News round-up: September 2015

A round-up of September’s news in Spain.

National publication El Mundo has reported that according to the Institute of National Statistics, housing prices have risen 4% in the second quarter of this year and that transactions grew by 13.9% in July 2015 alone. Leading bank BBVA have emphasised that these positive developments are not surprising, as the sector showed signs of bottoming out in 2014, as well as pointing to clearer signs of recovery and an optimistic second half of the year.

El Mundo

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El País has also reported a rapid 4.2% increase in the value of homes in Q2 of this year, publishing this useful infographic taking a closer look at Spain’s regions.

El Pais Price Map

El País

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A study by leading Spanish bank BBVA, and recently published in El País, examines exactly what foreign tourists choose to spend their money on when visiting Spain. The study, based on credit card data from card readers in local businesses nation wide, logged over 5.4 million transactions throughout July and August 2014, and concludes that tourists spent the most in Barcelona (which accounted for 23% of total spending), followed by the Balearic Islands (14%). The statistics are hailed as far more reliable than survey-led data, and has allowed access to an unprecedented amount of information.

French holidaymakers spent the most whilst visiting Spain (18% of total expenditure), next came the British (16.2%), Germans (7.2%) closely followed by Russians (7.1%) and the Dutch (4.4%). However, this does vary from region to region (for example, Briton’s still rule on the Costa del Sol, whereas Americans are king in Madrid). According to the comprehensive analysis, Chinese visitors are among the top 5 highest spenders-per-head in both Barcelona and Madrid, whilst the Russians remain in the top 5 in Málaga / Costa del Sol, Tenerife and Barcelona.

El País 

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Everything Overseas have declared the dawning of a new era for the Costas. Drawn by bottomed-out, post-crisis property prices (with homes now selling for as little as £175,000 in certain coastal regions), British buyers have begun to return as the housing market springs back into action. Reporting intense movement along the Costa del Sol, Everything Overseas note gently rising property prices and ample newly-built stock (high-quality second hand options remain sparse).

Everything Overseas

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Spanish Property Insight recently reported that following news that Spanish house prices are on the rise, there is no reason to worry about a new spanish property bubble forming, (at least for now). Economics professor and property market expert José García Montalvo insists that it is premature to talk of another bubble.

News that house prices have risen by 4% has awoken ghosts of the past”, writes Garcia Montalvo. “It’s not unusual to hear talk of a new “ladrillazo” (property bubble). But the reality of today’s property sector is very different. It’s true that many indicators are growing by double digits, but it seems the property industry is just returning to normality after years of very depressed activity.”

Garcia Montalvo concludes that there is no cause for concern as despite prices rising 4% in the past year, they remain 33% below their peak nationwide.

Spanish Property Insight

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The 2013 “Golden Visa” legislation granting non-EU nationals automatic Spanish residency in exchange for a minimum of €500,000 of property investments in Spain underwent several key updates in July 2015.

The amendments will allow for direct ascendants and descendants of applicants to obtain a residency permit (whereas initially, only the investor’s spouse and children under 18 were eligible for consideration). Other changes include the right to work in Spain, as well as new allowances for co-habiting couples.

Click here for a full break-down of the recent changes to the Golden Visa scheme.

Lucas Fox offers a bespoke Residency service to non EU buyers. For more information and advice on obtaining the “Golden Visa” please contact our Residency in Spain office on +34 933 562 989 or via email info@residencyinspain.com

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