Property as the key to international living

Investing in the foreign property market offers those looking for exciting opportunities abroad the flexibility to explore new lifestyles in some of the world’s most beautiful locations. With the continuing uncertainty surrounding Brexit, many UK-based investors are looking at off-shore opportunities, such as so-called ‘golden visas’, or ‘citizenship by investment’ incentive programmes.

This allows them to balance risk within their portfolios while also potentially offering a gateway to further investment opportunities within the EU. Many countries, like Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Portugal and Spain, who have specially designed visas that can open doors in a positive way, are more than happy to encourage this.

The two main golden visa incentives for investors looking at the European property market are the citizenship by investment (CBI) or residency by investment (RBI) schemes. Both are explicitly designed to provide advantages for foreign investors.

With the CBI/RBI schemes adding well over €9billion in investment capital across EU member states, according to European Union data, there is clearly a great deal of interest in incentives like these.

Many of the countries offering CBI or RBI incentives require you to spend very little time there to maintain or secure citizen status. Investors can enjoy a range of lucrative tax benefits too. There are a number of wider advantages to the schemes which should attract those looking to broaden their portfolios.

While these programmes have generated a great deal of debate recently, there are undoubtedly benefits for both investors as well as local economies.

A win/win situation with plenty of positive impact

Cyprus is an investment hot-spot

Cyprus is an investment hot-spot

Many of the countries that run golden visa schemes offer a host of excellent advantages for investors too, adding up to an attractive overall proposition.

Countries like Cyprus offer citizenship within six months of initial investment. This comes with the additional benefit of wider EU citizenship, opening up further investment and business opportunities throughout Europe. With a favourable tax regime that works solely on an income source and remittance basis, there are clearly many positives to such investment schemes.

Destinations like Dubai, Mauritius and Bermuda, with their beautiful beaches and sun-soaked climate, also offer investors a chance to experience an attractive outdoor lifestyle. The golden visa incentive programmes are by no means limited to EU countries and other popular investment destinations with similar lifestyle opportunities and various property investment programmes include St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada and St Lucia, New Zealand and Canada.

The schemes benefit local economies too, bringing in foreign investment that rejuvenates areas with the knock-on effects of job creation and increased tourism. Cyprus alone has seen a total of nearly €5billion of direct investment via their golden visa, and Portugal over €4billion. This investment has helped improve living standards in newer areas within these countries, enhancing local services and amenities, creating new jobs and promoting both countries as attractive propositions for foreign investors.

An opportunity for growth

With favourable tax regimes, a wide range of property options available and the chance to gain additional citizenship as part of your investment, golden visa programmes are particularly attractive.

Investors have used these schemes to open wider doors in the countries they invest in, broadening their portfolios and opening up exciting new opportunities outside of more traditional avenues.

Many of the most popular locations running CBI/RBI schemes also offer superb year-round income potential courtesy of their outstanding climate which brings with it a glamourous lifestyle element too. Investments can start from as little as €350,000 and offer superb value for UK based property investors looking to broaden their portfolio and off-set risk.

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