Expat property purchase patterns changed by residency visa offers

Published:  7 Oct at 6 PM
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Since Spain introduced its offer of a residency visa for non-EU citizens dependent on a property purchase of over €500,000, real estate professionals have seen a change in expat buying habits.

Buyers from the UK still make up a good proportion of property purchases in France, accounting for 20 per cent of real estate deals. Brittany, Normandy, Midi-Pyrenees and Aquitaine are favourites, with Italian buyers concentrating on Paris and Provence.

Real estate prices are still falling in France, giving a good choice of properties and euro mortgage finance deals. French lenders are cutting rates to stimulate demand, with variable rate mortgages offered at 2.15 per cent and 10-year fixed rates as low as 2 8 per cent.

Many who were considering Spanish property have now fallen back due to changes in the law and the feeling that the lowest point has not yet been reached. However, Spain’s innovative new residency visa offer has attracted a great deal of interest from Russian, Middle Eastern, Indian, Brazilian and Chinese buyers, all of whom seem to be more interested in having a place to run to than location and standard.

New real estate companies are springing up to take advantage of the increased sales, especially in communities along Spain’s Mediterranean coastline. Previously, the main buyers of upscale Spanish property were the British, who’ve corneredd the market for decades along with the Germans and Scandinavians. Over the last year, high quality seaside villas have been selling to buyers from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco as well as Russia and the Far East.
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