They are millionaires who represent the great fortunes amassed in the golden years of Chavism, with high oil prices and gigantic public works turned into machines to earn money by means of overcharges and bribes. Some have been called “bolichicos”, young and ambitious businessmen who grew up in the shadow of power. Others are former high officials of the regime who used their position to collect million-dollar bites, all of whom have chosen Spain as a place to live in the last decade. They have also chosen Spain as a privileged destination for their investments.
The political and economic situation that the South American country is going through in recent years has been reflected in the Spanish real estate market with purchases of luxury properties that are generally paid in cash and that have reached 30 million.
For the last three or four years there has been a marked increase in Venezuelan buyers and investors, especially in Madrid, the natural gateway to Europe for this type of buyer. Purchases have doubled in just four years, coinciding with the economic downturn in the country controlled by Nicolás Maduro.
In large cities such as Madrid, Venezuelans are already the foreign nationality that makes the largest number of purchases in the capital Madrid ahead of Chinese and Russians, with investments ranging from 2 million, in the case of individuals, to about 30 million, targeting the most exclusive neighborhoods such as Salamanca, Jerónimos, Chamberí and Justicia.
Generally, operations are paid in cash and if they decide to take out a mortgage it is not out of necessity, but because they are interested in fiscal or financial matters. Since many of them have Spanish nationality because of their Spanish ancestors or because they do not spend long periods of time in Spain, they do not need the “Golden Visa” to operate within our borders, although for a percentage of Venezuelan investors the “Golden Visa” is still a claim.
The arrival of Venezuelans in the real estate sector is not limited to the purchase of houses. Last year the increase in rents by Venezuelans in the capital grew by 35%, with more than 40 firms a month and an average income of 1,700 euros. His profile is a person with a medium-high purchasing power, with studies and employment, and with an average length of stay in Spain not exceeding 3 years.
This growth, together with the greater dynamism of the market and the evolution of the Spanish economy, has pushed up the prices of luxury housing in Madrid over the last three years.