Demand for second homes in safe destinations that have fared best during the COVID-19 pandemic is growing from high-net-worth buyers looking to commit to homes in countries with warm climates where life has largely returned to normal.
The UK government lifted travel restrictions in May, opening the door to buyers keen to secure an overseas escape or establish second citizenship based on real estate investment. Recent statistics show that enquiries for property in Portugal rose by 93 percent. A survey of 2,500 overseas buyers showed 90 percent were looking to buy in Spain.
Some island destinations have seized this opportunity to offer new pathways to citizenship for investors or special permits for those working remotely. Dominica has a digital nomad visa – an 18-month residential certificate for those who want to live in the country while working remotely in another. The Caribbean nation’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme had also proved increasingly popular with US citizens who can use Dominican citizenship to travel around the globe.
“The option of securing a second or third home has proven to be a valuable asset for many investors,” says Micha Emmett, the CEO of CS Global Partners, a London-headquartered citizenship advisory. “With COVID-19, real estate investment is now often combined with a second citizenship or residency to secure that safe haven for their families.”
Dominica’s CBI Programme has greatly helped the island’s recovery from Hurricane Maria. CBI confers second citizenship to those who invest in the nation’s economy and is a route many take to attain greater travel mobility, business opportunities and a Plan B in times of crisis. Main applicants who invest USD$100,000 in the government’s Economic Diversification Fund can gain full citizenship of Dominica and the right to work, study and live in the country also known as the ‘Nature Isle of the Caribbean’.