Hong Kong residents are buying more houses and apartments to lease out for income in Britain, property agents say, a trend that coincides with what many expect to be a wave of emigration after China passed a national security law last year.
Hong Kongers became the fifth largest foreign investors in central London as of last August and have been driving up prices in some popular districts outside the UK capital.
But the new wave of buying also includes some Hong Kong residents who are pooling money to invest, a trend property agents expect to continue as more middleclass Hong Kong residents consider leaving for Britain and look to establish a source of revenue in advance.
Its become much more of a trend in the past six months or so, Guy Bradshaw, head of London Residential at Sothebys International Realty told Reuters. Ive certainly been involved in a lot more conversations and Zoom calls with people in Hong Kong and funds in Hong Kong.
The UK government is offering a new visa to Hong Kong holders of British National Overseas BNO passports that gives them a chance to become British citizens a change it made after Chinas national security law for Hong Kong.
A steady rental income would be useful in applying for the citizenship, as the BNO holders need to prove they can provide financial support for themselves for at least six months.
London estimates that over 300,000 Hong Kong residents could emigrate over the next five years, and Bank of America expects Hong Kong…