Spain to offer residency to overseas buyers
The government of Spain is set to offer residency permits to foreigners who spend ?160,000 (£129,165) on a property in the country in an attempt to boost the nation’s struggling property market.
The Secretary of State for Trade has insisted that the law change is necessary to reduce Spain’s unsold housing stock. Keep reading to find out more.
Buying a property in Spain could lead to the right to work across the EU
The Daily Telegraph reports that Spain has between 700,000 and 1.1 million unsold new homes following the collapse of its real estate market in 2008. Around a third of these are holiday homes in coastal tourist areas.
Jaime Garcia-Legaz, Secretary of State for Trade, told a conference in Madrid: “In coming weeks, we will start to reform the law regarding foreigners to reactivate demand abroad and contribute toward reducing housing stock.”
The scheme may prove unpopular with other European nations as it would also allow foreign buyers to move around the 25-nation Schengen zone freely. This is because this agreement allows holders of a residency permit of one country in the area to travel to - though not work in - any other. Critics also believe it could pave the way towards eligibility for a Spanish passport which would give property buyers the right to live and work in all 27 EU member states.
The measure is expected to imitate agreements already established in Portugal and Ireland. In these countries, residency papers are issued in return for property investments of ?400,000 (£322,900) and ?500,000 (£403,635) respectively.
However, Spain is promising residency in return for investment in properties with a minimum value of ?160,000 (£129,165) - the national average property sale price. "It's a balanced figure," the secretary of state for trade said. "Any lower and it might create a massive demand for residence permits with housing as the excuse to get them."