Spain is on the news: unemployment higher than ever, urgent need for funding of the public administration, unhealthy banks, political conflicts between regions…
But how is the Spanish mobility market doing? Is it affected by the current scenario? What are the side effects of the economic downturn and how do they impact the daily operations?
- Non-EU nationals: With the increasing national unemployment figures, the inbound immigration has become more challenging even for bigger companies. Applications for other than highly qualified professionals or key positions are likely to be refused. Any inconsistency in the documentation submitted can cause important inconveniences and a careful initial analysis is recommended to guarantee the success of any immigration process.
- EU-nationals: The national Social Security and the public health care have run into serious funding problems and now even the EU-nationals are required to provide that they either have enough funds to reside in Spain or documents which prove that they are paying and will be backed by the social security in their country of origin.
- Procedures with the public administration: The daily operations with the Spanish administration are getting more challenging due the changing and often unclear regulations, cuts in the public sector and low motivation of the public workers. With new administrative regulations, registering foreign nationals with the Spanish administration has become a more bureaucratic procedure. This obviously requires more steps in order to obtain documentation for the Expats.
- Rental market: The current situation has increased the demand for rental properties as banks tend to lend to the potential buyers only when they are purchasing a property owned by the bank. The banks are acting as estate agencies with the properties that they have reposed, making life harder for private home owners needing to sell. The rental prices in the capital cities are remaining in previous levels for the well located, small and family sized flats. Though, the luxury properties are losing market and the rents are coming slowly down.
- Rental guarantees: The general uncertainty in the market is making the Spanish public to have little confidence. This affects also the private real estate market as even more economic guarantees are demanded by the landlords to avoid unpaid rents. This often surprises our clients who feel that as there is such a big economic problem in Spain they should have a much higher bargaining power. In addition to the standard safety deposits, additional bank guarantees or cash deposits are often demanded. Company reference letters or guarantees are accepted by some owners.
- Assignee profile: Spanish companies are receiving more young talent. Many of the transferees come over with a local Spanish work contract and conditions. Also nationalities are changing: many assignees come from countries like Greece, Eastern Europe and Asia.
- Accompanying family: We can see families slip up, where one member of the family moves to Spain and the partner stays behind keeping their job in the country of origin. Many company policies are not supporting anymore the lost spouse income the options to find a job in Spain are limited as there is such a large unemployment rate, and this is particularly true if the person does not speak Spanish.
- Allowances: Assignees are coming over with lower housing budgets often paid by themselves. We are showing properties in neighbourhoods that we not considered by the expats earlier. Also there is a increasing demand in providing assistance with public schools, where we have been used to looking more at private schooling.
- Opportunities for investors: The current economic scenario is opening investment opportunities which can generate projects with international assignees. The real estate opportunities are also rising for companies willing to acquire centrally located business premises at lower cost.
- Outbound moves: An increasing number of assignees are being transferred to other destinations as the activity in the Spanish market is slowing down. Many big Spanish corporations hardly have any operations in Spain and have their expat population concentrated elsewhere. The youth unemployment figures is forcing a lot of the younger work force to migrate abroad in search of new opportunities, which in the long run might lead to the lack of human capital.
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