After two years on passing the Golden Visa Law which aimed at boosting the Spanish economy and encouraging foreign investments, the figures show positive signs. The new law mainly targets non-European nationalities by giving them free movement across Europe and saving them a lot of bureaucratic red tape when buying a property or establishing a business in Spain.
Two years down the road, the results of this program have exceeded the expectations in terms of the activities and the generated funds. The annual report, issued in December 2015, shows that during the last 2 years, around 1,048 million euros have been invested in Spain through the Golden Visa scheme, of which 910 millions in real estate, 75 millions in capital investments and 62 millions in new businesses.
As mentioned earlier, the Golden Visa mainly benefits non-Europeans, but which nationalities did it attract the most? The Russians and Chinese came on top of the investors who benefited from the residency scheme. Out of 1,189 purchases made under the Golden Visa law, 36% were carried out by Russian investors who spent 328 million euros, followed by the Chinese who spent 268 million euros. The average purchase was 786.000 euros for the Russians and 749.000 euros for the Chinese. In third place came the Ukrainian (46) and Venezuelan (33) who invested 34 million euros each. The Middle Eastern nationalities have also benefited from the Golden Visa with Egypt and Lebanon in fourth and fifth place.
As for the provinces that attracted the biggest number of investments, we find that, besides the capital Madrid, the coastal provinces had the most investment activities, with 490 operations in Barcelona, 211 in Malaga, 183 in Madrid, followed by Alicante, Gerona and Valencia.
2015 was by far the best year for the real estate market in Spain since the 2008 crisis. The return of foreign investments to Spain was due to many factors such as the good real estate opportunities that were available, the strength of the sterling pound against the euro and the Golden Visa scheme. In the last quarter of 2015, foreigners were responsible for 14.38% of the total real estate purchases made in Spain, which is a new historical record. The British, French, German, Swedes, Belgians and Italians remain the top nationalities to purchase properties in sunny Spain.