Barcelona council is to begin selling homes to eligible residents on a leasehold basis. An initial 40 apartments will be allocated in a draw early in 2010. Under the new scheme the council will transfer ownership of the properties for 75 years. The buyer can only resell during the first 15 years, and must give first refusal to the council.

Properties can also be left as an inheritance during the course of the 75-year lease. Tenants in the scheme would pay less to a mortgage over 30 years than they would in rent, said the council