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Wealthy Chinese Snap up Homes in Southern Europe
Brief:Wealthy Chinese snap up homes in Southern Europe as governments offer visas for buying,and they will get a good return on their property investment and at the same time enjoy a handful of EU benefit.
Southern Europe’s cash-strapped governments are courting wealthy Chinese homebuyers, seeking to bolster their battered real estate markets by offering visas to those who purchase prime properties.

Cyprus, Greece and Portugal are providing resident permits to foreign buyers, while Spain is about to adopt a similar measure. The chance to purchase a home at depressed prices in southern Europe and gain what’s known as a golden visa is mostly being sold to Chinese investors, according to brokers.

“Property is what really attracts China’s rich,” said Nuno Durao, a founding partner at Irglux, a unit of real estate agency Fine & Country, in Cascais, Portugal. “With just half a million euros, high-net-worth Chinese investors will get a good return on their property investment and at the same time enjoy a handful of EU benefits they don’t have in China.”

Southern Europe is the latest target for rich Chinese homebuyers, who have been snapping up properties from Vancouver to London since 2010 as their wealth swells and China’s government steps up a three-year campaign to cool home prices there. Cyprus, Portugal and Greece are hot spots for the newly affluent Asians.

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