This month La Vida Spain features in the South African airlines in flight magazine, Suwabana. The article is about real estate investment of South Africans overseas for lifestyle and we talk about the golden visa in Spain which comes with any property investment above €500,000. We have had considerable interest from South Africa for both Spain and Portugal. You can download the magazine through the App store.
Over 90% of visitors to our website that take our survey are likely to invest in property in Spain in order to gain the golden visa. Our survey to date reveals 37.8% of visitors wish to buy property within 6 months. A further 30.2% within 12 months and 22.6% leaving it more than one year. Over 30,000 people have now visited this blog. To take part in the survey just click “take our survey” in the right hand column of this page. Follow this link for our free residency visa guide. Investors should carefully consider the benefits of both the Spain and Portugal golden visa schemes. Something our professional staff are able to advise on. Please contact us for help and advice from our experts.
Anyone considering a property investment in Europe to obtain a golden residency visa needs to carefully consider the citizenship rules. Spain and Portugal are the two big economies offering residency visas for property investment over €500,000. However the citizenship rules for both countries differ. Spain requires ten years residency. Portugal requires six years residency but there is no necessity to live in the country during those six years. You can read more on our Portugal visa website. It is important to gain specialist legal advice before committing to a property purchase and our lawyers in both countries can help with this although our initial advice at La Vida is free to anyone purchasing real estate through our company. Our free guide explains the rules. And of course we are not just another website. We are a real company with offices and ten years experience of international property so please feel free to contact us by mail or call +44 208 429 7115 for advice.
La Vida Spain was awarded best international agent by Spanish banking group Banco Sabadell this month. La Vida Spain is one of the largest sellers of bank properties to the international market and is able to package portfolios of property for international investors seeking the golden visa in Spain. The investor visa rules allow multiple properties within the €500,000 limit and bank owned real estate offers the most distressed and discounted prices in Spain. Investors buying for residency and eventual citizenship can benefit from capital gains by buying now and holding for 5 or 10 years eventually selling when permanent residency or citizenship is obtained in Spain. Many of the properties we offer from the banks are discounted by 50% or more from their prices back in 2007.
Many of our clients ask about guaranteed rental income on their property investment as they intend minimal use of their property. This is hard to achieve in Spain. In fact we have not come across such an offering. Certainly not one from a reliable developer or source. However we have recently partnered with Portugal’s most prestigous golfing resort, established over 25 years. Here there is such a scheme for investments from €600,000. It offers a 5 year rental guarantee at 4%. Plus each year the owner can use the property personally for up to 8 weeks. The residency rules for the golden visa in Portugal are similar to those for Spain. €500,000 is still the minimum investment. After the first year buyers need to spend a minimum two weeks each year in Portugal to retain the investor visa. Citizenship can be applied for after six years residency. Portugal has also introduced recent tax rules for pensioners with zero tax for ten years on pension income and zero or reduced rates on certain other income. Follow this link for more information on the golden visa programme in Portugal where you can request details on the guaranteed rental investment on offer.
It looks set to be an interesting year in 2014 with Spain’s Golden Visa programme now live. There’s disappointment from many of our prospective clients that the investment limit was eventually set at €500,000 and not the €160,000 originally mentioned by the Spanish government. We launched our new website property visas spain to focus purely on properties over €500,000 or combinations of investment properties suitable for gaining the golden visa. The website covers all the key areas in Spain and it’s important for overseas investors to get initial advice as to where to buy and invest in Spain as everyone’s needs are different. Prices vary, types of property vary, climate and lifestyle is very different from cities to coastal regions. Choice will depend on your family, education, the language you speak (English/Spanish), universities, frequency of travel, European connections, business associations etc. Most real estate websites concentrate on their own town/region and international visa agents from your home countries will try to sell the most profitable product for them. So if you are thinking of investing for residency in Spain in the new year make sure you are talking to the right people and get the right independent advice from an international agent with extensive experience that covers all the areas Spain has to offer. Happy New Year!!
A European Union directive published in 2011 means anyone granted the golden investor visa for Spain will be able to live and work anywhere in the EU Schengen visa zone. Investors in Spanish property are first issued a one year residency visa when spending over €500,000 on a property purchase in Spain. After one year the visa can be renewed and again every every two years indefinetly. It is at that point, after the first 12 months, that the European residency rule will allow investors and their families to live and work anywhere in the Schengen visa zone in Europe, as long as the investment in Spain is maintained and the visa renewed every two years.
I returned from a real estate conference in Barcelona this week. How times have changed for the focus on investors in the last 10 years. It used to be the UK and other northern European buyers driving the demand pre credit crisis but in recent years the focus is on China and other developing economies. I was encouraged by conversations I had with banks, developers and agents. Five years ago the Spanish property market was on its knees. Prices since then have fallen typically 40%-50%. The banks have had to repossess real estate and subsequently sell at knockdown prices. Low priced property is being snapped up by European buyers but high end property purchases are being driven by international investors, particularly Russian and Chinese. Barcelona is showing some similarities with London (where prices have boomed in the last two years driven by overseas buyers). International investors seeing the investment potential (yield and growth) and moving in while prices are rock bottom. The new Spanish investor visa (entrereneur visa spain or golden visa spain as it is known) will add fuel to the fire for international buyers in Spain. Figures confirmed this week that the Spanish economy came out of two years of recession this quarter. Property here is starting to look cheap.
While the new law passed through the Spanish parliament last month allows for immigration to Spain and effectively permanent residency by renewing the investor property visa it is not necessary to stay in the country.
An investment of 500,000 Euros entitles the investor to live in Spain by renewing the investor visa every two years. However there is no minimum stay requirement. So anyone buying a property in Spain can travel freely when they want and need only be in the country once every two years in order to renew the visa.
This is a particular attraction for business minded individuals and frequent travellers who want the freedom of travel throughout the Schengen area in Europe granted by the Spanish visa but may not want the immigration benefits for themselves and their family.
We think this is extremely flexible but we welcome your thoughts on how other countries compare for the European investor visa schemes such as Portugal, Cyprus, Ireland and Greece.
We have received a number of enquiries regarding the minimum stay requirement in Spain for the investor visa. Tax residency and citizenship in Spain are also questions that arise. In summary:
There is no minimum stay requirement. You can obtain the investor visa after completing on the property purchase(s) over €500,000. You do not need to spend time in Spain but you do need to be present (for a few days) to re-apply every two years.
You can keep renewing the investor visa if you retain the real estate investment. You can also apply for permanent residency. To do this you need to spend five years living in Spain. (ie over 6 months each year). Then you no longer need to retain the investment.
To apply for citizenship in Spain (and hence European citizenship allowing you to live and work anywhere in Europe) you need to demonstrate 10 years permanent residency.
You will not pay tax in Spain on worldwide income unless you are resident in Spain (ie live there more than six months a year).
Any questions please post below.