Expats and Chinese fleeing Hong Kong have now discovered Portugal

Published:  12 Dec at 6 PM
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The Portuguese capital of Lisbon is preparing to welcome increasing numbers of expats fleeing the Hong Kong riots.

As the protests in Hong Kong continue and the chance of Chinese military intervention increases, expatriates as well as Hong Kong nationals are looking for ways out of the mess. Although Portugal is well-known as a retirement destination for British expat pensioners, it’s now getting a second string to its bow via its Golden Visa investment programme.

According to real estate agents in the region, applications for property details from Hong Kong residents have soared over the past several months, with a dramatic spike in enquiries since the summer. At the present time, over four thousand Chinese and expat investors have applied to the Golden Visa Programme. Fortunately for British retirees cosily ensconced in the Algarve, the favourite destination for Hong Kongers is Portugal’s capital, Lisbon.

One British expat-run Lisbon real estate firm had been due to attend a huge international property exhibition, but the event was cancelled just a week before it was due to open. The reason given was ‘security concerns’, but the company took a chance on promoting their own small event in an upscale hotel. The gamble paid off, with the level of interest described as very encouraging, resulting in their booking again for the original exhibition, now to be held in April 2020.

Although it seems the upscale Western property agencies don’t hold out much hope for Lisbon as a major relocation destination, local agencies believe they’re right in promoting golden visas as the way into the country for Hong Kongers with adequate liquid funds. Favourite locations include Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lobo, both presented as potentials with excellent investment opportunities.
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