Editor: Of the many global investment trends that have emerged over the last two years, the growing popularity of residency-by-investment programmes has served as a stark reminder that our ability to move freely around the world mustn’t be taken for granted.

Indeed, the real estate industry is particularly exposed to this notion given that investment often follows people, and investment equals growth.

So, as we enter the final weeks of Portugal’s Golden Visa programme as we know it – Lisbon, Porto and other more popular areas will be excluded from the process from January 2022 – it is worth reflecting on the benefits of such schemes.

Almost £6bn has been injected into the Portuguese economy since the scheme’s launch in 2012, with more than 10,000 investors from the likes of China, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa leading the charge. Investor demand from the UK and the US has skyrocketed over the last year or so due to respective political conditions and looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.

It is little surprise that prime prices in the Portuguese capital shot up by 98% between 2010 and 2019, while the city has also become firmly established on the international investment map.

Lisbon’s 10-year tenure of Web Summit until 2028 and its status as the European start-up hub are evidence of its flourishing business environment. The likes of Amazon and Google have set up shop and join the plethora of forward-thinking SMEs.

Real estate investment has followed suit. The office market took an inevitable, albeit moderate, hit during the pandemic but reached €982m (£836m) in 2019, according to BNP Paribas, a staggering 178% higher than that of 2018 and the second-highest total in the last 10 years.

The outlook for the future is continued growth. Residential investment has been more resistant to the pandemic, with Q2 volumes up by 200% annually.

So as the benefits of residence-by-investment programmes become more globally recognised, investors would be wise to keep their finger on the pulse.

Chitra Stern, co-founder and chief executive, Martinhal Group and Edu Hub Lisbon