MADRID – Americans are buying more homes in Spain than ever. The number in the first half of this year increased by 13.6% year-on-year and accounted for 1,339 transactions.
This is the highest increase since the start of registration by the Consejo General del Notariado. Experts point to the parity between the euro and the dollar, the pleasant climate, lifestyle and property taxes as drivers behind this trend.
Golden Visa and tax benefits
The lifting of the Golden Visa and the tax benefits of the non-habitual residence (RNH) regime in Portugal also plays a role in the increasing interest in owning property in Spain. Purchases by Americans living in Spain in particular increased. On the other hand, purchases by non-residents fell slightly. On a year-over-year basis they still showed a significant increase.
Paid square metre price at record high
The average price Americans pay for a home in Spain has risen to €2,921 per square metre, the highest price ever recorded. Non-residents pay on average more per square metre, which indicates the purchase of more expensive homes.
Why do Americans choose Spain?
Spain is proving to be an attractive destination for real estate investors, especially buyers from the United States. Factors that contribute to this include:
- Favourable exchange rates: The dollar-europe parity is an important factor.
- Climate and lifestyle: The warm Mediterranean climate and relaxed, sunny lifestyle are attractive.
- Versatile offer: Spain offers a wide variety from luxurious coastal villas to city apartments.
- Investment: Spanish real estate is seen as a solid opportunity for capital growth.
- Ease of purchase: Although the purchasing process has some peculiarities, buying property in Spain is relatively easy for foreigners.
- Moving to Europe: Housing affordability and quality of life in Spain are reasons for some Americans to move to cities like Barcelona and Madrid.
- Golden Visa: This offers a combination of investment and residency and is attractive to foreigners wishing to settle in Spain and Europe.
- Security and stability: Spain is known for its stability and that gives confidence to foreign investors.
- Recent legal changes: This includes the new tax treatment of international digital nomads under the Spanish Startup Law, and the continuation of policies such as those introduced under the Beckham Law, which make Spain even more attractive to highly skilled professionals and wealthy foreigners.
Not just Golden Visa
Constanza Maya, Head of Operations & Expansion at Engel & Völkers Iberia, states in Idealista.es that the increase in American home purchases in Spain is not directly related to the end of the Golden Visa in Portugal. American customers looking for real estate in the price range of €500,000 or a million do not explicitly ask for the Golden Visa. Although some take advantage of this, it does not seem to be a decisive factor for this group of buyers.
Instead, the shift in the exchange rate between the dollar and the euro is more motivation for Americans to invest in real estate in places they like to vacation. As Europe is perceived to be safer, the propensity to invest increases. The overall stability in the region has helped Americans once again see Spain as an attractive destination for real estate investment.