January 22, 2014
Market-cooling policies in place in Hong Kong since October 2012 have slowed the Hong Kong market nearly to a standstill, forcing investors to increasingly look overseas for investment opportunities. While the UK, the U.S. and Australia are commonly sought after, pushing property prices even higher in those markets, the recovering market of Portugal has recently implemented an immigration policy that should cause investors to take a closer look. In our view, the policy is a hidden gem.
Called the “golden visa,” the policy allows non-EU nationals to gain permanent residency in Portugal and visa-free travel in the EU through property investment of 500,000 euros, one of the lowest asset barriers in the world that offer residency benefits. Already, the legislation has brought into Portugal over 90 million euros worth of investment with over half streaming from China, and it’s not surprising why. The property yields, at 6% to 7%, offer higher returns in comparison to many overseas luxury markets. Portugal’s property prices have hit bottom and are expected to begin to rise over the short- to medium-term. The lifestyle, set amid historic capitals and beautiful beaches under year-round sunshine, is one of relaxation and luxury. And the procedure and requirements for application are simple. Let us explain.
Buyers can invest in residential or commercial property, as long as the minimum investment is at least 500,000 Euros. Minimum stay is seven days per year. Compared with places like the UK that require 180 days per year, the minimum stay is very short – the length of a short vacation to sunbathe on white, sandy beaches. After five years, investors can apply for permanent residency, and after six, full citizenship. The application process takes a brief two to three months to complete, after which investors will begin to reap the benefits of the legislation, such as visa-free travel throughout the EU.
We work closely with our four local offices in Portugal to find valuable projects for our clients here in Asia. We’ve partnered with award-winning developers in Lisbon, the capital and heart of Portugal, and along Portugal’s pristine Silver Coast – two areas that ensure high demand. Our attention to location, reputation, property management and potential for capital appreciation is our service model, and one that helps our clients achieve their investment goals.