Global trends are prompting wealthy buyers across the world to make moves abroad. According to Henley & Partners, a global citizenship and residence advisory firm, when it comes to relocation trends, “all the key metrics of the past are in flux. Corporate tax arbitrage is coming under fire, and a proposed global flat tax will change the pecking order of advantageous jurisdictions for international companies. Then there is remote working, with at least 40% of the global workforce now ‘location independent.’ ”
Europe—specifically areas like Portugal, Italy, and France—has seen rising interest from American buyers. London’s prime market has seen a spike in property inquiries from ultra-high-net-worth U.S. buyers, too. Demand is reportedly being driven by concerns about President Biden’s recent proposal for tax hikes on the wealthy and big corporations.
Meanwhile, U.S. tech corporations are set to add to London’s American expat community: Google has agreed to lease an additional 70,000 square feet of office space next to its US$1.2 billion headquarters at King’s Cross, while Meta is looking to expand into a larger London office as well.
In Paris, Americans are planning purchases again. Paulo Fernandes, managing owner, Paris Ouest Sotheby’s International Realty, says that since September, the number of visits to the website from abroad has increased by 40%. “Foreign buyers remain interested in Paris because a classic Paris stone property is a safe investment, and prices here are perpetually rising,” Fernandes says. “We have also noticed the return of French expats from London due to Brexit,” he adds.
In 2021, Cyprus, a popular relocation spot, experienced a continuing stream of demand, says Anastasia Yianni, CEO, Cyprus Sotheby’s International Realty. Cyprus’s key markets for international buyers are Europe, Ukraine, Russia, and the Middle East, with most buyers coming from Scandinavia, Germany, and the U.K., she says. Its appeal remains in the sunny climate, good-quality education, and a low tax regime, in addition to the opportunity to obtain a lifelong permanent residency for an investment worth €300,000 (plus VAT) or more, an option that has been available since 2012.