Caribbean CBI Summit

June 5th, 2018   •   Citizenship, Investment, Investor Visa, Real Estate   •   Comments Off on Caribbean CBI Summit   

La Vida CEO Paul Williams with Leslie Anne Brissett and Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

Representatives from La Vida attended the Caribbean Citizenship by Investment summit held last week on the island of St. Kitts. The summit, held at the Marriott Hotel, featured the five Caribbean countries offering Citizenship by Investment programmes. The theme of this year’s conference was “Transparency and Sustainability: CIPs in the New World.” The conference was attended by the heads of the Citizenship Investment Units from each of the countries and other key players from within the industry. Topics covered during the conference included Due Diligence and Sustainable Investment along with other relevant issues affecting the industry. It was supported by the Prime Ministers of Antigua & Barbuda and St. Kitts who were both in attendance.

The conference was an ideal opportunity for La Vida to meet with its many partners in the Caribbean and to further undertake a five island tour of St. Kitts, Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia and Grenada. In part to meet with the Citizenship Investment Units, our processing partner lawyers and in particular to visit the select number of real estate developments that La Vida chooses to promote to our clients. This tour was essential in ensuring that such developers are delivering on their promises not only for the real estate projects we decide to work with but also to see in some cases, lack of progress on those we choose to decline.

It is fair to say that the majority of international agencies promoting investment in the Caribbean will never visit the projects they promote. Any prospective investor considering the Caribbean would be wise to do their due diligence on any company they choose to work with and ask the question of whether they have actually visited and verified the projects they are promoting. There are over 20 such projects to choose from on St. Kitts alone. La Vida chooses to work with the select few we consider have sufficient funding, branding and prestige to underpin future returns of both income and capital. And critically those that have demonstrated either tangible results in terms of construction and progress or are already built and operating. Some projects which prospective investors may see promoted elsewhere, failed to meet our specification. La Vida visited over 20 projects during the course of our two week inspection of the islands narrowing this down to a select few on each island that we will continue to promote, including some new exciting additions to our offering.

Our professional advisors are fully briefed on the merits and details of the programmes we choose to promote. For details on those real estate projects that meet our requirements for citizenship investment please contact our advisors in the UK on +44 207 060 1475.

Property Price Rises Boost Spanish Market

May 9th, 2018   •   Investor Visa, Real Estate   •   Comments Off on Property Price Rises Boost Spanish Market   

Luxury Villas Costa Blanca Spain Further evidence has emerged of the continuing recovery in Spanish property prices as figures for the first quarter of 2018 showed a 3.8% increase on the previous year. Growth was strongest in the main cities of Madrid (17%) and Barcelona (11%). It’s a pattern typical for recovering markets where major cities lead the growth followed by other regions as the cycle matures. Potential buyers looking at investing in the Spanish market for the Golden Visa may want to turn their attention away from the main cities to benefit from rock bottom prices in the coastal regions which are expected to benefit now as the economic and housing recovery is fully underway.

Barcelona saw a 39% increase in prices in the last 3 years but the recent calls for Catalan independence have impacted sales volumes significantly. Previously the most popular city for Golden Visa investors such future buyers for residency will be well advised to look elsewhere in Spain. After all it is a Spanish Golden Visa on offer not a Catalan Golden Visa.

Costal regions such as Murcia and the Costa Calida region have seen annual rises of around 2.0% and offer plenty of potential for future growth. Such areas are ideal for investment in the residency visa when families are planning to spend longer periods in the country particularly in the summer time. This area of Spain offers superb value for money and is popular with Spanish buyers from Madrid looking to escape the summer heat to the cooler environment on the coast.

Golden Visa Greece Top Ten Countries

April 25th, 2018   •   Investor Visa, Real Estate   •   Comments Off on Golden Visa Greece Top Ten Countries   

Golden Visa Greece Top CountriesFigures released for 2017 have shown the Greek Golden Visa as one of the most popular options in Europe.

Enterprise Greece, the government department tasked with promoting inward investment to the country, claim 2,305 Main Applicants were issued with a Greek Residency Visa through property investment in 2017.

Of that total China claimed the largest proportion with 1011, or 43.8%, of total golden visas issued. Russia weighed in with 395 and the remainder of the top 10 countries were not suprisingly geographically close by in the Middle East.

La Vida has seen significant interest in the Greek program, particularly with real estate investment in Athens. While it may be wise to treat any “official” figures from Greece with some caution, if correct the numbers are impressive. It puts Greece close to Portugal in terms of total golden visa investments in 2017 although the contribution to the economy is likely to be less with a lower qualifying investment of €250,000 compared to €500,000 for the Portuguese Golden Visa.

