SPAIN is to offer residency permits to foreign nationals if they buy houses over €160,000.

The initiative will be put in place in an attempt to shift some of the country’s 700,000 unsold homes.

Trade minister Jaime Garcia-Legaz said the plan, if approved, would be aimed at the Russian and Chinese markets.

The proposed threshold is much lower than that of similar schemes in Ireland and Portugal, which offer residency to foreign owners of properties over €400,000 and €500,000 respectively.

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