Spain encourages expat property investment

Spanish Property

The Spanish government is making a renewed attempt to get more British people to invest in Spanish property, inevitably to the chagrin of the current expats caught up in the much-maligned Spanish expat property row.

Jose Blanco, the Spanish visiting development minister, recently announced that the forthcoming Spanish Homes Roadshow will “highlight the strengths of our economy, transparency and legal certainty of our planning legislation”.

The purpose of the Roadshow is to highlight the amount of vacant homes that exist in Spain, homes that need owners. However this has further angered the expats who are stuck in Spain in a state of legal limbo as a result of the property row that has seen thousands of expat owned properties branded as illegal. An expat embroiled in the row, said: “This is an insult to all those of us who stand to lose so much due to the corruption and negligence in the Spanish property sector.”

The Spanish Homes Roadshow is an international venture and, ironically, the first stop is England. In 2009 English investors accounted for 31.5 percent of all foreign property buyers in Spain. However, the on-going property row has now led to a slump in English investors, and the Spanish government want English investors to no longer be deterred. Spanish housing secretary Beatriz Corredor told The Telegraph: “The British are our highest priority and are those about whom we are most concerned. It is true that there has been an image problem. Now we want to reassure the British, and all foreigners, that we are doing everything possible to put the details clearly on the table.”

Other sources also sought to eschew the negative connotations of the property row, property company director Stephen Hitchins said: “It is a legitimate desire of many people, especially it seems the British, to own second and retirement homes abroad, in better climes and in different environments. Spain has been and remains by far the most convenient and popular place for the realisation of that ambition within Europe. As a result there are hundreds of thousands of such homes in Spain owned by British people alone, quite apart from those owned by other nationalities; there are no issues whatsoever concerning the legality of all but the most minor percentage of these homes.”