Most Popular Golden Visa Programme

March 20th, 2018   •   Investor Visa, Portugal, Property, Real Estate   •   Comments Off on Most Popular Golden Visa Programme   

Since its inception in 2012, the Portuguese Golden Visa programme has generally been considered one of the best and most popular residency investment programmes in the world.

In less than six years, more than five thousand investors have invested nearly three and a half billion euros into the Portuguese real estate market. The effects can be felt everywhere, but nowhere more so than in Lisbon – the cosmopolitan metropolis and age-old capital of Portugal. Here, the city’s alive with the sound of construction, the excitement of restoration and regeneration courses through the air. ‘Reabilitação’; a deep respect for history, culture and architectural integrity; and the one defining feature that separates the Portuguese Golden Visa programme from others around the world. Unlike many other residency and citizenship by investment programmes, the Portuguese programme is not prompting the building of imposing skyscrapers or vulgar edifices; it’s driving the rehabilitation of one of the most architecturally exhilarating cities in the world.

Reduced Investment Option at €350,000

The introduction of the Category 65A-d Golden Visa programme at the end of 2015 is testament to the importance that the government places on rehabilitation. Where the traditional Golden Visa programme (Category 65A-c) requires an investment of €500,000, the 65A-d legislation stipulates that a Golden Visa can be issued to those investing just €350,000, as long as the capital is invested in a to-be-renovated property that’s more than 30 years old or located in a designated area of urban rehabilitation. The rules regarding how the property can be renovated are extremely stringent and ensuring that the conditions are met can be a testing and arduous process. However, this is an area that’s gaining more and more interest with each day that passes – and it’s easy to see why. Investors are seeking old and often derelict property in prime locations across Portugal’s first-tier cities, renovated to the highest standards with new plumbing, electrics, flooring, insulation and windows, whilst the exterior façade remains unchanged and the traditional architecture and aesthetics are retained. The potential for significant capital appreciation is obvious and, due to the location and style of the properties, rental return can be exceptionally high. Perhaps most importantly, the €350,000 minimum investment requirement can include not only the value of the real estate, but the cost of renovation as well.

Golden Visa Numbers Expected to Grow

The first Category 65A-d Golden Visa was issued in July 2016. In just eighteen months, that number has grown exponentially with the total number of successful applicants recently surpassing one hundred. With over five thousand five hundred Golden Visas issued to date, it’s obvious that this new legislation is still in its infancy. However, the trend is clear: in February 2017, Category 65A-d visas comprised just 0.39% of the total number of Golden Visas issued by the Portuguese authorities. In just one year, this ratio has more than quintupled, rising to 2.05%. The advantages of the programme from both an investment perspective as well as a legislative perspective indicate that this growth is expected to continue and intensify over the coming months and years.

With increasing pressure on residency and citizenship by investment programmes around the world, the Portuguese programme (and particularly the Category 65A-d legislation) is a shining example of how a Golden Visa programme can benefit not just the investors, but the local population as well. Recent and significant changes to the application process (including moving the process online) make the programme more attractive still, whilst showing that the Portuguese Immigration Service (SEF) has recognised its shortcomings of the past and is willing to modernise and adapt in order to continuously improve.

A multitude of pink, blue, green and yellow buildings set against an expansive deep blue sky above the turquoise hues of the Tagus river. The narrow, cobbled streets of Alfama and Baixa, lined by multi-coloured buildings with their wrought iron balconies and the occasional ceramic façade. This is the architecture that defines Lisbon – the architecture, history and culture that the Category 65A-d programme seeks not only to protect, but to reinvigorate and renew.

St Kitts Citizenship Costs Reduced

February 18th, 2018   •   Citizenship, Investment, Passport, Real Estate   •   Comments Off on St Kitts Citizenship Costs Reduced   

Real Estate Hotel Investment in St. Kitts

Early this week we received confirmation from the St Kitts Citizenship by Investment unit that the fees for the real estate option have been reduced. Whilst the minimum real estate investment remains the same ($400,000) the additional government fees will be around $50,00 lower per family application.

Previously the additional government fees were $50,000 for the main applicant, $25,000 for a spouse and $25,000 per additional dependent’s. These have now been changed to:

  • $35,000 Main applicant
  • $20,000 Spouse
  • $10,000 Dependent children, regardless of age

The due diligence fees and passport fees remain the same, as does La Vida’s professional fee to process the application. To receive a full quotation, please contact our expert advisors.

