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Golden Visa Residence Permit: International interest at prime locations in Spain and Portugal


The Spanish and Portuguese property market has recently experienced a boost in real estate investments since the government initialised a project allowing temporary residency to anyone that invests in a property in Spain or Portugal. The Golden Visa system as it’s known has led to an astonishing 2,500% increase in interest from Middle Eastern buyers alone. Investors in Spanish or Portuguese property have also come from as far as Russia and Asia.


It’s not just investors who are being tempted by the golden visa proposition. Many retirees are also looking into the Golden Visa system as a way to buy their ‘place in the sun’. Much of Spain and Portugal’s appeal to outsiders is the welcome lifestyle –the climate, outdoors lifestyle, beaches, great food and culture, universities, services and close air links to most of European main capitals.

Spain’s economy has long suffered due to its credit crisis, a glut of unwanted properties and high levels of foreclosures. Property pricing has dropped significantly. In October, the Spanish government issued the Golden Visa rule, allowing anyone investing more than €500,000 (US$679,150) in a Spanish property would automatically receive a temporary one year residency permit. That permit is eligible for two-year extensions, twice. The Golden Visa allows investors to include their spouses and dependent children in the residency arrangement.

The Golden Visa system has inevitably boosted tourism with investors travelling to Spain in search for property to buy. Over 8 million visited Spain in April 2013 alone. A large proportion of property investors are coming from Russia, with visitors from that country jumping an impressive 30% according to the Spanish tourism authority. Agents representing the Russian continent report their clients are looking for holiday property for either their own use or rental purposes whilst others are looking for properties with a plan to eventually relocate.

There is also notable interest coming out of Africa, India, South America and China. The Chinese are famous for investing in property worldwide and have the money to spend but are uninterested in Spain’s overpriced market and the government’s limited land rights. With the Yuan strong against the Euro, diversification by investing in Spain and taking advantage of the Golden Visa is definitely win-win so Chinese property investors are taking a big interest in Spain and Portugal.


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