Portugal’s property market is booming and expats are catching on. From year-round sunshine to fantastic living standards, excellent cuisine, and a high-quality healthcare system and schooling, international families are purchasing property in droves. In fact, 2020 has seen a rise in the volume of real estate transactions, setting Portugal’s property market up for success despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re considering buying a property in Portugal, you’ve come to the right place. In this Ultimate Guide to how to buy a property in Portugal, you’ll learn everything you need to know so you can purchase real estate with confidence and clarity.
Why buy property in Portugal?
There are many reasons why Portugal is the ‘it’ destination for real estate investors. Here’s why you should consider Portugal real estate investment.
11 reasons to buy property in Portugal
- Purchasing and keeping ownership of a property for at least five years can make you eligible for Portuguese residency and citizenship
- The opportunity to own a home where there is sunshine all year round
- The cost of living in Portugal is one of the lowest in Europe
- It is an investment with high rental yields
- Portugal is a safe place to live with a high level of political stability
- It is a beautiful country with unspoiled nature and golden beaches
- Portugal offers a very high quality of life
- Great tax incentives through the NHR scheme
- It is easily accessible from Europe, Africa, and the US
- Public infrastructure such as healthcare and transportation are widely available and accessible.
Where to buy property in Portugal?
There are many places to buy property in Portugal, and the best place for you depends on your budget and the type of property you’re interested in. Each region is unique and offers different advantages. Some places you might like to consider are:
Lisbon is the capital city and the major economic hub of Portugal. It is a beautiful city filled with history that has seen its stock rise in terms of tourism and commercialization. This makes it a perfect place to buy a property in Portugal, whether for commercial purposes or for living.
It is important to note that property prices in Lisbon have seen a sharp increase, so buying here is now actually quite expensive.
If you would like to know more, take a look at our guide on where to buy property in Lisbon.
Properties in the Algarve attract everyone from retirees to second homeowners and investors.
It is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Portugal, known for its sunshine, stunning coastline, fresh seafood, top-class golfing, and innate natural beauty.
Easily reachable by plane to and from the UK, it’s no surprise as to why there are so many English-speaking homeowners in this part of Portugal who own properties such as holiday homes, villas, and beach houses.
If you would like to know more, take a look at our guide on where to buy property in the Algarve.
Popularly known as Portugal’s second city, Porto is one of the oldest European centers. It’s a bustling commercial city with a rich historical and cultural heritage.
Home of the famous Port Wine, it is a popular tourist destination in Portugal. Porto also has the reputation of being a hard-working city.
In terms of property, Porto offers good bargains in many of its districts, such as Ribeira, Foz do Douro, Vila Nova de Gaia and Vila do Conde.
If you would like to know more, take a look at our guide on where to buy property in Porto.
In recent years Cascais has seen a great influx of Europeans as well as non-EU nationals buying property. It is considered a popular alternative to buying a property in Lisbon.
This is in part due to its more relaxed environment and reasonable prices in comparison to Lisbon. The town is uncommonly rich in beautiful architecture, free museums, and carefully maintained parks.
It is also by the coast, with access to incredible beaches and other living amenities.
If you would like to know more, take a look at our guide on where to buy property in Cascais.
Some other locations worth considering include the following: Braga, Coimbra, Setubal, and Guimarães.
For those who are buying for residential purposes, it might be useful to experience living in different areas before deciding on where to purchase a property.
Types of property in Portugal
Portugal has no shortage of property types. From eclectic farmhouses to trendy warehouse-style apartments, beachfront condos, and luxurious villas, the real estate market is quite developed.
When it comes to buying property in Portugal, there are certain terms you’ll need to be across.
- A Casa or a Moradia refers to a typical detached home. Some of those houses have a backyard or a patio, and most of them have a wall around them with a front gate.
- A Casa Geminada simply means a semi-detached house.
- Condomínios or condos are individual apartment units with common spaces. These can be expensive because they come with a monthly condo fee, but offer a premium standard of care and safety in return.
- Quintas are timeless rustic houses or farms. They’re usually located more inland, although some can be found in bustling suburban areas.
- Terreno means land in English. Some expats opt to buy a plot of land and then build their own homes. If you go down this route, it’s best to check with the respective city hall (Câmara Municipal) to ensure that the land is registered for residence and not agricultural purposes.
Other terminology to be across:
When scouting for a new home, you might come across some ads with a ‘T0, T1, T2’ and so forth. These numbers mean the number of rooms in a given property. So a T1 would be a one-bedroom apartment, and so on. T0 in this case means a studio apartment.
Buy a Property And Get Portuguese Residency
The Portugal Golden Visa Program is an attractive five-year residency by investment program open to all non-EU/non-Swiss/non-EEA nationals. Qualifying applicants must make an investment in the nation in order to obtain Portuguese residence permits. Portuguese citizenship by naturalization is possible after five years of holding your investment.
While there is a range of investment options on the table, one of the most popular routes to Portuguese residency is to make a real estate investment.
Real estate investment options:
- Buy residential real estate in designated interior areas of Portugal worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project. If the residential property is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20% discount applies.
- Buy commercial real estate anywhere in the country worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project. If the commercial property is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20% discount applies.
- Buy residential and commercial real estate anywhere in Portugal’s autonomous islands of Madeira and Azores, worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project. If the residential or commercial property is located in a designated ‘low-density area, then a 20% discount applies.
For more information on what constitutes a ‘low-density’ area, consult our Portugal Golden Visa Low-Density Investment guide.
Talk to a specialist
If you are looking for expert advice on buying property in Portugal, it can help to talk to a specialist. Our real estate division, Goldcrest, can provide you with a personalized plan for purchasing a home in Portugal. Contact Goldcrest today to get started on landing your dream property.