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.
The Spanish government yesterday published the new “Emprendedores” or “Entrepreneurs” law. It includes new rules on visas and residency, the so called Golden Visa for Spain. The limit for a residency visa through a property purchase in Spain will be €500,000. The government hopes to have the new law ready by August. It looks ambitous considering it has taken eight months to reach this point but thankfully there seems to be some urgency now in pushing this through. It was published by the official bulletin of the Spanish Parliament. So it can be trusted as an official initiative (the first official document on this law) although changes are still possible. Soon we should be able to offer solutions to clients for Spanish residence visas through the purchase of property in Spain. We will publish more here once our lawyers have had chance to decipher the proposed legislation, hopefully in the coming days. If you haven’t already done so please sign up for our blog and you will be notified as developments happen.