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News Summary: Spanish residency for home buyers

The Associated Press

MI CASA, SU CASA: In an attempt to reduce the country's bloated stock of unsold homes, Spain is set to offer permanent residency to any foreigner provided they buy a house or apartment worth more than €160,000 ($200,000).

PRICED TO SELL: Spain has more than 700,000 unsold houses following the collapse of its real estate market in 2008 and demand, with unemployment in Spain around 25 percent, remains stagnant. Thousands of houses have been repossessed by banks and their owners evicted because they cannot pay their mortgages.

WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Spain's residency offer would top others already out there from Ireland and Portugal, where residency papers are offered to foreigners buying houses worth more than €400,000 and €500,000, respectively. However, Latvia on the Baltic coast offers a cheaper deal, with property buyers eligible to receive residency permits if they purchase real estate in the capital Riga worth €140,000 or €70,000 in the countryside.