Costa del Sol luxury housing sector expresses regret over decision to abolish Golden Visa

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high-end housing benahavis

High-end housing entrepreneurs on the Costa del Sol have voiced their regret over the Central Government’s decision to do away with the Golden Visa. This fiscal incentive was enacted in 2013. It enables non-European Union foreigners investing more than €500,000 in real estate to obtain Spanish residency.

The province of Malaga, particularly the Golden Triangle (Marbella, Estepona, and Benahavís), stands out as one of the nation’s leading destinations for foreign investment. This is alongside other regions like Barcelona, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, and Valencia.

“It’s disheartening news for foreign investment and, more specifically, for residential tourism, a strategic sector in the province of Malaga. It has emerged as a primary source of employment and wealth, while also helping to mitigate seasonality,” states Javier Pérez de Vargas, a solicitor specialising in real estate and associate of DOM3. DOM3 is the association of high-end housing entrepeneurs on the Costa del Sol.

Every luxury villa that is built is like a small business

In this context, DOM3 has called for the implementation of alternative fiscal measures to ensure the ongoing vitality of an industry that has become the mainstay of the Costa del Sol. The more than 40 companies affiliated with DOM3 provide direct, quality employment to over 2,500 individuals. Furthermore, these generate an indirect employment volume exceeding 5,000 positions. 

“We must make it clear that the impact of this measure will be relative. Under 1% of foreigners investing in the Costa del Sol’s residential market obtained the Golden Visa over these 11 years. Nevertheless, this decision will have a negative impact on the country as a whole. It will diminish its appeal as a residential destination in the international market,” highlighted Charly Simon, president of DOM3.

Highest number of visas for China

Since the introduction of this policy, China has received the highest number of visas at 2,712. This is followed by Russia with 1,159, and Iraq with 203. Further down the list are the USA, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Ukraine, the Philippines, Mexico, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia.

Cogesa Expats

It’s important to note that the major markets for high-end housing on the Costa del Sol, where over 90% of the investors are foreigners, come from Central and Western Europe. The British continue to account for a significant percentage of the buyers. Additionally, in recent years, there has been a considerable increase in other nationalities such as Polish, Dutch, and Czech investors.

Recent months have seen the addition of direct flights from Malaga to destinations such as New York and Doha. Consequently, there has been noticeable increases in these markets. This trend was generating significant expectations among entrepreneurs, which could be impacted by the elimination of the Golden Visa.

Also read: Chinese tourists visit Spain again

“Abolition of Golden Visa will not solve the housing problems”

“The abolition of this measure will not solve the housing access problems being experienced in tense areas like the Costa del Sol and Malaga city. At DOM3 we are deeply concerned about these issues. The Central Government’s efforts should be focused on ensuring dignified housing at affordable prices for the population, rather than penalising a sector that generates quality employment and wealth in an area that, until recently, depended solely on sun and beach tourism,” Simon laments.

Also read: Spain abolishes Golden Visa to protect housing rights

Baycrest Wealth

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