According to Deloitte Property Index 2020, foreigners comprise more than 50% of Portugal’s residential market demand.
The Index also indicates that the real estate market is now the “hotspot market of the country’s economy”. Furthermore, Lisbon appears to be the “most dynamic region in Portugal”. The Index also demonstrates that Lisbon makes up 22% of the almost 14,500 completed residences for family housing.
Another data from PwC support this. The company released a survey called Emerging Trends in Real Estate: Europe 2019. According to this, the real estate markets in big European cities have been assessed. The results show that “Interviewees cite the city’s “quality of life” and “positive” leadership.” Furthermore, the study emphasized that the country’s economy grows in a healthy way, and “its capital is now an international destination for companies, investors and tourists.”
9,230 foreign investors bought property to receive residency in Portugal
As you can see, the real estate market in Portugal has been the focus of interest, especially in the last few years.
The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service addressed that a total of 9,834 investors accessed residency in Portugal through investment. What is more interesting is that 9,230 out of this number bought real estate to obtain their residency. Not to mention that the number reaches 16,698 including those investors’ family members.
How can a non-EU investor make use of this promising market?
The abovementioned process is possible through what is called a Golden Visa. A Golden Visa is simply a way to invest in a country and obtain residency in return for this investment. Also known as a residency by investment program, a Golden Visa provides you EU residency, visa-free travel among many countries, and even EU citizenship after a certain period.
Note that only non-EU, non-EEA, and non-Swiss citizens can benefit from this program. It aims to attract foreign investors into the related country and provide EU residency in return.
So, how can you make use of this program by including a real estate investment? Let’s discover each option in more detail.
The first one is the most well-known option: a minimum of €500,000 investment to buy a property. There is no further entailment for this option. However, there has been a slight change regarding this option recently. As of 2022, Lisbon and Porto will not be eligible destinations to buy a property through the €500,000 option. The reason is that there has already been a great interest in these cities. Yet now, the country wants to attract investors to the lower density areas to revive these areas as well. So, you may need to look into more interior areas.
So, what are your other options then? A minimum of €400,000 real estate purchase. The property must be in a low-density area.
A minimum of €350,000 real estate purchase is your third option. This option is available if the property is at least 30 years, or if it is in an urban rehabilitation area. You need to restore the property as well. However, the restoration price is already included in this minimum number noted above.
Your last option is a minimum of €280,000 real estate purchase if such an abovementioned real estate property is also in a low-density area. You need to restore this type of property as well.
Receiving a temporary residency is the first benefit you get from your Golden Visa. In the meantime, you can enjoy visa-free travel among Schengen countries.
If you wish to get EU citizenship, you need to fulfill some stay requirements. Golden Visa Portugal demands that you must stay in Portugal for at least 14 days in two-year periods. Obey this rule for five years, then apply for citizenship. From then on, permanent residency is also available to apply.
What to do with an EU citizenship
Once you obtain citizenship, you can visit a total of 186 countries without a visa requirement. Furthermore, you can do anything an EU citizen can. This includes the right to live, work, and study in any EU country. So, this brings you and your family an extended travel and mobility option.
As noted above, most tourists and foreign investors are attracted to Lisbon and Porto. Yet, many other parts of the country offer something unique for you to enjoy in some way.
For example, surfing is a very popular sport in Portugal. The great surfing spots spread almost throughout the entire country. The areas of Nazaré, Ericeira, Azores and Madeira Islands and Peniche are only some of them. Tourists are amazed by the great waves, the coastline, and the idyllic environment around them. In some areas, international surfing festivals or other surfing events occur as well. Azores and Madeira Islands, and Lisbon coast are among them. For example, Peniche is home to world championships every year since 2009.
Lisbon and Porto have started to become the hub for business activities, especially for foreign investors in recent years. More and more investors and companies set their eyes on these areas due to their promising tech sector. Some international companies have also either established their branch or opened their data centers in these cities. They include the companies Oracle which opened an internet data center in Portugal. Amazon Web Services is another company that opened a new CloudFront location. Other companies include Huawei, Xing, and Qualitest.
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.