31 Aug 2013
South Africans looking for a European home and lifestyle can now consider Spain as an option, with the government about to introduce legislation which will grant automatic Spanish residency to non-European Union citizens who invest €500 000 or more in property.
While the period of residency granted with the purchase of property is still to be finalised, the final version of the new bill is expected to be promulgated before the end of this year (2013).
South African based real estate group, Pam Golding Properties, say they have plans underway to market high quality, investment yielding residential property in prime locations in Spain to the South African and international markets.
Spain will join other current appealing destinations such as Mauritius, Seychelles and Portugal in offering residency programmes to foreigners acquiring property at prices in excess of €500 000, says Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property group.
“A key attraction, particularly for South Africans, is that investors will have unrestricted access to move within the Schengen zone,” he says.
The Schengen zone currently comprises Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Finland, Greece, Estonia, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Portugal, Norway, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, Slovenia, Liechtenstein and Slovakia.
Chris Immelman, MD of the International and Projects Division of Pam Golding Properties, says they will be focusing on quality products in prime locations. This includes property in Barcelona, essentially as investment yielding property; the Costa Brava, an appealing, upmarket holiday destination about one hour north of Barcelona and home to numerous picturesque villages with beautiful cove beaches; and the islands of Mallorca and Ibiza, both of which have been fairly resilient during the downturn in the market and are now showing strong rental returns and capital growth.
“In addition to the advantages of the residency factor, with its Mediterranean climate and scenic coastline, Spain has high appeal as these areas mentioned above have everything a great European city has to offer - exceptional tourist attractions, an incredible café culture with some of the best restaurants in the world, and close proximity to the beautiful, upmarket holiday destination of the Costa Brava.
“Furthermore, Barcelona is just two and a half hours from the ski slopes of Andorra in the Pyrenees Mountain Range, which separates Spain and France and is very accessible to several other European cities. London and Paris are just a two hour flight away and importantly, South Africans can reach Barcelona with only one stop, via either London or Dubai,” says Immelman.
He adds that with success over the past 10 years in marketing prime located property in sought-after leisure destinations such as Seychelles and Mauritius, they anticipate high interest from South African investors in specially selected properties in Spain.
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