London.—With the Spanish government considering offering automatic residency to foreigners who buy homes in the country, aiming to help the ruined housing market, the government has reported that British property buyers have dominated the foreign property market again this year.

As the Bulletin reported earlier in the week, if a foreigner purchases a home in Spain for more than 160'000 euros , that could automatically entail a residency permit if the proposal is eventually approved.

How that would help to shift the tens of thousands of unsold houses remains to be seen but it appears that it would be the British who would be most interested.

Although slightly down since 2007, Britons accounted for a 13.7 percent share of properties sold to foreigners in Spain this year.
The French came second posting major growth from just a 1.6 percent share of the market five years ago to command an 8.4 percent stake this year.
And, in third place are the Russians whose share of the market has also grown over the past five years from 1.1 percent to 8 percent. The Germans are fourth with a 6.7 percent share. Government data has also revealed that, across the board, it is the British who are buying the largest properties.

Nearly 40 percent of British buyers are going for properties over 100 square metres compared to 35 percent of the Germans and 10 percent of the Russians.