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Spain update – post-Brexit residency rules and high UK demand for second homes

While Brexit may now be well and truly done, British citizens residing in Spain who have yet to complete the necessary paperwork surrounding residency have been given a lifeline by the Spanish authorities. 

Those who can prove they lived in Spain prior to December 31 2020 can still apply for residency there, the government has announced.

Additionally, those with family links in Spain may also be able to apply for residency. British citizens arriving in Spain as of January 1 2021 can apply for residency in certain situations – for example if they have a family link with a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement – according to the Spanish guidance.


Immigration officials in Spain have been instructed to follow the same procedure as they did for those applying for residency before the December deadline, though with particular attention paid to documentation that proves an individual’s residency pre-dated the end of 2020.

“This is excellent news for UK citizens who, for whatever reason, have yet to make their residency in Spain official. They can now apply for the TIE residency document without fear of reprisals or penalties for having missed the December 31 2020 deadline,” Keith Rule of law firm CostaLuz Laywers said.

“The move is a key signal of the value that Spain places on its long-standing relationship with the UK and a positive indicator for post-Brexit relations.”

He added: “All of this spells good news for a close relationship between Spain and the UK over the coming years. There are hundreds of thousands of British expats living in Spain, while some 18 million Brits spend their holidays here each year. Making it easier for residents to obtain the TIE, despite missing the deadline, should be well-received by both expats here in Spain and policymakers back home in the UK.”

For more information on residency in Spain, you can contact CostaLuz Lawyers' UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith Rule. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, you can call +34 956 092 687.

Demand for Spanish second homes from UK buyers up 39%

Taylor Wimpey España has revealed that UK-based visitors to its website were up by 39% in the first week of January, when compared to the first week of 2020, with demand ranging from key-ready homes to brand new off-plan launches.

Many prospective buyers are using virtual tours to view their dream homes during lockdown, with interest in Spanish second homes continuing to grow, as British families while away the lockdown hours perusing their options online.

Taylor Wimpey España has reported continued growth in both web visits and leads. As well as the UK, interest from other European countries is also on the rise, with web visitors from Germany increasing by 51% and those from Belgium up by 44%. Domestic visitors have increased, too, with website visits from Spain more than 15% higher than the year before.

Meanwhile, leads were up 30% for the first week of January 2020, according to the housebuilder. 

“Unfortunately, both the UK and Germany are in lockdown right now, while Spain, France and a whole host of other countries have extensive restrictions in place. But that doesn't mean that would-be buyers aren't dreaming of owning a home in the sunshine,” Marc Pritchard, sales and marketing director Taylor Wimpey España, said.

“The appeal of Spain's golf courses and expansive beaches is only emphasised by stay-at-home orders; families are itching to return to normality with a new-found zeal for travel and leisure time.”

To this end, the company says it is delivering a range of properties, designed to suit a variety of tastes and budgets

It has five new sites launching during the first half of 2021, alongside brand new, key-ready homes available in popular locations. Virtual tours of these have proven ‘particularly popular’, the firm says, with tours being ‘so thorough’ that some buyers have even purchased during lockdown, without seeing the property in person.

Both mainland Spain and Mallorca continue to attract keen interest, with the combination of ‘affordability and sunshine’ that the Costa Blanca delivers long being a favourite with British buyers.

Mallorca, while more expensive than the Costa Blanca, ‘certainly gives it a run for its money in terms of stunning scenery, sporting facilities and local gastronomy, not to mention abundant sunshine’, the Spanish housing experts say.

The island has been a key area of focus for Taylor Wimpey España for some time now, with available properties ranging from first line apartments – such as those at Blue Cove – to contemporary villas offering spacious living indoor and out at Las Villas de Dalt de Sa Rapita.

“We are delighted that interest in Spanish second homes has grown so considerably over the past year, despite the many challenges that the pandemic has delivered,” Pritchard continued.

“Being able to travel freely and enjoy unrestricted second home ownership is going to feel so incredibly welcome after the events of 2020. By continuing to deliver thoughtfully designed homes in prized locations, we will ensure that there is no disruption on the supply side as demand increases over the course of 2021.”


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