US Expats Increase By 13 Per Cent

VView of USA Statue of Liberty and the American Flag

Celebrating the Stars and Stripes: Reflecting on Independence Day's Traditions. Image: Shutterstock/Angyalosi Beata

THE number of expat Americans living in Spain has grown by 13 per cent from 2019 to 2021. Out of all expats in Spain, Americans come second after the Danes for paying the highest prices for living space per square metre.

The digital nomad visa welcomes more and more foreigners to Spain, seeking a new life in the sun, however, more and more Americans are flocking to the country either to seek a new life or work remotely.

The number of expats from the United States increased by 13 per cent, while property sales to US citizens jumped by 88 per cent in 2019/2022, according to the General Council of Notaries in Spain. Americans are also paying more for the privilege, paying up to 2,837 euros per square metre, coming second to the Danes for the highest prices per square metre paid by nationality.

Americans are able to save a lot of money by moving to Spain, when comparing the cost of a three-bedroom flat in Barcelona to New York, you can save up to 80 per cent on accommodation.

According to the report by the General Council of Notaries, Americans are purchasing properties in big cities like Madrid. Andalusia has always been a popular choice, as living in Malaga creates a 70 per cent increase in purchasing power for Americans, as the cost of living is much cheaper. Currently, Valencia is also emerging as a popular choice for property sales to US nationals.

Despite how romantic it seems to pick up and move to Spain, US nationals have to take several factors into consideration. Tax in Spain for properties is paid upfront for stamp duty, and many of the costs for buying a property are paid upon purchase, rather than on an ongoing basis.

Tax considerations between the US and Spain must be also considered, and it is recommended to get in touch with immigration lawyers in Spain to consult on tax payments.

Also, the visa situation is important to consider. Without a visa, Americans can only spend 90 days in Spain. However, with the launch of Spain’s digital nomad visa in 2023, enabling foreign workers to live and work in Spain. The visa has made working in Spain much easier, as previously, tax rates were very high and the only way to obtain visas in Spain was to go via the “golden visa” route, which requires the purchase of a property for more than 500,000 euros, or pursue a non-lucrative visa for the retired or those who are no longer employed.

With doors opening for Americans to move to Spain and visas becoming easier to obtain, the trend is predicted to continue with more people seeking a new life in sunny Spain.

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Written by

Lisa Zeffertt

Lisa is British, born in Hong Kong and has lived in many countries including the UK, Hong Kong, Cyprus, and Thailand, Spain has been her home for the past 10 years. After graduating with a BA in English Literature and Art History, she has worked in different sectors, most recently as a ghostwriter and translator for six years Writing is one of her passions, as well as working in both Spanish (fluent) and English.