In addition to its excellent weather and incredible quality of life, Spain’s property market is tried and tested – a reassuring factor for many foreign property buyers.
It is not necessary to have a residence permit to buy a property in Spain unless you are planning to live in Spain for over 183 days per calendar year. In that case, you need to apply for fiscal residence in Spain. Non-European Union citizens who want to reside permanently in Spain must obtain a special residence visa from the Spanish Consulate in their home country. With this visa, they can apply for a residence permit.
With the aim of enticing investment into Spain, the government decided in 2013 to give the promise of a residency permit valid for two years (extended to five years in 2015 and including the right to work in the country) and a path to citizenship in the longer term, to anyone willing to invest at least €500,000 in Spanish property. Alternatives to real estate investment include depositing one million euros in a Spanish bank account, investing in Spanish company shares to the same amount or two million euros in Spanish public debt, or indeed bringing a job-creating project to the country.
Any non-Spanish buyer must apply for an NIE number from the local police authorities. This number is required for any property transaction (buying, selling, utilities, insurance, etc.). For details about buying property as a non-Spanish resident, please refer to our guide, Inside View Spain.