分类: eli mcgeever

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UK’s Share of Overseas Property Exhibitions in Hong Kong Triples in 2021

Hong Kong’s red-hot migration market shows few signs of cooling down and the UK has quickly become the most favored destination, by a wide margin.

Each week, 3,000 British Nationals Overseas (BNO) passport holders from Hong Kong apply for the UK’s special-purpose residency visa, the Times disclosed last month. The South China Morning Post, meanwhile, reports that in the nine months since the UK opened its bespoke path to citizenship for BNO-passport holders in July last year, Hongkongers have spent an estimated US$1.3 billion on nearly 2,000 homes in London, four percent of all homes sold in London during the period.

Those figures represent a sharp uptick from the same period a year earlier; Between July 2019 and March 2020, Hongkongers spent some US$522 million on London homes, accounting for just one percent of the total.

Property consultancy Knight Frank estimates that nearly one in ten foreign home buyers in London’s prime property market were Hongkongers, a proportion surpassed only by the French, who were behind 15% of residential purchases in the swankier neighborhoods of “the Big Smoke”.

The British government indicates it expects around 300,000 BNO-passport holders to buy a home in the UK within the program’s first five years.

See also: 8 Questions Hongkongers Must Ask Before Taking up the UK’s BN(O) Visa Offer

Empirical data on overseas property exhibitions in Hong Kong hint at a rapid escalation of the trend in coming months:

“The UK represents almost one in two exhibitions so far this year,” says Eli McGeever, Vice President of property discovery platform Soho App. “Australia and Canada take second and third spots – altogether accounting for more than 70% of exhibitions.”

chart, pie chart
Source: Soho App

During the same four-month period last year, McGeever points out, the UK accounted for only 15.5% of Hong Kong’s foreign property exhibitions. Between July 2020 and April 2021, he says, more than 600 UK property expos have taken place in the city, nearly half focusing on London homes specifically.

chart, bar chart
Source: Soho App

While London-focused events alone accounted for one in five property exhibitions in Hong Kong in the last nine months, McGeever notes that buyers are increasingly interested in less-densely populated areas, a trend he attributes to the pandemic. McGeever’s map of UK projects exhibited in Hong Kong during the first four months of 2021 shows that while the preponderance of Hong Kong buyers are drawn to England’s primary metropolitan areas – Greater London, West Midlands, and Greater Manchester – suburban regions, like the Home Counties and University towns Oxford and Cambridge, are also favored destinations.

Source: Soho App

Bloomberg estimates that Hong Kong BNO-passport holders planning a move to the UK will sell up to US$20 billion worth of homes in this year:

The city may see about 13,100 to 16,300 households move to the U.K. via their British National (Overseas) visas in 2021, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Patrick Wong said in a report on Tuesday. The number represents 0.9% to 1.1% of households living in privately owned homes.

Current property prices indicate home sellers from Hong Kong – the world’s priciest housing market – can expect to get twice as much property for the same amount in London.

The steep rise in Hongkongers selling their homes to move to the UK, however, is not likely to depress the SAR’s housing market; as locals leave, mainland buyers are absorbing the new supply. Secondary home prices in Hong Kong remain near their all-time-high, mortgage-rates are at a decade-low, and mainland buyers have seen their share of purchases rise to 11% of the total, up from 8.7% three quarters earlier.

More Intel & Data

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“The UK represents almost one in two exhibitions so far this year,” says Eli McGeever, Vice President of property discovery platform Soho App.

Over the last four years, the number of main applicants approved by just the ten largest programs averaged nearly 28,000 a year.

The pandemic year left an indelible mark on virtually every investment migration program but by no means in equal measure.


The post UK’s Share of Overseas Property Exhibitions in Hong Kong Triples in 2021 appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.

“This is More Than a Spike. This is a Wave”: Investment Migration People in The News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week included:

  • Andrew Lo of Anlex
  • Evelyn Ackah
  • Jean-François Harvey of Harvey Law Group
  • Clifford Ng
  • Eli McGeever of Soho App
  • Alisha Ma of Halcyon Counsel
  • Antoni Murt Prats of EY Private Client Services
  • Paddy Blewer of Henley & Partners
  • Arthur Sarkisian of Astons

Reuters: Canada calling? Hong Kong residents shift billions abroad after clampdown

Canadian visa applications from Hong Kong, excluding visitors’ visas, rose 10% to 8,121 in 2020, indicating further capital flows from the city are likely. Britain and Australia are expected to be other favored destinations for Hong Kong residents.

Andrew Lo, chief executive of immigration consultancy Anlex in Hong Kong, is looking to expand into wealth management services in Canada, which he believes will be “a booming market for new immigrants, especially from Hong Kong.”

