(MENAFN) In a surprising trend, Russians have significantly increased their real estate acquisitions in Spain, with data from Spain's General Council of Notaries revealing a remarkable 50.2percent rise in property purchases by Russians during January-June compared to the same period last year. The total reached 2,137 homes, surpassing 2,000 for the first time since 2014. Russian citizens accounted for 3.2percent of Spain's overall real estate transactions by foreign buyers during this period.
The surge in demand is particularly pronounced among non-resident Russians, with a notable 61percent increase in real estate transactions by this group, totaling 690 in the first half of 2023.
Traditionally, Spanish properties were sought after by Russians as holiday homes, but a significant factor contributing to this recent uptick is the Spanish golden visa program.
Under the golden visa scheme, any foreigner can obtain Spanish residency by purchasing real estate valued at EUR500,000 (USD542,770) or more. As Russia faced sanctions last year, Russians increasingly view the golden visa as a means to secure free movement within the European Union. This shift in perspective has led to a surge in interest and participation in the program, allowing Russians to navigate restrictions and enhance their mobility.
While Spanish authorities had considered adjusting the golden visa program, including potentially doubling the investment threshold to EUR1 million or imposing a ban on Russians, these conditions have not been altered thus far. The resilience of the program amid geopolitical changes underscores its attractiveness to Russian investors seeking both real estate and residency opportunities in Spain, despite ongoing international sanctions.
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