Saturday, 29 April 2017

New investors flood property market

WEALTHY Turks and Arabs are snapping up prime Spanish coastal properties as the political situations in their home countries grow increasingly unstable. Those who can afford it are investing in European real estate and Spain is the number one choice for many.

The numbers are high enough to substantially alter the client profile of foreign buyers, which has been traditionally dominated by northern and western Europeans. Today Saudi Arabians, Emiratis, Russians, and Chinese are vying with Europeans on the investment charts.

Not all are new arrivals. The Russians in particular have faded slightly under the tough new sanctions regime. While the Arabs are old hands on the Costa del Sol and in Barcelona and Madrid, the Turks are an entirely new contingent still finding their feet.

There is change, however, in the manner of Arab investment. In past decades extremely rich buyers sought property for financial reasons and prestige, using it as another pawn in vast monetary empires, rather than an actual place to live. Today many are building garages and storage facilities, eager to take advantage of leasing opportunities.

Neither the Turks, nor the Arabs, offer much direct competition to the Brits, French, Scandinavians and Germans who are typically in the market for more affordable properties used as a summer retreat, or permanent home.

Spain's Golden Visa continues to play a central role in attracting non-EU money. Buying a property worth over €500,000 outright gets investors a Spanish residency permit which, in these tumultuous times, may soon come in handy. 

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