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Spanish "golden visa" to boost interest from non EU buyers


The long-anticipated legislation granting non-EU nationals automatic Spanish residency via property investments has now officially been finalised last week.

After having been approved by the Spanish Parliament, the law has been officially published in the state Gazette (BOE), opening the door to thousands of potential investors.

The new legislation states that investors outside of the European Union who spend half a million euros or more on residential, commercial property or land in Spain will qualify for a visa allowing them to stay in Spain for 12 months (up from the current 90 days), plus a further two-year residency permit, renewable every two years.

The law is also retroactive, allowing those who have already invested half a million Euros or more on Spanish real estate to be granted residency.

Spanish estate agencies who deal with properties around this price band - such as Barcelona-based Lucas Fox - expect to see a boost in sales activity as a result of the so-called 'Golden Visa'.

Lucas Fox's properties are located in desirable Mediterranean coastal areas traditionally popular with overseas buyers and the company's average residential sales transaction value is around €1 million.

Co-founder Alexander Vaughan comments: "We anticipate that the new law will have a very positive effect on the Spanish property market, increasing the number of transactions and gradually leading to more new property developments specifically targeted at residency investors."

Meanwhile Chris Garwood of Costa Blanca property agent, Costa Blanca Select, also regards this legislation as a positive move.

"I view this as a very creative and positive development, which should give our already strongly recovering local market a further boost. This should quickly permeate through to other price ranges too," he says.

In anticipation of the new law, Lucas Fox has established a new company, 'Residency in Spain', to deal with the demand from residency investors and has registered as many as 30 enquiries a day from non-EU potential buyers, particularly from China and India.

'Residency in Spain' is a Joint Venture with leading Spanish Law firm ECIJA, offering tailor-made advice and support on obtaining residency through property investments, tax planning and associated legal and immigration issues.

Lucas Fox Head of Business Development Jason Ham explains: "The interest surrounding the anticipated approval of this new legislation has already generated a huge amount of interest in China and India, but we have also received many enquiries from potential buyers from South Africa, Brazil and the Middle East.

"I believe these savvy buyers will eventually help to stimulate the market in the areas of Spain where the quality of property available is high, and in turn encourage developers to tailor new developments with these overseas buyers specifically in mind."

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