Greece is the Golden Visa destination of choice for UK HNWs.

Brexit isn’t the driving factor behind investor intention with family and location the most important factors in the decision-making process, according to research from Astons, the international experts on real estate, residency, and citizenship through investment. Astons study asked those with investable assets of £1 million or more if Brexit had increased their likelihood of investing in alternative residency or citizenship.

While the UK’s decision to leave the EU has no doubt had an influence, it hasn’t had the impact that many first thought. Just 21% stated it had increased their likelihood of seeking an alternative residency or citizenship, while 79% had not been influenced.

Astons then asked what had been the most important factor when making a decision on investing and the primary motivation is clear. 68% stated that improving the quality of life for their family was most important, with the location ranking second, although just 16% found it the most influential draw when investing.

The cost of investing ranked highest for just 14%, while just 2% looked to alternative residency or citizenship to improve their business opportunities. No doubt the reason that Brexit has played such a minor role in investor sentiment.

Astons then asked which programmes were of the greatest interest from an investment perspective.

Greece ranked top with 19% and it’s clear to see why. Not only does the country offer a far more favourable climate and a more affordable property market when compared with the UK, but residency can also be secured for a minimum investment of £217,252 within just two months. Doing so grants visa-free travel within the Schengen Zone, meaning Greek residency also offers travel across 26 EU states.

Antigua and Barbuda and Spain were also high on the list (11%), along with Ireland (8%).

Italy, Jersey, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, Saint Lucia and Switzerland gained equal interest (6%), with Dominica, Montenegro, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Vanuatu also making the list of most in-demand investment locations.

Managing Director of Astons, Arthur Sarkisian, commented: “The idea that many investors look to alternative residency or citizenship to further their own personal agendas or to simply gain an additional passport for the lowest price possible is quite a common misconception within the space.

In fact, the reality is those looking to invest are doing so with the wider good of their family almost always at the forefront of the decision making process and the cost required is often second to the welfare of their loved ones.

While Brexit will have certainly caused increased interest in investment programmes outside of the UK, it doesn’t seem to be the primary factor behind current investor sentiment and this demonstrates the family-first, business-second mentality to this investment route.

Greek residency is proving particularly popular at the present, as a strong combination of a family centred culture, great quality of life, a quick route to residency and overall affordability, all resonate strongly amongst UK investors. Survey of 200 UK HNWs with investable assets of £1m or more carried out by Find Out Now (February 26th 2021).

Has Brexit increased your likelihood of investing in alternative citizenship or residency in another country?

Respondents answered No: 79%
Respondents answered Yes: 21%

Which location are you most interested in with regard to investing?

  1. Greece: 19%
  2. Antigua and Barbuda: 11%
  3. Spain: 11%
  4. Ireland: 8%
  5. Italy: 6%

Article by Sophie Ireland