Low Density Areas In Portugal / Golden Visa Eligible Interior Areas

**Important notice: The Portugal Golden Visa Program has undergone significant changes this year, which has meant that some property investment options have been revoked or partially altered. For a complete overview of the changes, consult our Portugal Golden Visa changes guide here*

Portugal’s Residence Permit Program — also known as the Portugal Golden Visa — is one of the most sought-after in the world. As a five-year residency by investment scheme for non-EU nationals, foreign investment contributions have pumped over €4 billion into the Portuguese economy, with recent interest increasing in property investment opportunities in low-density areas in Portugal.

While the Portugal Golden Visa Program offers several investment routes, including investing a minimum of €500K in residential or commercial property in Portugal or investing €350K in rehabilitation projects, certain location restrictions apply. More importantly, price points vary, depending on whether a property sits in a ‘low-density’ area of Portugal. 

In this guide, you’ll learn about:

  • Real estate investment options for the Portugal Golden Visa
  • What areas of Portugal qualify for residential property investment
  • What key terms like ‘low-density’,  ‘interior area’, ‘280K investment’,’ mean 

Find parishes in eligible areas that qualify for Golden Visa in 2022

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Portugal Golden Visa Real Estate Investment Options

To qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa, the following real estate investment routes are available:

  • 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 (amounting to €400K and €280K respectively).
  • 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. Note, all of Madeira and the Azores are classified as high-density, so there is no 20% discount option here.

Unsure whether the real estate investment option is a good fit for you? We’ve created a guide just for this occasion, walking you through the golden visa Portugal real estate investment benefits here.

What Areas of Portugal Are Eligible for a Real Estate Golden Visa Investment?

The Portuguese government is looking to promote investment in the following areas:

  • Low-density regions
  • Urban requalification
  • Cultural heritage
  • Activities of high environmental or social value
  • Productivity and job production

As such, the Portuguese authorities have changed the real estate investment routes to Portuguese residency, creating a classification system of what areas of Portugal qualify for property investment. These areas are called ‘interior’ and ‘low-density’. But make no mistake, they’re different terms. 

Below, we unpack what areas of Portugal qualify for property investment, explaining the nuanced differences between ‘interior areas’ and ‘low-density’. By the end of this section, you’ll hopefully have a clear understanding of what areas of Portugal qualify for a real estate investment. 

What are interior areas?

Interior areas simply mean areas where you can make a residential real estate investment to qualify for a golden visa residence permit. In contrast, for commercial real estate, there are no location restrictions in place. Meaning, you can invest anywhere in the country, provided that the property in question is classified as ‘commercial’ (licensed for business-related activities).

See our map below highlighting Portugal’s interior areas. Note, properties that belong to ‘interior’ parts of Portugal are eligible for a residential AND commercial real estate investment. However, only commercial properties can be purchased outside of the ‘interior’ parameters, and are thus, highlighted in blue.

Interior Areas | GCS

Low-density areas

Low Density Areas | GCS

As indicated, the map below shows the regions in light gray that are classified as being within the low-density zone. Areas that fall outside the low-density zone are highlighted in dark gray.

Low-density areas determine whether a 20% discount rate to your investment applies or not. Low-density regions are defined as territorial units (NUTS III) and have less than 100 inhabitants per square km or a per capita GDP of less than 75% of the national average. Low-density housing tends to refer to buildings with a small number of units or residential areas that are primarily occupied by single-family homes. High-density housing, in contrast, typically refers to urban areas that have a high number of units.

Note, that it’s possible for an area to be interior and high-density. In this case, you can purchase a residential property but no discount applies. 

Take this scenario as an example: You’re fixed on investing in real estate in the Algarve. While the Algarve is classified as ‘low-density’, it’s not considered a completely interior part of Portugal. Hence, some parts of the Algarve aren’t eligible for a residential real estate investment. Currently, some eligible areas considered low-density AND interior are Aljezur, Odeceixe, and Sagres.  In this case, you can buy a residential property or invest in a residential rehabilitation project. 

Our map below highlights the areas of Portugal that are eligible either for:

  • High-density property investment in non-interior areas (commercial only)
  • Low-density real estate investment in non-interior areas (commercial only)
  • High-density property investment in interior areas (residential and commercial, but no discount applies)
  • Low-density property investment in interior areas (residential and commercial, 20% discount applies)

portugal golden visa eligible area - Global Citizen Solutions

 Real estate opportunity areas 

Are you looking to revitalize an old building in the heart of the Douro Valley? Perhaps you’re interested in buying a commercial retail space in Lisbon.  Or the idea of owning a waterfront villa in the Azores appeals to you. The good news is, the Portugal Golden Visa program is an advantageous scheme, offering various real estate opportunity areas for investors. Let’s take a look at some of the key areas you could potentially invest in.

Interior and Low-Density Residential Real Estate

It’s perfectly possible to buy a residential home that falls under a designated interior area of Portugal, and that also happens to be ‘low-density’. Some areas with high-growth potential that qualify for the Golden Visa include parts of the Douro Valley, Aljezur, and Peneda Gerês. 

