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Needy Eu Nations Woo Chinese Home Buyers To Ease Slump

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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, according to SouFun Holdings Ltd. (SFUN), owner of China’s biggest real estate website and an organizer of overseas purchasing tours for Chinese seeking cheap properties and a chance to live in the EU.

Property clearly is the global ponzi scheme, helping to ensure we are all property millionaires.

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Property clearly is the global ponzi scheme, helping to ensure we are all property millionaires.

It will never work. The Eurozone will need to devalue the currency by 30% like poundland if they want a house price boom fuelled by foreigners.

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