Wanted: Southeast Asian property buyers in Portugal

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The golden visa scheme has proven to be popular among Asian outbound investors

Lisbon

While Thai buyers have no shortage of places to buy property, Century21 Siam Corporation is partnering with Portuguese developer Imocompletissmo to convince locals to invest in Portugal, local media outlets reported. The country’s golden visa scheme is one reason it has become an attractive destination for Asian investors.

The programme gives non-EU citizens, their parents and children the right to live in Portugal as long as they meet certain investments criteria. These investments include the purchase of any type of property priced at EUR500,000 or above.

“Since the programme started in 2012, it has drawn investment from newly wealthy Chinese who wanted to have a freehold property, seek an alternative investment overseas and send their children to study abroad,” said Somsak Chutisilp, chief executive of Century21, in an interview with the Bangkok Post.

“Many Chinese in the past two decades bought a property in the US or Canada to stay. In the past few years, they have bought a European property as an investment due to easy immigration and their children’s studies.”

More: After the US, UK and Australia, where’s next for Chinese buyers?

According to Somsak, nearly 70 percent of inward investment in Portuguese property was from the Chinese with British and north European citizens the next highest buyers. The latter focused on buying holiday properties in the country while Chinese investors took advantage of the residence permit program.

Last year, Century21 teamed with Imocompletissmo to help Thais looking to invest in Europe. Together they recently introduced the scheme to 40 Thai investors in Chiang Mai who were interested in property or business opportunities in Portugal.

Imocompletissmo is an experienced developer with more than 1,000 properties in Portugal and Spain. This number includes condominiums, apartments and villas along with numerous types of retail projects.

“Our target destinations are key provinces and we expect to have at least 10 customers by year-end,” Somsak explained. “The Portuguese developer will use Thailand as an expansion base to Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam, where there are a lot of potential buyers.”

This article originally appeared on DDproperty.com on 6 July 2016.

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