Spanish Golden Visa scheme picks up steam

The Spanish Golden Visa scheme has delivered better results for Spain in 2016.

The Spanish Golden Visa scheme was introduced in 2013 offering permanent residence and Schengen-area travel in return for certain types of investment, including €500,000 or more in real estate, but got off to a disappointing start. However, it appears that improvements introduced in July 2015 have made the scheme more effect, with total investment up 63% between the end of 2015 and the end of October this year, according to a recent article by the Spanish financial daily Cinco Días.

Total foreign investment in Spanish Golden Visas was €1.71 billion at the end of October, up from €1.05 at the end of 2015, an increase of 63%. Real estate has been the most popular investment, representing 77% by value and 94% by transactions.

Russians and Chinese are the biggest investors in the Golden Visa

The Chinese had invested a total of €469 million in 666 real estate purchases by the end of October, up 75% compared to the end of 2015. The most popular destination amongst Chinese buyers was the Spanish capital Madrid, and their average spend on property was €703,724.

Russians have invested €480m with an average price of €786,000 since the start of the scheme, up 46% in 2016. Their most popular destinations were Málaga, home to the Costa del Sol, followed by Alicante (Costa Blanca), the Costa Brava, Valencia City, and Barcelona.

The Spanish Government has issued 24,500 visas since start in 2013, 11,774 to principal investors, and 12,731 to family members, all according to Cinco Días.

But as I reported back in September, the Spanish Golden Visa scheme has delivered disappointing results compared to schemes in other countries like the US.

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