What’s happening in the world?
There has been a notable shift in trends involving immigration. Limitations on global mobility are the result of recent geopolitical events.
Immigration and the lengthy residency requirements that follow are not the perfect solutions for a businessman with international interests. Many have looked to an alternative solution. Those with capital, in need of stability and who don’t wish to be victims of their government’s questionable decisions nowadays, make up a growing trend of individuals applying for a Second Residency or Citizenship by Investment program.
Enter Portugal’s Golden Visa
On average, Portugal grants 150 residence permits to people every month. That means approximately 5 properties are sold every day to non-EU nationals just under the Golden Visa program! This is not counting, of course, the regular real estate buyers such as the Portuguese (the largest buyers in Portugal), French, British, Scandinavians or those who apply under the NHR (Non-Habitual Residents) to obtain tax benefits for non-Portuguese.
While there are 7 investment categories for the Golden Visa, 95% of the investors proceed with “the purchase of real estate property with a value equal to or above 500 thousand Euros” according to the Portuguese government. Real estate is considered the safest, most “hands-off” and profitable investment.
◦ Portugal is part of the European Union and the Schengen area
◦ The cities of Lisbon and Porto’s unique beauty
◦ Weather, one of the sunniest countries in Europe
◦ Wine, Port and Exquisite food
◦ Countryside, coastline and beaches facing the Atlantic Ocean
◦ Portugal is one of the most affordable destinations in Europe
PORTUGAL ON THE RISE
Over 7 million foreign visitors stayed in Portuguese hotels from January to July this year. That’s a 13% growth year-on-year. For the first time ever, the number of foreign tourists visiting Portugal exceeded 10 million in 2016.
Real-estate sales in Portugal grew by 18% in transactions and 25% in value for the first half of 2017.
72,000 homes were bought and sold, worth a total of €8.9 billion. Lisbon and the greater Lisbon area were in charge of the best offer deal in Portugal.
It is estimated that home prices will increase by 5% (on average) per annum.
WHY SECOND RESIDENCY IN PORTUGAL
- Freedom of Movement & Travel within Schengen: eliminates the need for long-stay visas
- No Complication: The application process is simple
- Physical Presence exemption: there is no need to live in Portugal.
- Requirements: no need to demonstrate language or professional skills.
- Real Estate investment has an ensured return of 3-5% or more relying upon the area. For a low maintenance investment, we also offer property management services if you wish to rent out the property.
- Investment in foreign property market: diversifying your portfolio in countries with growing economies.
- Access to Better Education and Living Standards: the benefits are extended to the family with access to social and medical care, significantly improving your family’s quality of life.
- Lifestyle: A safe environment, politically stable and friendly people. Statistics confirm that more and more people are deciding to move there, even though it is not a requirement for the Golden Visa.
- Security of Having a Second Home: Regardless of how bad the economic or political situation might be in your home country, you’ll have the legal right to live, work and establish a business in Portugal and have easy access to the rest of the European Union.
- Citizenship: an individual is granted temporary residence first and then permanent residency with the possibility in the future to apply for the citizenship after meeting requirements.
PROCESS AND TIMEFRAME FOR THE GOLDEN VISA
Current status: A 3-month waiting period to receive a Government appointment. During these 3 months, the property can be purchased and documentation prepared. After the appointment, it takes approximately 6-8 months to process the file by the competent authorities.
WHERE TO BUY REAL ESTATE IN PORTUGAL
- Lisbon has a smaller supply of completed or nearly ready properties as it’s normally the investor’s first choice. Buyers invest in projects at an advanced stage in the construction cycle, or in off-plan units paying a low market price. Developers always have always new projects in the pipeline that are waiting for Municipality approval
- Within Lisbon, the central district of Chiado is the most expensive with other popular districts at half the price
- Buyers who don’t wish to pay a premium for central Lisbon are looking to the greater Lisbon area or in cities such as Porto, where global buyers are starting to reap the rewards of their investments
- Cascais and the coastline are alternative investment areas as well
RECENT TRENDS IN THE REAL ESTATE MARKET
Prices increased by 30% between 2012 and 2015 but have since slowed in 2016
The market bottomed out in 2013/14. Since then stabilization has been followed by price increases
Prices have risen to €10,000 per sqm in districts such as Chiado.
WHO ARE THE REAL ESTATE BUYERS OF THE GOLDEN VISA?
Since the program’s inception in 2012, “golden visas” issuance proportion has reached 67% for Chinese applicants, 8% for Brazilians, 3-4% for South Africans, Russians and Lebanese. Approximately 13% is shared between Saudi, Turkish and a few other nationalities.
Learn more about the Portugal Golden Visa.
Portugal’s Golden Visa Program allows investors residency in the EU country with no physical requirements via several investment routes including real estate with monthly income and capital recovery