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Overseas Health Insurance News: Boom in expats moving to Spain expected

A new law that comes into force this July allowing non-EU residents access to Spanish residency could see a rise in the number of people seeking to move to the country.

The legislation will apply to those buying properties worth over €500,000 (£426.27 million).

The Spanish government had previously suggested setting the bar for such legislation at €160,000 last November, but many viewed the figure as devaluing to the country when compared to the €400,00 being charged by Portugal and Ireland

The law's introduction is expected to appeal to wealthy property buyers from countries such as Russia and China, who are both already third and eighth in the list of Spain's foreign property owners.

Alex Vaughn, partner at the luxury Barcelona-based estate agency Lucas Fox, told The Local: "Obtaining the right visa permits and documents for Spanish residency in China and Russia is known to give anyone a bureaucratic headache.

"Although the new law hasn’t been passed yet, it’s likely to make it a lot more straightforward to obtain a permanent residency permit, rather than the temporary one that non-EU nationals have found so difficult to get up to now."

Lucas Fox has already announced that it is set to start working with Asian property consultancy SQFT, and they are expecting to welcome nine groups of both Chinese and Korean investors to the city of Barcelona at the end of this month.

The visit will allow the investors to view properties in Catalonia, Ibiza and the Balearics.

Han Bin, director of SQFT said that the interest from non-EU buyers was not only because the purchasing of property in the region was seen as a good investment, but attracted those seeking residency.

According to figures from the Bank of Spain, the amount of foreign investment within the Spanish property market increased by 17 per cent last year, a level not reached since 2004, with the market becoming increasingly attractive due to property prices falling as a result of the financial crisis.

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