June 2, 2017

Spain achieved the first place in terms of foreign investment

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Spain has turned into the European leader in issuing a "golden visa" for foreign investors. This type of residence permit is a powerful resource for attracting capital to the country in exchange for granting residence permits to foreign investors. To date, Portugal has been the leader in this area, but in April 2017, the 59% less of gold visas were issued than in March, supposing the investment amount of 78 million euros, according to the Portuguese Confederation of Construction of Real Estate (CPCI).

According to Campos Reis, the president of the CPCI, "this situation is considered very carefully in the real estate market, since it is almost a "failure" after an excellent first quarter and at a time when the Portuguese real estate sector shows positive signs of a recovery ".

Thus, according to this organization, Spain exceeded Portugal in attracting investment in real estate, which totaled 1,554 million euros by the end of 2016, and this figure was much higher than the investment made in the neighboring country's real estate, 873 million euros. This decrease in the volume of investments in Portugal can be explained by the bureaucratic difficulties associated with obtaining and renewing the residence permit, or the "golden visa." The CPCI organization believes that these bureaucratic obstacles have created a sense of mistrust from the part of foreign investors.

In addition, Reis Campos said that the Portuguese government should take measures to ensure that "investors do not flee to other countries and regain their leadership in this issue. Portugal has all the conditions to return to occupy the first place in terms of preferred destinations of the investments in the real estate sector".

In general, the so-called "golden visa" in Spain attracted a total of 2,236 foreign investors who have invested in the country 2.157 million euros, according to the Spanish Ministry of Commerce. This project, also known as the investor visa in Spain, was launched by the state government at the end of 2013. Until today, these investments were distributed as follows: 1,554 million euros were invested in the real estate sector in Spain; 495 million euros in business projects, as well as 108 million euros in financial assets.

On the other hand, the purchase of houses and apartments in Spain by foreign investors has been increasing since 2011. And a record number of 87,538 transactions was registered last year, according to the Spanish Association of Notaries. For the first time in six years, foreign residents bought more properties in Spain than non-residents. During the economic crisis, the profile of foreign buyer of real estate in Spain has also changed, with the exception of citizens of the United Kingdom who remain among the most active. Although Ecuadorians and Moroccans topped the list of property buyers in Spain in 2007, they have already been surpassed by the citizens of Romania and Italy.

Moreover, the increase in purchases of real estate by foreign residents in Spain is going at a double-digit rate for the last three years, and for the first time in six years foreign residents (50.3%) have bought more houses and apartments than non-residents (49.7%). The economic recovery has allowed the foreign residents to buy an apartment or a house in Spain.

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