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SG Buy a home, get a visa in Spain

Property Here - Wednesday, May 22, 2013

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By Andrew Batt:

A new law in Spain which is expected to come into force in July is expected to see many more buyers from Southeast Asia investing in property there - because it will come with residency. 

The law, which we first reported about in late 2012, will allow non-European Union residents to get Spanish residency automatically if they buy a property worth €500,000 or more.

According to the latest data from the Bank of Spain, foreign investment in the Spanish property market has increased by 17 percent in 2012. The market has become increasingly attractive as a result of the significant falls seen in property prices since it was enveloped in the financial crisis.

An influx of investors from Asia-Pacific, China, Russia and America is likely to boost the Spanish market. Spain-based luxury real estate agency Lucas Fox is already working with the Asian property consultancy SQFT, and they are expecting a delegation representing nine groups of Chinese and Korean investors to come to Barcelona by the end of May. They will be shown properties in Catalonia, Ibiza and the Balearics.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph Han Bin, Director of SQFT, said: “Most Chinese investors want to buy a property in Barcelona because not only are they getting a good investment, but there is now the opportunity to acquire Spanish residency at the same time. What's more, the market is particularly attractive given the historic low prices.” 

Cesar Garzon, a Spanish law expert based in London, said: “The Spanish government, through Secretary of State for Economic and Business Support, Fernando Jimenez, has assured the bill will shortly be approved. He confirmed it may be this week or next. We will nevertheless have to wait until the bill is fully approved as he did not confirm the minimum amount to be invested.”

Garzon added: “We do not exactly know at this stage whether the residence permit will be granted to the registered owner of the property or to all his/her family. I guess there will be some procedures and deadlines to extend the permit to the family members. In any case right now in Spain, if you are a resident, you can ask for family residence reunification.”

Garzon also suggested that it may be possible that the government will stipulate minimum periods of ownership to keep the residence since purchasing the property.



Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email andrew@allproperty.com.sg