Foreign Sales Boost Spanish Property Market
Figures released by Spanish Registrars last month indicated that 13.5% of all house purchases in 2016 were made by non Spanish nationals. This shows a small decrease from the previous year but still amounts to one in 7.5 of all property transactions throughout Spain. Despite the Brexit effect, the largest group of buyers, within the total of overseas sales, were still the British, who made up 19% over the year only falling to 16.4% during the last quarter. This represents 2.5% of overall real estate sales in Spain.
The next highest investing nation was Germany which made up 9.2% of Spain’s international property market, representing 1.24% of national property acquisition. French buyers made up 8.5% of foreign sales, whilst Swedish and Belgian citizens were responsible for 6.4% and 6.3% of overseas investment, respectively. The next highest were Italians at 5.7%. This final analysis of foreign, Spanish real estate purchase suggests that Brexit has only had a slight impact on the British market, due to the weakening of Sterling and a climate of uncertainty over future legislation affecting a UK outside the European Community.
That same legislation may, in fact, encourage further migration from Britain. Enthusiasm for Spanish holiday homes has risen considerably and it seems likely that interest from other international buyers will make up any possible further defecit of sales to UK nationals. The Spanish market has certainly weathered the storm that rocked international property and continues to thrive, particularly in popular holiday destinations, universally regarded as, not only scenic, but secure and hospitable.
British Government Speculate On Effects Of Proposed European ‘ESTA’
It was reported in the UK Houses of Parliament that the European Community was considering an electronic travel permit system, for visitors from outside Europe, similar to the one operated by the USA. America’s Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) is a requirement for foreigners, even those passing through America and its waters as part of an ongoing journey.
The document allows visitors to stay in the country for up to 90 days without a visa and costs the equivalent of £11. It is not yet clear whether UK citizens would require such a permit to visit European countries after its full withdrawal from the EU. British immigration minister Robert Goodwill insisted that British people were now used to the ESTA system and commented: “we view with interest how the European scheme might develop and what similarities, and differences, there may be to the US scheme. In principle, this type of scheme is generally there to help enhance security.”
The SNP’s member of the European Scrutiny Committee, Alan Brown disagreed, arguing that Leave advocates in the referendum campaign had insisted there would be no need for visa-like travel schemes after Brexit, adding: “an Esta still takes time and costs money and is something people have to repeat.” So, whatever effect this, and further legislation, has on UK visitors to Europe in the future, it would suggest that those planning to purchase property in Spain should act quickly in order to benefit from the relaxed immigration and residency laws that remain in place for now.
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