Spain Move To Attract HNWIs
18 September 2013
Estate agents specializing in high-end Spanish properties believe that the market will be boosted by a new law expected to pass in the near future that offers long-term residency to high net-worth individuals from outside the European Union.
To qualify, an incoming resident must be willing to spend at least EUR500,000 on Spanish property and be able to show they can meet their living expenses. According to a draft version of the law published last year, the new resident will be given a 1-year visa, to be followed by a residency permit renewable every 2 years. The arrangement will make entering and traveling around the rest of the EU easier, and a further advantage is that the new resident will be able choose whether or not to take Spanish tax residency.
Alexander Vaughan, a partner with Barcelona-based estate agency Lucas Fox, was recently quoted as calling the proposed law “a positive measure for the Spanish property market and economy.” He judges that it will make investing in Spanish property “far more attractive to the wider global community,” and his company has entered into an arrangement with a law firm in anticipation of the law change.
Lucas Fox specializes in luxury properties worth more than EUR1m, and the firm recently confirmed that sales are already doing particularly well in Barcelona, the Costa Brava, Ibiza and Mallorca due to international clients.
However, Vaughan emphasized that “it remains a buyer’s market.” He explained that even the best properties were selling at 20 to 30 percent below their peak prices, and that sellers are increasingly willing to negotiate. Some other properties have fallen by up to 50 percent.
Vaughan’s optimism echoes comments made last month by Mark Stucklin of Spanish Property Insight. Stucklin was quoted as saying that buyers are in a better position today than was the case during the “boom” years, and that in his view there is no longer the “malpractice and corruption” that he says was “rife” a few years ago.
Buyers have come from areas including Europe, the USA, Russia, China, India and the Gulf States.
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