Spain is to launch a residency incentive aimed at foreigners as it bids to arrest the country's housing slump.
Residency permits will be offered to those who buy homes worth more than 160,000 euros (£128,000), with over 700,000 Spanish houses unsold following the collapse of its property market in 2008. The move is expected to be approved in the coming weeks.
Trade Ministry secretary Jaime Garcia-Legaz said the plan will be introduced at a time when domestic demand is dormant and the market is in need of a boost. The government is keen to encourage people to invest in property.
The fresh incentive is more generous than those offered by other bailed-out countries such as Ireland and Portugal, where residency papers are presented to foreigners purchasing homes worth more than 400,000 and 500,000 euros respectively.
Spain is currently struggling in recession, with a 25% unemployment rate and thousands evicted from their homes for failing to keep up with their mortgage repayments.
Copyright Press Association 2012
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