Mainland Chinese are the number one group taking advantage of Portugal’s “golden residence visa” and they’re buying up properties in the EU nation.
The Portuguese golden residence visa was established in 2012 and it offers residency permits to non-Europeans purchasing local properties.
This also gives them to right to travel freely anywhere in the EU.
After five years of residency they can then apply for citizenship.
By the end of July, 2014 there are about 1166 investors making use of these visa and 952 of them are from China.
“If people were buying property just for the return on their investment, they’d buy in the UK, Australia or the US. Here it’s all about the golden visa . . . Chinese are the only nationality we sell to whose primary aim is to get a golden visa”, said Yansi Xu, a Chinese graduate employed by Portuguese property developers Libertas according to the Financial Times.
The property they purchase needs to cost more than 500,000 Euros but buying a home in Portugal is much cheaper than doing so in Beijing or Shanghai.
Most of the auctions for high end real estate are now being done in Chinese. According to reports from mainland China, 90 percent of bidders are Chinese.
In the last nine months a fifth of the properties for sale in Portugal have been purchased by overseas buyers, most of them from China.
The Chinese taking advantage of this scheme are also attracted to the idea of being able to provide their children with a decent education in a safe and free environment.