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In 2018, 20% of all properties sold in Portugal were sold to foreign buyers, that’s around 35,000 properties with a value of 5.6 billion euros.
Despite a slowdown in property sales caused by the pandemic, foreign interest in Portuguese property has remained strong and sustained demand has fuelled a steady increase in prices.
So, why does this corner of Europe attract so much interest from foreign buyers, let’s look at some of the pros and cons?
A generous Golden Visa scheme
There’s no doubt that Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme has driven the acquisition of property by foreign buyers. Interested people can be buying property in Madeira under this program.
For as little as a 280,000-euro purchase, a foreign buyer is entitled to residency rights and free travel within the Schengen area, an incentive which is particularly appealing to U.K. buyers, post-Brexit.
In order to sustain their residency rights, a foreign buyer only needs to remain in the country for a minimum of seven days a year and after five years the purchaser will be eligible for a Portuguese passport.
Whilst the price of the property on the Algarve and in Lisbon has risen steeply in recent years, there’s still plenty of very affordable property inland.
Access some Portuguese property platforms and view thousands of property listings, tour them virtually and speak to agents without the need to arrange a phone call or meeting.
The south of the country enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year, which means minimal heating bills and a healthy outdoor lifestyle.
Portugal has a 1,000-mile coastline and some of the best beaches in the world, which means that wherever you buy, you won’t be too far from the sea.
Excellent Transport Links
Portugal has three international airports, connected to 120 European destinations, as well as good public rail and bus services.
Health, Schooling, and Safety
The Golden Visa Rules are Changing
As of January 2022, the Golden Visa scheme will no longer apply to Lisbon, the Algarve, and Porto, a change that is likely to drive demand in these popular areas in the run-up to the deadline.
Whilst English is widely spoken in Lisbon and the Algarve, if you purchase property in central or northern Portugal you are likely to have to conduct all your affairs in Portuguese.
An Economy Dependent on Tourism
Tourism makes up around 20% of Portugal’s GDP which has meant that the country’s economy has been hit particularly hard by the Covid pandemic.
Bars, restaurants, and a host of service industries have suffered as a result of the dramatic drop in tourism and unemployment has risen. Although Portugal will undoubtedly remain a popular tourist destination the pandemic has demonstrated the fragility of the country’s economy.
Even after the travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic have been lifted there remains a question over the future of the budget airlines on which Portugal’s tourism is so dependent.