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Chinese buyers “flock to Lisbon” to beat deadline on sales awarding ‘golden visas’

Chinese buyers have been flocking to Lisbon to buy up property before the capital’s ‘golden visa’ programme is finally brought to a close.

The South China Morning Post reports that property investors from mainland China have “rushed into Lisbon and Porto” this year – in spite of the pandemic – to buy-up real estate ahead of both cities being removed from what it calls a ‘passport for cash scheme’.

In just the second quarter of this year, €37 million has been invested by mainland Chinese in Portugal “which is twice their spending in all of 2019” Luiz Felipe Maia, director of Maia International Properties told the paper.

Inquiries by Chinese investors ‘surged 176%’ between January and September as investors realised the hottest market in Europe was starting to limit its options – and the economy in China, at odds with that of the rest of the world, is ‘doing well’.

With wealthy Chinese also looking at destinations like Singapore, concern within real estate agencies here is that once Lisbon and Porto have been removed from the golden visa programme (scheduled to happen at the end of 2020) will Chinese investors lose interest in Portugal altogether?

The question could however be rendered academic if Brussels gets its way. As we reported in October, Brussels has demanded that all Member States desist from offering their ‘passports for cash’ schemes ‘immediately’ as they essentially have ‘enabled the rapid entry of criminals’ into Europe.

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