Chinese Investors Rush to Buy in Lisbon and Porto Before Golden Visa Offer Ends

As golden visas are coming to an end in Lisbon and Porto, Chinese investors are not wasting any time to buy properties.

Chinese buyers are scrambling to purchase property in Portugal’s two major cities before the golden visa program expires in both locations at the end of the year, report Martin Choi and Pearl Liu for the South China Morning Post

The discontinuation of the program in Lisbon and Porto was confirmed last month and met with pushback from the real estate sector and praise from left-leaning political parties and organizations.

Growing tensions between China and the United States, Australia, and Britain — traditional markets for Chinese investors — have meant a shift in capital towards Portugal, according to Choi and Liu. 

Portugal’s popularity soared in the first nine months of this year, and Juwai IQI, a private real estate company founded in Hong Kong, reports that the search rate for properties by Chinese investors rose by 176%. The coming residency-scheme ban in the two cities served as a catalyst for investors and formed a “wave of demand for urgent property acquisition from Chinese buyers,” Filipe Maia, director of Maia International Properties, tells the South China Morning Post.  

In the second quarter of 2020, Chinese investors deposited €37 million in Lisbon’s housing market, which is two times what they invested in all of 2019, Maia tells Choi and Liu.

Figures from Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) indicate that up until the month of October, 260 Chinese nationals had applied for golden visas, which represents 25% of all requests made since the beginning of the year according to Correio da Manhã.

Illustration by Valdemar Doria

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