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Golden Visa withdrawal will have hardly any impact on sales by foreigners

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The Government has taken a step forward to modify the law that allows any foreigner who buys a home in Spain valued at more than 500,000 euro to obtain a residence permit. The end of the Golden Real Estate Visa puts an end to a measure approved on a temporary basis in 2013. Throughout the decade in which it has been in force, between 6,200 and 14,500 of these visas have been granted, in depending on the source consulted.

“The trajectory of this compensation cannot be described as a success,” indicates Abel Marín, partner and lawyer at the Marín & Mateo Abogados firm, who emphasises that “neither the measure had a relevant impact on the nature of the migratory flows, nor, consequently, neither does its repeal.”

On the other hand, the lawyer states that preventing foreigners from obtaining residency and moving freely through the Schengen area through a real estate investment “will be irrelevant” with regard to housing prices: “There are other important factors much more decisive that put pressure on supply and demand,” admits the expert, who assures that “accessibility to housing will not improve substantially after the withdrawal of this stimulus, whose purpose was purely for revenue collection.”

Although real estate investment is ruled out as a gateway, foreigners who wish to obtain residency still have other options. “It is a very extensive question,” Marín clarifies, adding that “it will depend on whether it is temporary, long-term or permanent, the reasons (studies, work, starting a business), family reunification or even political asylum.”

The spokesperson for Marín & Mateo Abogados admits that “purchasing a property was the simplest and fastest way, as well as being affordable.” Among the alternatives that remain in force is the investment of two million euro in public debt, an indicator that closed 2023 with a new record of 1.57 million, 107.7% of GDP.

As for the nationalities that will feel the disappearance of the golden visa the most, the lawyer estimates that they will be “the citizens of Eastern Europe, Russia and Belarus.” According to official data, Chinese and Russians have been the non-EU citizens who have taken the most advantage of the Golden Visa.

Therefore, despite the speculation and in some UK press, the impact on British buyers will be barely noticeable, partly because Brits in general buy properties well below the half a million euro threshold to qualify.

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