The End of Spain’s Golden Visa, the Surprising and Positive Angle

by Last updated May 2, 2024 | Published on May 1, 2024Europe, Feature Story, Living in Spain Series, Spain

I’ve been saying it since the beginning of 2023 – Spain’s Golden Visa is going to come to an end. It was only a matter of time once the European Commission called for EU governments to stop this form of obtaining residency and citizenship. Then in April of 2024, the Spanish government made the announcement that this visa opportunity would be terminated. Already the procedure to abolish Spain’s Golden Visa has been initiated.

What does this mean if you were interested in such an opportunity for investing in Spain and living here? In this article, guest Paul Millward of Grupo Garcia, our trusted real estate agent in Spain’s Marina Alta and Madrid, shares his firsthand insight and knowledge so you can learn the surprising and positive aspects of the end of Spain’s Golden Visa.

This post includes affiliate links that we may receive a commission from, at no extra cost to you.

Background on Spain’s Golden Visa

Above ImageThe Spain and Valencia flags.

They say the golden visa has been a tool for the Spanish government to bolster the property market since the property crash of 2006, but that now seems to be coming to an end. There are a couple of good reasons for this. Mainly and understandably, the popularity of Spain as a holiday destination has already begun to price out locals, families and workers from the property market in popular holiday destinations such as Ibiza and Mallorca. Local demonstrations and protests have brought the issue to the forefront this year in the news.

Investors, both Spanish and international, see superb returns from holiday rental investment properties and this has pushed up local property prices and long term rental prices in coastal locations.

The Impact of Spain’s Golden Visa

Above ImageThe beautiful Mediterranean coastline of Denia’s Las Rotas on the Costa Blanca.

The current Spanish government has taken the admirable (but possibly misled) reaction to stop the Golden Visa to allow people who live in Spain to buy property. However, a spokesperson for Idealista, Francisco Iñareta, assured that the measure announced recently by Pedro Sánchez will have “no impact on the real estate market”. He claimed that purchases due to the scheme represented less than 0.1% of the 4.5 million homes sold in the same period.

The quantity of Golden Visas issued over recent years is indeed a drop in the ocean and removing this is unlikely to really change the market at all. The only comforting conclusion we can take from this situation is that it demonstrates that the Spanish political system over recent years has strived to be a champion for the people and protect the interests of those that live here. That’s powerful and it’s one of the many reasons why we love living in Spain.

Some would say that stricter regulation of touristic licenses would be more effective in reducing rental costs and coastal property prices. Possibly a number of ministers have holiday home investments. Sometimes the political bureaucracy makes no sense on the surface but usually has an emotional reason behind it which is reflected in the amazing cuisine, landscapes and coastlines. Reason rarely wins over emotion in Spain.

Alternatives to Spain’s Golden Visa

Above ImageNew villa for sale in Javea, near the beach, luxury Tosalet.

Now it seems the Golden Visa may disappear, but there are other alternatives that can offer the same results of residency. These are the Non Lucrative Visa and the Digital Nomad Visa. So don’t worry, international buyers can still reside or retire in Spain.

While the Non Lucrative has been around for a long time and continues to be a great option for many foreigners, the newest Digital Nomad Visa makes residency in Spain even more accessible. Spain’s Digital Nomad Visa started at the beginning of 2023 and is a great fit for those who work remotely for non-Spanish companies or who have their own business and work online. It can be applied for through your local Spanish Embassy while you’re in your country of origin, or from within Spain.

Benefits of Living in Spain

Above ImagePoolside at this villa for sale in Javea, near the beach, luxury Tosalet.

One of the most incredible achievements of Spain is the fact that Spain has the second largest high speed rail network in the world, only to Japan. The rail network in Spain is incredible. Cheap, fast, clean and on time! You can travel from the capital of Madrid to Valencia in less than 2 hours and this is one of the reasons why properties on the Costa Blanca North are so popular with people from Madrid.

One of the first “Urbanizations” of holiday villas in Spain is in Javea’s “El Tosalet”, made popular by Spanish tourists from the capitals. The pristine coastline of the Costa Blanca north is an incredible part of Spain that has seen the largest percentage price increases nationally in 2023 for good reason.

Spain’s culture continues to be warm and welcoming, relaxed and laid back with a great quality of life at affordable prices. One of the major contributing factors to the quality of life is the great health care. The public health care is fantastic and even the private health care is more affordable than in most other countries and of excellent quality.

Real Estate in Madrid, Spain & Beyond

Madrid is one of the most important cities in the world and we work closely with buyers and vendors in the capital and on the coast. Our real estate network of collaborators and vendors can connect international buyers to find the right property.

At the time of writing this article, property prices in Spain still compare favorably to the rest of Europe. Spain’s property prices are still lower than in other European nations and still have a comparable growth rate but actually outperformed the Eurozone average last year. It means that buyers get more for their money in Spain and it’s a wonderful country to live in or visit.

What Comes Next for Buying Property in Spain

Above ImageMediterranean 4-Bedroom villa for sale in Javea.

So far, an actual end date and other details have not been announced regarding the end of Spain’s Golden Visa and how it will impact the renewals of those already granted the visa. It is definitely causing a state of flux and uncertainty for those who are in the process right now. Only time will tell.

Our buyers typically are considering either Italy or France as alternatives before buying in Spain. If you are considering buying a second home or moving to Spain, 2024 is the year to do it because of increased access to credit and better rates means the prices will increase and there will be less property available. 2024 is the year to take the plunge!

At Grupo Garcia, not only do we offer prime real estate in Spain, we also provide assistance with Spain visas. Don’t put it off any longer. Come to Spain!

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Written by Paul Millward

Written by Paul Millward

Sales Director of Grupo Garcia

I've lived in Denia and Javea for over the last ten years after moving from Catalunya. As the Sales Director of Grupo Garcia, I get to spend a lot of time helping people relocate from overseas to this area of Spain. I love sharing my love for living in the Marina Alta area of Spain and helping those who are looking to make a move for some Spanish sunshine.

Please feel free to get in touch if I can help in any way:
Tel: +34 96 648 2480
Mob: +34 637 844 891

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