How will Hong Kong residents emigrating impact the UK housing market?

The UK is granting five passports a minute to Hong Kong residents. This will lead to an influx of people emigrating in the coming years and will boost the housing market.

The UK Passport Office is issuing a record number of British National Overseas (BNO) passports to residents of Hong Kong. During the first 10 months of 2020, the UK issued more than 216,000 passports. The passports are being approved at a rate of about five a minute based on an average eight-hour working day, according to a Bloomberg News report.

The monthly numbers began increasing dramatically in July. This was when the UK announced the new visa to BNO passport holders in Hong Kong. The visa allows eligible people and their dependents to reside in Britain for five years and provides an easier path towards citizenship.

These numbers will likely continue to rise, especially as the opening date for visa applications on 31st of January nears. In the month of October alone, the UK issued 60,000 BNO passports. This was more than a 52% jump from the same month in 2019. This is also the highest monthly figure since the Passport Office began compiling this data in 2015.

Additionally, in 2020, UK has issued more passports to Hong Kong residents than any year since 1997. In 2019, the UK approved approximately 151,000 passports and only approved about 18,000 passports for Hong Kong residents in 2018.

How many Hong Kong residents are likely to move to the UK?

With a large number of Hong Kong residents renewing their BNO passports, many are eyeing up their options. It is estimated that 2.9m are eligible for BNO passports. Additionally, as many as 2.3m of their dependents would also be eligible, according to the UK government.

The Home Office is expecting nearly half a million people to move in the first three years of the new visa. However, HongKongers in Britain has said the number could be over 600,000.

Julian Chan, head of public affairs at HongKongers in Britain, says: “With events in Hong Kong since 2019, it is perhaps with little surprise that a very significant amount of Hongkongers are contemplating emigration to the UK soon.”

This influx of those emigrating will boost the UK housing market. While thousands of Hong Kong residents already own property in the UK, this number will likely increase further. Since the announcement of the new visa, there has been a surge of potential buyers from Hong Kong. Interest in UK property will continue to soar from buyers specifically seeking citizenship.

London, Manchester and Liverpool have been particularly attractive for Hong Kong buyers and investors. Interest in these areas will increase even further as the opening date for visa applications nears and Hong residents begin emigrating to the UK through the new visa.

BuyAssociation has a wide range of investment opportunities across the UK. To find out more, get in touch directly, or sign up as a member for free.

Self-certified Sophisticated Investor

Please read

I declare that I am a self-certified sophisticated investor for the purposes of the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. I understand that this means:

I am a self-certified sophisticated investor because at least one of the following applies:

I accept that the investments to which the promotions will relate may expose me to a significant risk of losing all of the money or other property invested. I am aware that it is open to me seek advice from someone who specialises in advising on non-mainstream pooled investments.

High Net Worth Investor

Please read

I make this statement so that I can receive promotional communications which are exempt from the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. The exemption relates to certified high net worth investors and I declare that I qualify as such because at least one of the following applies to me:


Sign up for first access to new developments and exclusive property investment opportunities.

We send limited and targeted emails on new launches and exclusive deals which best fit your areas. We are trusted by over 30,000 active buyers as their source for new stock.

  • New property developments
  • Professional market reports
  • Property deal alerts
  • Development updates
Manchester property investment


Receive trending news straight to your inbox and stay up to date on all of the property market trends and advice.

Established since 2005 we are a leading voice of authority and commentary on the UK property market. Our news is trusted by Apple News & Google News.

  • UK housing market
  • Mortgage & money
  • Buy-to-let landlords
  • Guides & advice

Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today:


+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT


+852 6699 9008

Open from 9am-6pm HKT