Lo said he helped around 36 families emigrate to Canada in the past 12 months, each bringing C$1.5 million on average.


Political developments have prompted people to consider what will happen if things decline, and to look at Canada as an option, said Canadian immigration attorney Evelyn Ackah. “Right now, it’s just an option. I don’t see a mass exodus. It’s people looking around, saying ‘can I be somewhere else if I need to?’”


Jean-Francois Harvey, a Canadian lawyer based in Hong Kong who specializes in immigration for high-net-worth individuals, has seen a five-fold increase in clients seeking to move to Canada since mid-2020. His clients have transferred at least C$1 million and, more commonly, between C$5 million and C$10 million in the last 12 months.

“There’s been an incredible increase in demand especially for Canada in Hong Kong, so much that in the middle of COVID-19, I had to double the team and the size of the office in Hong Kong,” said Harvey, worldwide managing partner for Harvey Law Group.

“This is more than a spike. This is a wave.”

Hong Kong-based attorney Clifford Ng, who himself immigrated to Canada in 1975 and returned to Hong Kong in 1995, said he has seen a four-fold increase in inquiries about the tax implications of moving to Canada.


In the first 10 weeks of 2021, Hong Kong hosted nearly a third more exhibitions of new-build properties by Canadian developers than in the same period in 2019, according to data from Eli McGeever, vice president of international property at Soho App.

Exhibitions in 2020 were affected by Hong Kong’s first wave of COVID-19 lockdowns.

Alisha Ma, founder of immigration consultancy Halcyon Counsel, said Hong Kong families are looking at properties in Toronto and Vancouver, but waiting until they obtain permanent residency to avoid foreign buyers’ taxes.

Forbes: How Buying This Property Qualifies You For A Visa To Live In Spain

Antoni Murt Prats is a partner at multinational law firm EY’s Private Client Services department in Barcelona. He explains that the Spanish Golden Visa program has become popular due to the many benefits it offers.

“Once you have your Golden Visa, you and your family members will enjoy the right to live in Spain, as well as freedom of movement within the European Union’s Schengen area, for a maximum period of three months per half-year,” says Murt, adding that another major advantage of the Spanish Golden Visa is that it comes with no time-in-country minimum requirement.

The Telegraph: The Super-Rich Are Moving to “Backup” Countries During COVID (in Ways You’ve Never Imagined)

A leader in the world of matchmaking private investors with willing sovereign states, London-based Henley & Partners, has just published the results of in-depth data analysis, showing that the way different countries have managed the Covid crisis is having a big impact on who wants to become a citizen where.

Historically these programmes have appealed to very rich people from post-colonial countries yet to develop the diplomatic trade relations that provide visa-free travel. Immigration policy in the UK and France mean it’s a lot easier for a Nigerian businessman to take his family to Disneyland Paris on, say, a St Lucian passport than a Nigerian one. But now the rest of the world is catching on to such benefits, particularly the UK and the US.

“Our clients want to know they’ve got somewhere to go that’s safe,” says Paddy Blewer of Henley & Partners. “They’re asking ‘Who’s got great healthcare?’, and ‘How can I live there?’ People actively want to know what the primary health care is like and even how many intensive care beds they have.”

Mansion Global: London Is Emerging as the Destination of Choice for Affluent Hong Kongers

“The view is that while many global destinations provide strong appeal, the U.K. property market provides a safe haven with a track record of stability and growth,” said Arthur Sarkisian, a managing director at the investment immigration firm Astons.


Paddy Blewer, a spokesman from the immigration firm Henley & Partners, said taking the BN(O) route is “the equivalent of packing up and never going back.” China has called it a violation of international law and an interference in its internal affairs. So while it may be the path of choice for pro-democracy activists, most high-net-worth individuals are not selling their Hong Kong-based businesses and leaving permanently.

Financial Times: Passports — more golden than ever

Having said that, one of the better-known advisers in the field, UK-based Henley & Partners, said this week it had “seen a 32 per cent increase in the daily average number of enquiries (about CBI) compared to the first six months of 2020 . . . the most astonishing being a 192 per cent leap in enquiries from US citizens in 2020. Enquiries from Canadians are up 34 per cent and there have been 29 per cent and 26 per cent more enquiries from UK and French nationals, respectively. After a flat 2019 for our contracted revenues, we had 25 per cent growth in 2020 and 40 per cent growth rate so far in 2021.”


“We estimate the total global market is between $25bn and $30bn. Of that, $20bn goes to the US through EB-5,” says Henley’s Paddy Blewer. 

The post “This is More Than a Spike. This is a Wave”: Investment Migration People in The News This Week appeared first on Investment Migration Insider.