Spain Will Offer Permanent Residency for Any Foreigners Who Buy Homes

Caribbean Business, November 19, 2012

{snip} In an attempt to reduce the country’s bloated stock of unsold homes, the [Spanish] government is set to offer permanent residency to any foreigner provided they buy a house or apartment worth more than €160,000 ($200,000).

The plan, unveiled by Trade Ministry secretary Jaime Garcia-Legaz Monday and expected to be approved in the coming weeks, would be aimed principally at Chinese and Russian buyers. Spain has more than 700,000 unsold houses following the collapse of its real estate market in 2008 and demand from the recession-hit domestic market is stagnant.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy stressed Monday that the plan has not yet been finalized, but added that Spain “needs to sell these homes” and that getting them off the market could help revive the nation’s devastated construction industry.

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The country’s residency offer would beat others in bailed-out countries such as Ireland and Portugal, where residency papers are offered to foreigners buying houses worth more than the €400,000 and €500,000, respectively. However, Latvia on the Baltic coast offers a cheaper deal, with property buyers eligible to receive residency permits if they purchase real estate in capital Riga worth €140,000 or €70,000 in the countryside.

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Spain says it is waiting to know all the conditions that might come attached to the rescue package before making a decision.

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