New Spanish property investment visa draws Chinese and Russians
|Published:||15 May at 6 PM|
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The property investment visa guarantees residency permits to buyers of Spanish homes costing more than half a million euro, and is set to become active from July. Automatic residency is granted to owners of said property, and is also to be extended to spouses and children, although it will only be valid for as long as the property is owned.
The finer details of the plan are yet to be revealed, but the Spanish government is relying on it to boost demand for higher-level properties and encourage longer-term tourism in the country by non-European Union nationals. Tourist visas for visitors from non-EU countries are valid at present for just 90 days.
Spanish real estate agents are already seeing strong interest in upscale properties from Russian and Chinese investors, attracted by lower prices as well as the visa opportunities. According to realtor Chris Mercer of Mercers Estate Agency, price reductions are now standing at between 40 and 55 per cent of peak prices.
Most potential buyers, he adds, have finance already in place to take advantage of the window of opportunity which opens in July. Other agents report that 80 per cent of properties sold last year were to non-EU buyers, with Asian investors especially keen on homes in Ibiza and Barcelona.
Catalunya and the Balearics are also attracting attention from Asia, with Chinese buyers very visible. India is another region whose wealthy nationals are looking to purchase a foothold in Spain, with several realtors already developing their businesses in the sub-continent.
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The law has been passed this week and Spain offers arguably the most attractive "Golden Visa" option in Europe. We should not expect this to move the market in Spain. We are talking about investment over €500,000, the luxury end. And nationwide we would expect no more than a few hundred transactions in the first year. But it is a positive and creative move by the Spanish government unlike some of their recent property market policy changes.