The government is expected to shortly announce that homebuyers outside the EU will need to spend a minimum of 500 thousand Euros on property before automatically being granted residency. This figure is more than three times the original 160,000 Euro figure announced by the Spanish press in November.
It is believed that the residency permits will extend to spouses and children but will not be retrospective, as many non-EU buyers have requested.The new figure now mirrors similar agreements established in Portugal and Ireland.
Barcelona-based Real Estate agency Lucas Fox has seen increasing interest from Russian, Chinese and Asian nationals, interested in knowing the rules that would allow them to access to one of Spain’s 3.4 million empty homes in Spain. In 2012, approximately 90% of sales at Lucas Fox came via non-Spanish buyers and around 40% of those buyers were either Russian or Chinese.
Lucas Fox Director Alex Vaughan has commented:
“We are very excited about the potential impact of the proposed law change on our business. We believe that the higher threshold will bring us more clients from non-European markets given our position as one of Spain’s market leader in luxury Real Estate. For the last 12 months we have dedicated a lot of time to business development in key regions such as China, Russia and India. Thanks to this work we now have a large number of investors ready to buy as soon as the law change is passed. We have also started a new business: Residency in Spain by Lucas Fox with the aim of providing advice and support to non EU clients who want to take advantage”
The government initiative is a bid to re-activate overseas demand for property and contribute towards reducing the stock of empty homes in Spain. The initiative is jointly designed to encourage both homeownership and tourism.
Spain normally grants visas that are valid for up to 90 days to non EU citizens. It is thought that residency permits for foreign property buyers will last for the duration of the home ownership.