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Spain Announces End of Golden Visa Program

In a bid to address Spain’s housing shortage, the left-wing central government has opted to terminate the Golden Visa program for non-EU property investors.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez cited the need to prevent speculation in the real estate market as a key reason for the decision.

The announcement, made in Seville, underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring housing as a fundamental right rather than a speculative venture. Sánchez emphasized that measures will be taken to promote genuine and sustainable progress in the real estate sector.

The Council of Ministers is set to finalize the amendment to the law in Madrid, although a specific implementation date has not been disclosed. The Golden Visa program, initiated in 2013, offered residency to non-EU citizens investing at least €500,000 in Spanish property or through financial investments.

Similar programs emerged across the EU during the euro crisis, prompting debates over their impact on property prices and housing availability. Sánchez revealed that a significant majority of Golden Visas in Spain were tied to property investments, contributing to market inflation.

The move signals Spain’s shift towards fostering productive investment aimed at innovation and quality job creation. Sánchez stressed the importance of steering the real estate market towards sustainable growth while addressing the acute housing challenges in major cities and tourist destinations.

Major urban centers like Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia, alongside popular destinations such as Mallorca, have experienced heightened housing pressures. Locals struggle to secure adequate accommodation amidst soaring demand driven by affluent foreign investors.

With over 5,000 Golden Visas issued since its inception, Spain has become a favored destination for investors, particularly from China. The decision to end the program reflects a broader policy shift towards prioritizing the housing needs of residents over speculative investment.

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