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Financial Times

Is Madrid the new Miami?

Buying agent Lucía de la Fuente started helping Colombians move to Spain whe victory was expeted for Gustavo Petro of the leftist coalition Pacto Histórico. “At first they were wanting to get their savings out and buy an apartment for €200,000€-€300,000 in Madrid _ but then wanted to get theselves out, and spending €1.5mn on an apartment for the family.”

Some of de la Fuente’s clientes will seek a residency permit with a purchase of at least €500,000 _ The golden visa is available to non-EU nationals who spend more than that amount, unmortgaged, on a property. Given that they are cash buyers, they are unaffected by tighter financing conditions in Spain.  They tend to want to live in Salamanca and send their children to the private IE Business School (Instituto de Empresa), she says.

Madrid is the autonomous community with the lowest tax burden in Spain, and new tax residents will benefit from a cut in personal income tax (IRPF), announced by the president of te Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, in October. They can deduct 20 percent of investment made in financial assets, including real estate.

For students in public universities, late last year the Comunidad de Madrdid announced that it would pay 85 percent towards fees for Latin American students _the same as those from Spain ot the EU.

(…) The lower cost of buying and renting a property in Madrid compared to Miami is also persuading some Latin Americans to move cities, says de la Fuente. “Salaries are lower in Spain [than Florida] but they say that the lower living costs and lifestyle benefits of living in Spain balance this.”

Renters would need around €7,000 in Miami to enjoy the same standard of life _ based on average costs of food, rent and other living expenses _ that costs €4,000 in Madrid, according to statistics site Numbeo.