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Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Valencian Community leads property sales to foreign investors

Villa Campello-Costa BlancaIn recent years, foreign investment in the housing sector has become particularly significant in the Valencian Community and at a national level. To mark the growing importance of this investment, an event was held in Madrid on July 7 by the Valencian regional government, (la Generalitat), and was aimed at analysing the economic impact that foreigners who invest in Spanish property are having on the country. The event was organised and promoted by the Commission for analysing, incentivising and reviving productive activity and employment through an increase in acquisition, rental and use of property by citizens from the rest of Europe. (“Comisión para el análisis, impulso y reactivación de la actividad productiva y el empleo mediante el incremento de la adquisición, arrendamiento y uso de viviendas por ciudadanos del resto de Europa”).

Property in DéniaTo indicate just how important non-Spanish citizens who buy property have become to the national economy, it must be highlighted that in 2013 the figure for foreign investment in Spanish property (including apartments, villas, office buildings, hotels, bank branches and shopping centres) reached €6.6 billion, representing a third of the total foreign investment in our country during that year. Of the various autonomous communities in Spain, the Valencian Community lead the way in property sales to foreign investors, with 33.6% of the market quota. In second and third place respectively (and significantly behind the first-placed region) were Andalusia (19.9%) and Catalonia (15.5%). While the number of transactions carried out in the national real estate market reached 16,619 in 2013, the year which marked a key turning point in the property sales curve was 2009, during which 7,473 units were sold. Furthermore, between 2012 and 2013, Rimontgó itself saw a 17% rise in operations, equalling a 4.5% increase in the company’s total volume of sales.

Luxury villa on the Costa BlancaWith regard to the nationalities of foreign citizens who invest in Spanish property, the most active are the French, Russians, Germans and British (although the latter only represented 15.2% of the total number of investors in 2013: a figure which is comparatively half that of 2009). During the last five years, there has also been a significant rise in the number of Belgians, Norwegians and Swedish who have purchased property and now reside in Spain. Notable, too, are the Chinese. While their activity in the Spanish real estate market may not be close to that of the aforementioned nationalities, it is gradually increasing, and this can be attributed, in large part, to the recent passing of the ‘Entrepreneurship Law’. This law is of particular potential interest to the Chinese, as it offers those investing in exclusive Spanish property with a value of €500,000 or more the opportunity to obtain a visa and subsequent residency permit in the Mediterranean country. Such a visa enables the holder to travel freely between nations pertaining to the Schengen Area, and can also be extended to spouses, as well as children under the age of eighteen. Therefore, an increase in interest from China and other countries whose nationals could benefit from this law is likely to manifest itself over the coming years.

Spectacular views of the sea in JáveaNot everyone who invests in exclusive property comes from the same background. Some may be looking to make a future return on their investment, while others simply want a quality property which acts as a second home. As we have seen, there are also those wanting to permanently settle with their families in Spain. Nevertheless, these investors are all attracted by a common appeal: purchasing exclusive properties in excellent areas in Spain. These areas especially populate the Valencian Community. Surrounding the city of Valencia itself, MonasteriosCampolivar and Santa Bárbara offer a wide range of quality real estate, while JáveaDéniaAltea and Moraira (along the Costa Blanca) comprise a list of some of the most privileged locales in the country, owing to their lack of overpopulation, and drawing significant interest from international clientele.


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