Viva España, the 1970s karaoke favourite that sparked the world’s desire for holidays in Spain, is in line for a revival next month when the Spanish Government announces its long awaited new laws to hand over passports to property buyers.
Those singing the famous people’s anthem the loudest will include Russians, Arabs, Chinese and Indians for whom a “European passport” is highly prized and could provide travel to Spain and every other EU country without the need for a visa. Successful entrepreneurs from the Far East and South America are expected to join in the catchy karaoke chorus as they rush for their Spanish passports.
The Spanish Parliament is set to approve the new Citizen Spain legislation in July, eight months after the idea was floated following the PP Party return to power last year. Since then the ruling politicians have raised the minimum purchase from the proposed EUR 160,000 to EUR 500,000,
The “Passport for Property” laws are widely expected to exclude instant residency status, but real estate investors will be eligible, as property owners, for eventual resident status using existing legislation. It will enable holders to travel for holidays in Spain and business in 25 European countries without the need for tiresome visas.
Spain’s move is the latest effort to turbo-charge the country’s real estate market where foreign investment reached an all-time high in 2012 as EUR 5.54 billion poured into the sector. 2013 is looking even better. The money has come from northern European countries, China, Hong Kong and Russia.
The residency-for-real-estate plan was proposed by Spanish Trade Minister Jaime Garcia-Legaz with an aim to boost Spain’s sagging real estate market which currently has around 700,000 new homes on the market and in Sareb, a specially formed “Bad Bank”. The Spanish Trade Minister noted the program while mainly aimed at Russian and Chinese investors (i.e., BRIC oligarch money), it is expected to be open to all foreigners.
New Spanish passport for property service “busy”
Google searches on Spain’s passport for real estate investment have led many investors to Barcelona-based Walker Property Spain, an international broker offering the real estate stock of all major Spanish banks. The firm’s Citizen Spain service has become increasingly busy in the eight months since the Government announcement.
Sales manager, Ben Walker said: “We have had passport for property purchase inquiries from Indian, Russia, America and the Middle East and they represent more than €80M in potential investment so far. We are offering Spanish bank properties at an average peak to present discount of 44% in Barcelona, Ibiza, Mallorca and Marbella that are the main areas of interest from passport-property investors.”
Walker Property Spain provides a one-stop service that includes visas, NIE certificates, mortgages, viewing trips and purchase management support. Lawyers and accountants provide additional advice and action.
Author: Kevin Barnett. Walker Property News