Portugal’s property market is booming in 2018, as investors and relocators, both local and foreign, discover the lifestyle and commercial benefits of buying there. During the first three months of this year average house prices were 12 per cent higher than the same period in 2017, according to the country’s National Statistics Institute (INE). Equally impressive, the value of property sold during the same period grew 25 per cent year-on-year.
This growth rate is the highest recorded since 2013 and means Portuguese house prices are now at the highest levels since the INE began its surveys in 2009. The cities of Lisbon and Porto, the fashionable Estoril and Cascais coastline and the famous Algarve in particular are driving this growth. Foreign buyers are playing their part, thanks largely to two programmes – the Golden Visa and the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) schemes.
Portugal introduced its Golden Visa scheme in 2012, primarily as a way to attract non-EU citizens to invest in the country. In return for investing €500,000 in property or €350,000 in a Portuguese investment fund, qualifying applicants are granted residence status and can then apply for Portuguese citizenship after six years as a legal resident.
Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme was recently ranked as the world’s best residence-by-investment programme for the third year running, according to an annual report by international citizenship planning consultancy Henley & Partners. To date, a reported €3.5 billion has been injected into the Portuguese economy as a direct result of Golden Visas, 95 per cent of which went into real estate. Approximately 30 per cent of all foreign property transactions in 2017 were done with the objective of getting residency status.
Anyone considering a move to Portugal should consult a tax and wealth management advisor, to make check their eligibility for becoming a non-habitual resident and anyone other scheme they could benefit from.