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Spain to offer residency for foreigners who buy houses

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Spain to offer residency to some home buyers

Spain to offer residency to some home buyers. (AP photo)

MADRID (AP) – Want to live in Spain? It looks like you’ll be welcome there, as long as you buy a house or apartment that’s worth more than $200,000.

The plan outlined today by the country’s Trade Ministry is aimed at easing Spain’s bloated supply of unsold homes. It’s expected to be approved in the coming weeks. The plan is aimed principally at Chinese and Russian buyers.

Spain has more than 700,000 unsold homes, after the collapse of its real estate market in 2008. Demand from the domestic market, hit hard by a recession, is stagnant.

Spain’s prime minister says those homes need to be sold — and getting them off the market could help revive the country’s construction industry.

Spain is in the midst of a double-dip recession with 25 percent unemployment.

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