In line with the fee reduction, we also received the news that one of our best selling real estate projects in St Kitts has been named as the ‘’No.1 Best New Hotel in the Caribbean’’ by media giant CNN. This fantastic resort opened it’s doors to the public in November 2017 and by the end of December it achieved an occupancy level of 95%. Managed by a leading 5* hotel operator, the project is by far one of most luxurious on the island. Investors can buy a share of the project for $430,000 which can be sold after 5 years. During this time, rental returns of up to 5.5% can be expected. This is one of few government approved projects currently available which is now complete and successfully operating, making it an excellent choice of investment. Units are now limited, and the project is close to selling out completely. Act now to secure your share and also take advantage of the reduced government fees.

The St. Kitts and Nevis’ CBI programme is the leading option amongst the Caribbean citizenship by investment programmes. The programme has been established since 1984 and the highly ranked passport will enable one to travel visa free to 139 countries worldwide.

Madonna Invests for Portuguese Golden Visa

October 17th, 2017   •   Investment, Real Estate   •   Comments Off on Madonna Invests for Portuguese Golden Visa   

Sintra, Portugal Queen of Pop Madonna has been very vocal on her social media pages recently about her move to Portugal and her Golden Visa application. The pop star has invested in an impressive property in Sintra, Portugal, which was formerly a palace. The property investment is reported to have cost her €7.5 million euros and is currently undergoing renovation works. Whilst she waits for her new home to be completed, Madonna has been staying in the highly luxurious presidential suite of the Pestana Palace hotel in Lisbon.

Her recent relocation to Portugal was triggered by her sons new venture with the Portuguese junior football team- Benfica. Son David Banda, from Melawi, was adopted by Madonna and ex-husband Guy Richie back in 2006 and is now 11 years old. It is reported that David and his siblings will attend the international French Lycee school in Lisbon.

Madonna has posted a number of times on Instagram in recent weeks about her families new life in Portugal and their wait for their new residency visas to be granted. It is also said that she has had a private meeting with the immigration authorities, SEF, where her application is being treated as an exceptional case. Madonna’s unique celebrity status is projected to boost Portugal’s tourism and economy, bringing a lot of exciting new attention to the country.

Portugal has attracted a number of high profile celebrities in recent years including former Manchester United Football Club player Eric Cantona and French fashion designer Christian Louboutin just to name a few. The Portuguese Golden Visa programme requires international investors to purchase property priced at €500,000 which is more than possible for such high net worth individuals.

Another attractive aspect of investing in Portugal is the Non-Habitual tax regime, which gives foreigners huge tax advantages and the scheme exempts some pensioners from taxes altogether for 10 years.

If you wish to follow in Madonna’s footsteps and invest in Portuguese real estate for the Golden Visa, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Portugal Property Prices Predicted to Increase 5% p.a

September 27th, 2017   •   Economy, Investor Visa, Portugal Golden Visa, Real Estate, Rental Income   •   Comments Off on Portugal Property Prices Predicted to Increase 5% p.a   

Portugal RICS Property price index report graphAccording to the latest RICS property price index report for August 2017, the Portuguese market remains in a very strong position.

The most promising news is that house prices have been predicted to increase by 5% per annum for the following five year period which is extremely encouraging for Golden visa investors.

Compared to the previous report published for June 2017, the figures for August have risen across the board for both house price increases and new sales enquiries. The sales expectations for the coming three months ahead has also risen. This sits in line with La Vida’s personal forecast as year on year the Autumn proves to be one of our busiest quarters for new investors buying in Portugal.

Due to a high demand yet a low of supply of property (particularly in Lisbon) prices continue to rise to meet this demand. The same has also effected the lettings market where rents remain on an upwards path with a steady rise of tenant enquires. It is predicted that rental growth will also continue over the coming three month period. This is great news for prospective landlords who are looking to invest for rental return.

In other areas, unemployment rates in Portugal have recently decreased to just 9.4% which is the lowest it has been since the 2008 recession. This is yet another positive reflection of how well the economy in Portugal is currently performing.

Despite the current shortage of property on the market, La Vida have an excellent choice of real estate to offer, with a vast selection of options in Lisbon, Porto, the Silver Coast and the Algarve.

As one of the market leading consultancies specializing in Investor visa’s, La Vida have the ability to assist investors with both the real estate purchase and the legal work which is involved in obtaining a Portuguese Golden Visa.

To speak with one of our expert consultant, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Invest in Portugal’s Silver Coast…

September 5th, 2017   •   Portugal Golden Visa, Property, Real Estate, Rental Income   •   Comments Off on Invest in Portugal’s Silver Coast…   

Silver Coast Portugal With international investors mainly focusing their attentions on cities such as Lisbon and Porto, it’s no surprise that some of Portugal’s hidden gems are often getting overlooked, and the stunning Silver Coast of Portugal is one of them.

