Wealthy Chinese snap up homes in Southern Europe as governments offer visas for buying

Greece and Cyprus offer fast-track permit processes for purchases of at least 250,000 euros (US$335,000) and 300,000 euros, respectively. Portugal’s program has a minimum price of 500,000 euros.

While some wealthier European countries also grant special resident visas for investors, most require larger outlays and may not involve real estate. The U.K., for instance, grants special visas to individuals with at least 1-million pounds (US$1.6-million) to invest in the country.

Those policies aren’t as attractive to wealthy Chinese as the incentives being offered in southern Europe, said Edmund Zhao, a real estate investor from China who spent 700,000 euros on an apartment in the coastal resort town of Cascais after arriving in Lisbon in April.

Zhao said he expects to receive his resident permit this month, which requires him to stay in Portugal for a minimum of seven days during the first year and 14 days every two years during the duration of his five-year visa. The visa will also let Zhao send any children he may have in the future to Europe’s most prestigious schools, he said.

source: financial post

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