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Report shows Ireland and Greece as rising favourites among HNWIs

Updated: Aug 9, 2018

Author: Conor Finn

The Hurun research recently released their Immigration and the Chinese HNWI 2018 report. The survey, which was conducted between March and June 2018 surveyed 224 Chinese High Net Work Investors (HNWIs) with an average wealth of US$4.5 million and who have emigrated from China or are planning to emigrate. Recent years have seen the overall number of HNWIs increasing, while the proportion thereof considering emigration has fallen.

According to the report, the USA remains the most popular destination for HNWIs, followed by the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and Greece. Ireland and Greece in particular have grown in popularity, with Ireland moving up four places on last year and Greece debuting in sixth place. Ireland has emerged as a new favourite, with a low corporate tax rate and a high-quality education system. Newcomer Greece provides a cost-effective route to residency and has considerable opportunities in property investment. Brexit has not dampened enthusiasm for the UK, with British property still highly attractive and the comparatively weak British pound enticing more investment.

Environment and education remain primary drivers of second residency and citizenship, cited as major concerns by 83% and 69% of respondents respectively, while healthcare and social welfare have declined in importance.

Investment in overseas real estate is forecasted to rise by 50% over the next three years. 70% of HNWIs own overseas properties, and an average of 11% of wealth is held in overseas assets, predominantly property. Cost-effectiveness is the key concern for HNWIs, followed by investment value and permanent property rights. The HNWIs surveyed aim to hold 25% of their wealth in foreign assets.

Of the HNWIs surveyed, only 14% regarded themselves as global citizens. Financial freedom is seen as the most important feature of being a global citizen, followed by visa freedom and access to overseas education. The clear majority, 90%, plan to remain in China after retirement, or maintain residence in China and abroad.

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