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Spanish golden visa brings in €2.16 billion in first three years

In 2013, the Spanish golden visa was introduced by Spain’s government. This meant that legislation could offer residency permits to large investors and qualified professional individuals and since then, it has accumulated a lot of money for the country.

Three years after the Spanish golden visa was introduced, over 2,000 investors have benefited from it (approximately 2,236), bringing in €2.16 billion into the country. A staggering 72% of this money has gone into property, which has been a fantastic progression for Spain’s economy.

About 27,301 people have been granted residency in Spain under the Entrepreneur’s Law, which also includes family members, so the country has really been on the up since this visa has become familiar to the world and an attractive option.

The Chinese and Russian market has really benefited Spain’s property market. Almost 60% of total investment pumped into the Spanish economy has come from Chinese and Russian millionaires (59.4% exactly) and 714 Chinese national residents have been granted the special ‘golden visa’ since September 2013. In total, the Chinese market has invested approximately €716 million in property, financial assets and business projects, which has really helped to grow the Spanish economy. Russian investors are only shortly behind – they have been granted 685 visas and they have invested approx. €567 million into the Spanish economy. These sums of money have really benefited Spain’s property market and the way it’s going, these sort of investments will only keep on coming.

The Spanish government have been very lenient when issuing golden visas. It has become widespread throughout the European Union over the last two decade. In particular, the countries that have been issued most golden visas includes France, Germany, United Kingdom, Portugal and Ireland.

Around 12,891 foreign people have been issued with residence permits under the new law – Entrepreneur’s Law – and alongside this; these people brought approximately 14,000 family members along with them to Spain.

To qualify for the golden visa scheme, people need to spend a minimum of €2 million on Spanish treasury bonds OR €1 million on stocks/deposits in Spain. Alternatively, to get a golden visa, someone can purchase property valued more than €500,000 or someone can contribute to business and be innovative in a particular area, contribute to society in a scientific/technological way, and all of these elements will contribute to the success of obtaining a golden visa.

The Spanish economy has seen a rise in overseas investors/buyers who are looking to spend excessive amounts on Spanish property. Overseas buyers made up of 13.7% of all purchases in 2016 – especially in coastal locations: Alicante (where overseas buyers made up over half of the amount).

Interestingly, British buyers have not been as proactive in buying Spanish property since the wake of Brexit. People are feeling the fright and are less reluctant to purchase a Spanish home – whether on a full-time basis or for a holiday home. However, the people from the UK have still made up the largest group of foreign buyers of property in Spain. In 2015, Brits bought 10,552 homes, but the Brexit consequences could be really damaging.

The British demand has definitely dropped, mainly because of the devaluation of the pound. The connections between exchange rates and sales are a close one and impacts buyers/investors decision-making. Although the British sales in Spain’s property market declined after Brexit, they are slowly creeping up again.

It will be interesting to see how much more people take advantage of the Spanish golden visa this year.

Written by Gemma Smith

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