The Spanish government is pushing for scrapping of golden visa program which allows foreigners buying real estate to secure a golden visa in Spain.

Since the law was passed in 2013, about 14,576 golden visas linked to real estate investments have been granted, mostly to citizens from China, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Ukraine, Iran, Venezuela and Mexico. The main investment provinces are Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Alicante, the Balearic Islands and Valencia, which account for 90% of the authorisations granted throughout Spain.

The Elimination of golden visas is the first step to respond to these special situations.
-The Minister for Housing and Urban Agenda, Isabel Rodríguez

Minister Isabel Rodríguez also pointed out that the purchase of housing by foreigners increased considerably in the last quarters of 2023. The acquisition of homes linked to investments contemplated in the 2013 law represents 7.1% of total sales in a year in Marbella; 5.3% in Barcelona and 10% in some municipalities of the Balearic Islands. Moreover, out of every 100 visas granted by the golden visa, 94 are linked to real estate investment.

The minister argued in a press conference, that golden visas tied to foreigners buying properties, puts a lot of stress on the market, increases the price of houses and encourages speculation. The Government’s objective, she said, is to put an end to “the speculation that has increased notably” since 2022, when the number of “real estate visas” has doubled.

The minister has advocated amending the law to eliminate the benefits it contemplates in the residential sphere and direct this investment to the promotion of affordable housing and the rehabilitation of properties.