Spain sees changes in real estate market with war as a factor

James Hydzik

9 April 2024 - 23:32

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Spain sees changes in real estate market with war as a factor

Spain is ending its Golden Visa program for non-EU residents purchasing more than 500,000 euro in real estate. Reuters reported that Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told reporters on April 8 that ending the program would help end speculation and make apartments available in cities with very tight markets. The program had given 3-year visas, with the right to work, for those who invested at least a half-million euro into real estate without a mortgage.

Reuters notes that while less than 0.1% of the residential real estate market had been purchased under the scheme, investors predominately from China and Russia who had put in over 3.4 billion euro into the market over 2013-2023. During that time, 4.5 million homes had been sold in total in Spain.

The EU has been calling for member states to end their golden visa programs since Russia launched its broad-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.Brussels has cited security concerns, and Commissioner for Justice and Consumers Didier Reynders said that “European values are not for sale.” In response to the call, Greece, Ireland, Malta, Portugal, and The Netherlands, Portugal, Greece and Malta have either closed or tightened restrictions for such schemes.

Change of clientele

As Spain’s Golden Visa program winds down, internal EU migration to Spain is picking up, particularly from Poland. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on April 4 that Poles worried about an impending Russian invasion are increasingly looking westward. While Germany and France were destinations for some, Spain has become an increasingly popular choice. In 2023, Poles bought more than 3,000 homes in Spain, or more than double the number in 2019. ZAT points out that Poles now account for 3.6 percent of the Spanish market, as opposed to 1.6% in 2019.

ZAT notes that the clientele is changing in more ways than one. Instead of those who can afford half-million euro homes without taking out a mortgage, the current influx of home buyers is looking for abodes in the 150,000 euro range. While even this demographic is a far cry from the Polish farmers clamoring at the Ukrainian border for a halt to ag imports, it is still a decided shift for Spain’s realtors.


# Poland
# Spain

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