Many Spanish pensioners are selling their properties with living rights for life in a new trend in the Spanish housing market.
Also popular in France, real estate agents with experience of the practice say that discounts for investors on the real value of the property purchased can reach up to 50 per cent.
The practice of selling what is known as bare ownership of their properties while retaining living rights for life (right of usufruct) means that elderly Spanish people can gain a boost to their quality of life whilst continuing to live in their home while they remain alive.
It also gives the opportunity for both Spanish and overseas -property investors to purchase properties at large discounts, as long as they are prepared to wait to realise their investment.
Carmen Segovia, a 92-year-old from Madrid, told the Spanish online newspaper El Español about her plan of selling her 100-square-metre flat for €200,000 (£180,000).
She said: ‘What I want is to die in my house. I have all my family memories here so until I die, I’d like to live well.’
Ms Segovia, who never married or had children, said she remains in good health. She added: ‘Thank God, I have no illnesses. Frankly, now I just want to live in peace and travel.’
With property prices in Spain again on the up after losing value in the global economic crisis, investors are often happy to purchase properties with living rights to enjoy the discounted purchase rates and wait for the rewards later.
Concerns have been raised about the impact on property owner’s heirs in Spain, where children are entitled by law to inherit a share of their parents’ assets.
However, 88-year-old Mariano Muñoz, who has sold the Madrid home in which he continues to live with his wife, said: ‘We have three daughters who are all well set up.
They don’t need the money and we thought it was a good idea to sell. This way we can have money to live without worries.’
Overseas property investors prepared to play the long game may wish to consider investing in properties with living rights.