High hopes for Spain’s ‘golden visa’

Now that the long-awaited law granting a residency visa for international investors buying property in Spain has been passed, there are high hopes that it will give the market the boost that it needs. After being approved last month by the Spanish Parliament, the new law has effectively opened the door to thousands of potential investors.

The new legislation states that investors outside of the EU who spend €500,000 or more on residential real estate or a portfolio of properties making up this total will qualify for a visa allowing them to stay in Spain for 12 months, plus a further two-year residency permit which is renewable every two years. And there’s good news for existing property owners – those who have already invested half a million euros or more can also qualify for residency.

This comes alongside efforts being made by regional estate agents and tourism boards to improve Spain’s tarnished image. It’s hoped that these will lead to increased foreign investment and eventually help to revive the country’s property market.

Although it’s a little early for us to determine the effect of the ‘golden visa’, local agents say that they’re already receiving lots of enquiries from non-EU potential buyers, particularly from China and India. They hope that the new law will result in a higher number of property transactions, and that it may eventually lead to new property developments being targeted specifically at residency investors.

Perhaps things are starting to look up at last in the Spanish property market. It certainly appears that confidence is returning – in May, June and July, the country accounted for more enquiries (44%, 43% and 48% respectively) at Conti than any other country.  The usual monthly average for Spain is around 33% of enquiries received. 

A number of factors are pulling buyers in. Tourism is booming, access is easy and the culture is familiar, but it’s also becoming more affordable – mortgage rates are very low, the pound is getting stronger and prices are still bottoming out. People who have been sitting on their hands for the last year or so are taking advantage of the favourable conditions open to them, and deciding to go for it in case they miss out on the best deals.

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