Spain woos foreigners to revive realty
In announcing the proposal on Monday, the Spanish trade secretary, Jaime García-Legaz, said it was aimed in particular at Chinese and Russian investors who might face difficulties buying a house in Spain because they are not residents of the EU.
García-Legaz noted that Spain was following in the footsteps of Ireland and Portugal, two other ailing euro zone economies that have sought to spur their housing markets by easing residency requirements.
Spain normally grants visas that are valid for up to 90 days to citizens of countries that are outside the EU. The residency permits for foreign home buyers would be for a much longer period of time but would not be open-ended. That detail has yet to be decided. The permits would also not grant the buyer the right to work in Spain.
The proposal is to be discussed in the coming days by the Spanish government. Asked on Monday about it, Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister, said while no final decision had been made, it was important for Spain to reduce its stock of unsold homes — “and not at the disproportional valuations of previous years”.
According to government data, there are about 700,000 unsold homes on the market as a result of a property boom that came to an abrupt halt in
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