Golden Visa is attracting non EU buyers

US, Chinese and Russian buyers were among the most active foreign buyers in Spain in the first quarter of 2014, according to new date from the General Council of Notaries in Spain.

The number of Spanish luxury properties bought by these nationalities increased by 88.9%, 83.1% and 62.6% respectively in the first quarter compared to the same period a year earlier.

Foreign buyers going for the golden visa, accounted for 19.4% of all Spanish luxury property sales in the first quarter of 2014 and non-residents accounted for 47.9% of these.

Foreign property purchases are increasing with British buyers now accounting for 13.8% of all foreign purchases, French buyers account for 10.5%, Russians 8.4%, Germans 7.5% and Belgians 6.9%.

The average price of a property purchased by a foreign buyer continues to fall and currently stands at €1,486 per square meter, a fall of 3.8% year on year.

The growing presence of US, Russian and Chinese buyers is a sign that the Golden Investment Visa initiative, introduced in September 2013 may be starting to have an effect.

The scheme, designed to attract non-European Union investors by offering a two year residency permit in return for a €500,000 investment in real estate has already been effective in Portugal but until now there has been little evidence to judge its impact in Spain.