as intermediary in price negotiations. They typically assist buyers during the registration process.
  • Legal fees are paid to lawyers or to the conveyancer in the preparation of sales and purchase agreement. In some countries, the use of lawyers is mandatory. Lawyers are typically asked to ensure that there are no liens on the property. Legal fees are different from notary fees.
  • Sales and transfer taxes are imposed by local and national governments on the sale and purchase of real estate. They include Deed Taxes, Transfer Taxes and Value-added Tax (VAT).

Other incidental costs such as survey fees, acquisition fee for tax number or residency permit or costs for setting up a company are not included in our calculation, for various reasons. Annual property taxes and capital gains taxes are also not included, although they are typically paid before the property is registered.


Global Property Guide Research, with inputs from local real estate agents, government agencies, and World Bank Doing Business