Portugal's property market gains from Hongkongers looking for golden visa, safe haven amid protest chaos

By Cheryl Arcibalcheryl.arcibal@scmp.com / https://www.scmp.com/property/hong-kong-china/article/3032852/portugals-property-market-gains-hongkongers-looking?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | October 16, 2019 9:59 AM SGT
Hong Kong is tipped to become one of the top sources of foreign investment in Portuguese property as residents seek a European haven from the violent protests that have consistently reduced their city to something resembling a war zone.
An increase in demand from Hongkongers has prompted property agents from Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, to travel to the troubled city to meet clients and make a sales pitch to them.
About half of the buyers from Hong Kong are aiming to obtain permanent residency under Lisbon's golden visa programme, according to property agents.
"I believe the current protests have created a strong interest in property markets in Europe," said Luiz Felipe Maia, director at Maia International, a property agent based in Lisbon.
"I also work with properties in Spain, France and London, however the focus for foreign investors is Portugal where yields for rental run between 4 and 7 per cent."
Castelhana Real Estate held three days of seminars and met with 90 potential clients in September, while Maia International will be holding a six-day meeting with clients from the end of this month.
"We expect Hong Kong to rank among the top five sources of foreign capital in Portuguese real estate," said Patricia Climaco, a partner at Castelhana.
Maia said Hongkongers would be in the "top seven" overseas investors in the market. Portugal has been a prime target of mainland Chinese investors for some years now.
"I don't think they will beat the Brazilians, French, English and mainland Chinese buyers" he said.
In its sales pitch in Hong Kong recently, Castelhana and its local partner Habitat Property presented 10 projects and were expecting to close deals on 15 to 20 units.
Maia said he would be coming to Hong Kong owing to a "significant increase in the leads" coming from the city.
"I have received over 25 inquiries in the last two months and had to extend my agenda from two to six days in Hong Kong to accommodate all meetings and presentations. I will possibly extend for...