Spain’s new visa for non-Europeans buying property worth over €500,000 is set to spark huge interest from wealthy overseas buyers, it is claimed. The Spanish government has confirmed that from the 1 January 2014 those from outside the European Union buying property in that price range anywhere in the country will be granted a residency visa.
It is thought the package will be particularly attractive to Russian, Middle Eastern and Chinese buyers. Michael Lovett, managing director of agency Fine & Country Spain, believes the law will make huge waves across the country as a genuine incentive to non-European Union buyers.
He pointed out that Spanish residency gives buyers the ability to move freely around 25 European nations. He reckons that the result will be similar to Portugal where the introduction of a property visa improved sales to a two year high. Marbella could be one of the most popular spots for visa hunters. It has been a prime spot for Russian and Scandinavian investors in recent years attracted to the year round warm weather and luxury property along the Golden Mile.
From what was a solely lifestyle driven purchase, the law adds a new stimulus to the global market place. A change of pace is expected as demand from those who might have been hesitant to buy before are now persuaded to buy. ‘We hope to see a renewed interest from Asia with market analysts predicting a €100 million worth of property investment in Spain over the next 24 months,’ said Lovett.
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One of Marbella’s leading newspapers recently commented that eight out of every 10 new residents are now foreign, registering 138 different nationalities in Marbella alone. This figure is likely to grow as the population of the town continues to increase. Some 2,773 have moved to Marbella since last year, and 2,246 of its total inhabitants are foreign, reflecting the strong international community with purpose built infrastructure for this audience.
‘The high level of wealth and assets in Marbella set it apart from other Spanish towns. It is a real magnate for savvy investors. In Nueva Andalucía especially, where there is the biggest variety of residential nationalities, international culture has significantly boosted tourism and property sales in the last 12 months. It is clear confidence in the market place is growing,’ explained Lovett.
Portugal’s golden visa scheme last year similarly targeted high net worth buyers. Market surveys from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) highlight the wave of new buyer enquiries after the law was introduced, allowing Portugal’s housing market to stabilise.
Michael hopes for a similar result for Marbella. ‘The sale of just 5,000 luxury properties in Spain could bring in additional revenue of €1billion to the economy. Our neighbours in Portugal have seen a genuine lift in the property market thanks to government initiative. We expect luxury areas like Marbella, ideal for high end buyers, to profit from added migration,’ added Lovett.