Gold visa rusting

Real estate agents in Macau aren’t too worried about a scandal in Portugal that saw 11 government officials detained for alleged involvement in a corruption conspiracy related to the golden visa investment scheme.
The golden visa programme was launched by the Portuguese authorities in October 2012 and offers foreign investors from non-European countries the opportunity of securing a fully valid residency permit in Portugal, enabling them to travel freely within the continent. Under this scheme, citizens have to acquire property in the amount of at least EUR500,000 (about MOP5 million), transfer funds in excess of EUR1 million (about MOP 10 million) or create at least 10 jobs in Portugal.
With Mainland China buyers unfamiliar with Portugal the news might have come as a surprise to them. In future, they will not be so surprised. “Potential buyers will probably now spend more time studying and selecting reputable immigration agents and property developers to ensure that their interests are well protected,” a real estate agent said, adding that he believes the visa scheme will continue to be attractive to buyers.
Entertainment conglomerate STDM has been using the golden visa scheme to entice mainlanders to buy homes in high-end housing that the company is building in Lisbon. Last year, it started promoting a housing project in Lisbon called Casas do Parque in Macau and Hong Kong.
According to several media reports published at the time, STDM was offering flats of between one and four bedrooms at a starting price of EUR180,000 (about MOP1.8 million).
“Based on our understanding, in Macau the golden visa business is done through the STDM development; they align with local agents to sell this particular project through them. Other than that, I don’t think other real estate agents are involved in the golden visa in Macau.” As a result, considering the size of the developer in the territory, Mr. Wong, the real estate agent, does not believe the corruption scandal will affect the territory.
The full story can be read in this month’s issue of Macau Business magazine, available at newsstands or online at