Many South Africans are investing in property internationally, and it seems that Europe is their preferred choice.
According to migration experts Sable International, the hottest emerging destinations for South African investors at the moment, are Portugal, Malta and Montenegro.
Andrew Rissik, director at investment and migration firm, Sable International, said if people are unable to gain a second passport through the traditional routes like the descent from a citizen parent or marriage, citizenship-by-investment through property is an alternative.
“Most buyers are looking for a solid offshore property investment, that offers them either residency or citizenship and easy access to Europe. Some are moving their straight away, but others are looking for easier investment terms that only require them to visit the country for a couple of days a year,” he said.
Here are the top destinations:
“Portugal’s Golden Visa has been around for a while, but we are seeing a strong increase in enquiries,” said Rissik. The visa requires investors to purchase a property, or multiple properties, with a minimum value of €500,000 (R10, 3m) or invest in specific real estate options to a minimum value of €350,000 (R7,2m)
“South Africans love the fact that the investment allows them to live and work in Portugal, which also gives you visa-free travel throughout the European Schengen Area. After five years, they can qualify for permanent residence and potentially citizenship thereafter,” said Rissik.
“Montenegro might be small, but it has a lot to offer, with a beautiful landscape overlooking the Adriatic Sea, an outdoor lifestyle, quaint villages, and friendly locals who are welcoming to foreigners,” said Rissik.
He said from a financial perspective, Montenegro is poised to join the European Union and anyone buying property now is likely to see massive gains if the country is accepted into the EU.
“Covid-19 aside, Montenegro has been listed as a trending tourism destination and is strongly business- investment focused. Property investments offer a direct path to citizenship,” he said.
For the Montenegro citizenship-by-investment programme, applicants are required to invest in approved real estate projects within the country. The benefits of investing in Montenegro include the ability to live work or study in Montenegro and visa-free travel to more than 120 countries.
Malta offers an attractive citizenship-by-investment programme to the top end of the market. Investing in Malta property to a minimum value of €320,000 (R6,6m) can grant EU citizenship within 13 months and visa-free access to 182 countries including the UK and US. Their Malta Residence and Visa Program (MRVP) offers non-Maltese persons the possibility of acquiring an EU residence card that offers visa-free travel within Europe’s Schengen Area. Rissik said Malta market is solid.