Spanish people are being priced out of their own
property market while non-resident foreigners are making the most of the
bargain housing prices on offer in the country.

Non-residents in Spain have access to better lines of credit than locals
and can obtain credit from their home countries.

Non-residents were snapping up deals in Catalonia, the region of
Valencia, and Madrid.

The
foreign buyers come mainly from the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Norway,
Belgium, Germany, Italy and China.

To
buy a house in Spain, non-residents only require the so-called Número de
Identificación de Extranjeros (NIE). 

Taxes
including value-added tax, registration, and taxes on property assets need to
be paid in Spain, but non-residents get an exemption for tax on their income
(IRPF). 

In
November 2012 the Spanish government announced it was mulling over plans
to offer residency to any foreigner willing to fork out at least €160,000 for a
house or apartment in Spain.

Speaking
before business leaders about plans to help flog off some of the 700,000
plus vacant homes in Spain, Spain’s trade secretary Jaime García-Legaz
pinpointed the burgeoning interest from Russian and Chinese buyers in Spain’s
second home market. 

He
said the government would spend the next few weeks studying changes to
immigration rules which could see residency granted to non-EU citizens who are
able to stump up the requisite amount of cash.