The Secretary of State for Trade, Jaime García-Legaz, announced on Monday that the government is considering changing the law to grant a residence permit to foreigners who purchase property in Spain amounting to more than 160,000 Euros.

Speaking at a breakfast briefing organized by The Economist, Legaz Garcia explained that this initiative is specifically targeted at Russian and Chinese market, where it already detected “a significant demand for housing in Spain” and that the policy change will start in "a few weeks".

Regarding the minimum price of 160,000 Euros, he said that it is a "balanced level" for "not give rise to a massive demand for residence permits" as it has ensured that a lower price could be a "pretext" for residence.

As he explained, there will be a meeting Tuesday with the ministries involved to deal with this regulatory change that the government aims to boost foreign demand for housing at a time when domestic demand is paralyzed and just outputs the surplus unsold flats built.

Banks help in SpainWith the PSOE studying the measures in place to see if something can be done to halt evictions, the Socialists has called for nationalized banks to draw on their pool of repossessed/unsold properties to help with crisis hit communities.


The Socialists has made a non-legislative proposal to congress in whereby they have made calls for the use of real estate assets of the audited entities to form a public rental fleet. They have also requested that all banks that received public subsidies should accept payments in kind, during the time in which the PSOE studies initiatives to stop evictions.

Modification to the law of the Consumer Code of CataloniaTaking out a mortgage and the best of times can be a daunting and confusing process especially with the amount of small print and paperwork that is involved. The Catalan Government have responded by preparing a modification to the law of the Consumer Code of Catalonia, which will force financial institutions to facilitate a comprehensive and comprehensible report with conditions and characteristics of the loan, before signing.

Even though the bill has not been passed by the Consell Executiu yet, it is a step in the right direction in creating a transparent line between the lender and client and hopefully this new measure will stem the increase in home foreclosures that Spain has experienced since the crisis began.

Call for ChangeCalls have echoed from Barcelona asking for the Government to withdraw the “Draft Law on Measures for Promoting flexibility in the Rental Housing Market” because it will have a negative effect on tenants. The people feel, and voiced by Mr. Caritas that the new legislation has the sole purpose of "cleaning up real estate accounting" and this is why the government is promoting it.

On the opposite side of the table, Ana Pastor, Minister of State responsible for Development and Housing, believes that the new legislation in fact favours the tenants. However, the Minister has been met by stiff opposition.

Further criticism has come from the NGO of the Catholic Church who has expressed its "total disagreement and disapproval" of this legislative proposal announced by the central government and that it "posed a serious and unacceptable decline in policies to protect housing tenants in our country".

The issue has been compounded more by the fact of the economic strain that has been placed on Spain and Mr. Caritas expressed that with financial difficulties, tax accounting for real estate plus other legislations, the Government is better focused on trying to address the dramatic social problems that people are living in relation to housing rights. “This only aggravates the problem,” Mr. Caritas said.

spanish-tourismmm The National Statistics Institute released its monthly results this week, and in March of this year, the Spanish hotel industry recorded 17.4 million overnight stays, which is a decrease of 3.5% compared to that of last year, plus on average the nightly rate was reduced by 0.3% to help combat the difference.

Further indications were also seen in the Spanish hotel occupancy rate, which was 44.6% in March, a decrease of 3.8% over the same month last year and this trend continued over the weekend occupancy which declined by 7.7% from the same period the year before to 49.3%.

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