Come to invest in and live in Spain. We welcome you with marketing campaigns, good food, wine, sunshine and smiles. From outside the EU? No matter, as long as you have 500,000€ euro or more and pass some basic honesty checks, we’ll give residence in EU to anyone from anywhere in the world.
But once we’ve got you in our web, we’ll sting you for as much as we can.
· Property buying and selling costs continually increase and the normal total is now much more than 11% of the purchase price and the same of the sale price. So you’ll have to make more than 22% profit just to get your money back. Not such a clever investment!
· We’ll tax your worldwide wealth and if you dare to die, then we’ll tax all the inheritors. Oh, and they’re not permitted to sell or mortgage the property to pay the tax!
· The big new one now is the disclosure of worldwide assets if they total more than 50,000€ euro. Just the thing that’s needed when all are still in shock at the seizure/theft of bank assets in Cyprus.
· And all of these are combined with rights to search, draconian fines, property and bank account embargos and seizure powers, etc, etc.
Yes it was too Laissez Faire in the past, which attracted all sorts of undesirables, but now it’s swung much too far the other way so that it’s scaring away the honest investor and potential and existing owners. Not just apocryphal stories, but friends and clients taking action to leave or not come.
Get the balance right Spain or you’ll be ‘Centimo wise, but Euro foolish’.
Campbell D. Ferguson, FRICS, is a chartered surveyor in Spain. His company Survey Spain Network arranges valuations and surveys by RICS chartered surveyors anywhere in mainland Spain and the Balearic and Canary Islands, and Gibraltar. This includes valuations, building surveys, structural surveys, building inspections and investment and development appraisals.