With many regions still under pandemic restrictions, wealthy buyers are more motivated than ever to invest in property overseas. Many destinations where investors vacation have managed to keep COVID-19 transmissions rates low by locking down early and instituting strict travel restrictions. Now, with offices and schools still operating remotely in many cities, demand is growing from high-net-worth buyers ready to commit to secondary homes in countries with warm climates where life has largely returned to normal.
As the UK government opened quarantine free travel from May 17th 2021, statistics state that enquiries for property in Portugal rose by 93 percent. Research has also found that of 2,500 overseas buyers surveyed, 90 percent said that they were looking to buy in Spain. Moreover, the Caymans saw a 4.3 percent increase in total sales volume in 2020, with the average transaction value increasing by over 26 percent compared to 2019. Turks and Caicos also experienced an increase in sales activity in its luxury condo sector in 2020.
Some island destinations have seized upon this moment by offering accessible pathways to citizenship for investors or special permits for those working remotely. Dominica, for instance, has a “digital nomad visa,” an 18-month residential certificate for those who want to live in the country while working remotely in another. The Caribbean nation also has a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme that confers citizenship to vetted investors and their families after they make a real estate purchase of $200,000 or more. This has enticed many Americans who can use Dominican citizenship to travel around the globe.
“The option of securing a second or third home has proven to be a valuable asset for many investors,” says Micha Emmett, the CEO of CS Global Partners, a London-headquartered citizenship advisory. “With COVID-19, real estate investment is now often combined with a second citizenship or residency to secure that safe haven for their families.”
“Investors are familiar with Dominica and have seen the properties they’re purchasing. With a branded residence like the Hilton, there’s a lot more confidence because you know the ownership of the hotel and the strength of the brand,” said Ian Edwards, the owner and developer of Tranquility Beach, a resort under the CBI real estate option.
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