Just 35-45 minutes outside of Lisbon, the Silver Coast region is an outstanding area of protected natural beauty  boasting stunning landscapes, golden sandy beaches and crystal clear waters all the way along the coastline. The region is home to a number of traditional and charming Portuguese towns as well as a 5* multi award winning Golf and Beach Resort where a number of luxury properties can be found, attracting numerous high profile owners and celebrities. Nestled between two of the most popular Golf resorts in the region is also the historic town of Lourinha where Jurassic dinosaur remains were recently discovered. Plans for a new Jurassic amusement park are set to boost tourism in the area, with a prediction of an extra 200,000 visitors each year, a great prospect for those looking to generate a rental return on property in this region.

La Vida have a number of different properties to offer along the Silver Coast and a large number of these are offering a guaranteed rental return of 5% per annum for up to 3 years. Also included within this offer is up to 6 months of personal usage for the owner each year, making this an excellent option for those looking for both a personal holiday home and a rental property.

Price per square meter in this location is also extremely competitive at just €2,500 per square metre compared to central Lisbon where the average price per square metre is from €5,000 upwards. Just another factor why savvy investors should be considering the Silver Coast.

Contact La Vida’s experts for further details on both the Portuguese Golden Visa programme and our property options.

 

Golden Visa Property Surge in Portugal

February 15th, 2017   •   Economy, Portugal Golden Visa, Property, Real Estate   •   Comments Off on Golden Visa Property Surge in Portugal   

Portugal-House-Price-Index-ChartAccording to Portugal’s National Institution of Statistics, a recent report shows that in the third quarter of 2016, house prices had risen by 7.6% compared to the previous year, with a growth of  1.3%  just from Q2- Q3 of 2016 alone.

In the period of July- September 2016, Portugal saw an impressive 31,535 property transactions; a 15.8% increase compared to the same period in the previous year. These sales generated a total value of €3.6 billion! The area responsible for the largest proportion of sales was Lisbon, accounting for 34% of the whole country’s property purchases.

The market has been steadily growing since the economic crisis back in 2012/13, and property prices have shown significant signs of growth in the past few years. Since Q1 of 2013 we are now looking a total property price increase close to 14%. There does not seem to be any sign of these rises slowing down either, with an average appreciation rate of around 4-5% per annum.

The Golden Visa Scheme is certainly one of the major contributing factors for these price increases, as Portugal has seen a great boost in their economy since the introduction of residency visa programme back in Oct 2012. The visa programme remains strong, and is still one of our most popular schemes for those looking for a flexible residency scheme in Europe with the opportunity to apply for citizenship after just 6 years. For more details on this programme please contact our experts.

 

Cyprus Real Estate Shows Growth

February 7th, 2017   •   Cyprus, Investor Visa, Property, Real Estate   •   Comments Off on Cyprus Real Estate Shows Growth   

One Tower Limassol According to the most recent RICS Property Price Index Report for Cyprus in 2016, there has been some promising signs of growth within the real estate market. Paphos was one of the strongest regions with an average price increase of 1.77% on residential houses. The prices of flats also rose steadily in Limassol at a rate of 1.4% on average; and there was an overall growth of 1.6% for holiday apartments throughout Cyprus.

Rental values have also increased across Cyprus by 0.7% for apartments and 3.3% for houses. The average ROI for rental property now stands between 3-4% per annum.

It seems that the economy and real estate market are finally stabilizing following the economic crisis back in 2013 and according to a recent report from KPMG this is primarily a result of the government’s Citizenship by Investment scheme. In the first two quarters of 2016, the total number of property deeds of sales increased by over 28% in comparison to 2015.  Tourism, financial services and real estate account for nearly 80% of Cyprus’s GDP, so a rise in the property market will have a great effect on lifting the overall economy.

Now that the market seems to have bottomed out in most area’s, there has never been a better time to buy in Cyprus with great potential for future capital appreciation. We foresee further price rises in 2017, making it an excellent time to buy.

Cyprus remains the fastest Citizenship by Investment programme in Europe offering investors a second passport within just 6 months following a real estate investment at €2m. Dependent children up to the age of 28 years old can be included under a family application and grandparents can also be included for just an additional €500,000. The real estate investment must be held for 3 years, after which investors only need to retain a residential investment of just €500,000 for the future.  As Cyprus is a full EU member a passport here will enable one to live, work and study in any EU country, currently still including the UK.

For more details on this scheme, please contact our specialist consultants today for further advice.