April 21, 2020
Unprecedented and highly volatile global conditions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic are driving high-net-worth individuals to reassess the concept of secure investment value and how best to safeguard their families and their wealth against future shocks.
The virus is devastating countries in rapid succession – from struggling developing nations to global giants, no nation is being spared. Against a background of significant projected instability, investors with foresight are already engaging in their post-pandemic planning and re-assessing their wealth portfolios by opting to diversify via real estate–linked investment migration programs.
Leading international citizenship- and-residence-by-investment advisory firm Henley & Partners says before WHO announced the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, applications for Portugal’s popular Golden Residence Permit Program were on the rise. The first quarter of 2020 saw a 25% increase in interest in the program, with actual applications up by almost 50% compared to the same period in 2019. According to the latest Portuguese government data, 95% of Golden Residence Permit Program applicants have invested their funds in real estate, injecting approximately EUR 5 billion into the country’s economy over the past eight years.
Henley & Partners CEO Dr. Juerg Steffen says acquiring alternative residence or citizenship enables wealthy individuals to diversify their portfolios via a resilient investment solution, while at the same time contributing significantly to the economic wellbeing of the countries that offer programs. “Investment migration is a win-win solution for global investors and sovereign states alike. High-net-worth individuals favor European real estate-linked programs as they offer a unique hybrid investment opportunity that includes multiple yields from real estate, with all its traditional upside, as well as an alternative residence and/or citizenship with the option to relocate if they need too.”
In the recently published Henley Passport Index Q2 Update, FutureMap founder Dr. Parag Khanna predicts that the pandemic will prompt many to reconsider their global mobility options. “The combined effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on public health, the global economy, and social behavior may augur deeper shifts in our human geography — and our distribution around the world. As the curtain lifts, people will seek to move from poorly governed and ill-prepared places to more proactive countries with greater resilience and better medical care.”