They provide excellent property locations for investors, with great value for money, considering houses are generally cheaper and more spacious in low-density areas. It’s not uncommon for a family to land the villa of their dreams, complete with fruit trees, a decently sized pool, and amazing vistas for roughly €400K.

At present, the most popular regions to invest in are the Alentejo, Douro Valley, and Peneda Gerês. All offer fantastic investment prices, with good opportunities to branch in hospitality, outdoor tourism, or cultural and religious tourism.

Region Reselling chances Prices per m2Prices fluctuationTourism industryRenting returnsTourism returns
Peneda GerêsMediumLowLowHighLowHigh
Douro ValleyMediumMediumLowMediumLowMedium
AljezurHighHighLowHighMediumHigh

The Portugal Golden Visa 280k low-density investment option

To qualify for the €280K low-density investment option and take advantage of the 20% discount, the applicant must either:

  • Invest in a commercial rehabilitation project located in a low-density area of the country.
  • Invest in a residential rehabilitation project located in a low-density area of the country, that’s also classified as interior.

If the investor wants to invest in a rehabilitation project located in a high-density area, costs start from  €350,000. The property in question must either be more than thirty years old and undergoing renovation, or in a designated rehabilitation area. If it’s a residential property, it must also be in an interior area.

Advantages of investing in low-density areas with the Portugal Golden Visa 280k option

There are many benefits to investing in low-density areas and being rewarded with a golden visa.

These include:

Lower investment threshold with excellent rental return yields Lower investment threshold with excellent rental return yields
Real estate prices significantly lower in low-density areas Real estate prices significantly lower in low-density areas
Healthy property market with rental units being particularly profitable Healthy property market with rental units being particularly profitable

Buy property anywhere on the islands 

Investing in property in Madeira and Azores is notably encouraged by the Portuguese authorities. Golden Visa applicants can buy real estate or invest in a rehabilitation project (both residential and commercial) on the islands. Note, that both Madeira and the Azores are considered high-density locations only. Therefore, no part of the islands qualify for a 20% discount. 

Buy property anywhere on the islands | GCS

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate in Portugal is eligible across the country, without any location restrictions. Investors hoping to buy commercial property or invest in commercial rehabilitation in Portugal’s key urban areas like Lisbon, Porto, or the Algarve, can do so freely. 

  • Commercial yields (long-term lease agreements) can be a good option for investors looking for a solid investment. Examples include office space, franchise stores, restaurants, and deposit areas.
  • A great opportunity to diversify your investment portfolio, both in terms of hard and intangible assets
  • Long-term strategy to generate strong and stable returns, with the potential to receive consistent revenue monthly, quarterly, or annually

Commercial Rehabilitation Projects (i.e.Tourism/Hotel Projects) 

  • Rehabilitation of a commercial property, typically in the form of a hotel, are prime opportunities because they are not limited to Portugal’s interior area (you can invest anywhere in the country)
  • Hotel projects allow investors to invest at reduced rates of €350K, or €280K in low density areas
  • These projects are turnkey, frequently offering fixed returns or a buy-back after five years


Search for Portugal’s Golden Visa Eligible Areas by Parish

 


Full List of
Portugal’s Low Density Areas

Here’s a quick breakdown of the eligible low-density areas for the Portugal Golden Visa.

City/ MunicipalityNeighborhoods
ÁguedaUnião das freguesias de Belazaima do Chão, Castanheira do Vouga e AgadãoUnião das freguesias do Préstimo e Macieira de Alcoba
AmaranteAnsiãesCandemil
Gouveia (São Simão)Jazente
RebordeloSalvador do Monte
União das freguesias de Aboadela, Sanche e VárzeaUnião das freguesias de Olo e Canadelo
União das freguesias de Bustelo, Carneiro e Carvalho de ReiVila Chã do Marão
AmaresBouro (Santa Marta)Goães
União das freguesias de Caldelas, Sequeiros e ParanhosUnião das freguesias de Vilela, Seramil e Paredes Secas
CaminhaDemUnião das freguesias de Arga (Baixo, Cima e São João)
Castelo de PaivaUnião das freguesias de Gondar e OrbacémReal
União das Freguesias da Raiva, Pedorido e Paraíso
Condeixa-a-NovaFuradouro
GuimarãesUnião das freguesias de Arosa e Castelões
LouléAlteAmeixial
SalirUnião de freguesias de Querença, Tôr e Benafim
Marco de CanavesesVárzea, Aliviada e Folhada
OurémEspiteUnião das freguesias de Matas e Cercal
União das freguesias de Freixianda, Ribeira do Fárrio e FormigaisUnião das freguesias de Rio de Couros e Casal dos Bernardos
PombalAbiulAnais
Ponte de LimaArdegão, Freixo e MatoAssociação de freguesias do Vale do Neiva
Bárrio e CepõesBeiral do Lima
BoalhosaCabaços e Fojo Lobal
Cabração e Moreira do LimaCalheiros
EstorãosFriastelas
GemieiraGondufe
LabrujaLabrujó, Rendufe e Vilar do Monte
Navió e Vitorino dos PiãesPoiares
Serdedelo
Porto de MósSão Bento
SantarémUnião das freguesias de Casével e Vaqueiros
SilvesSão Marcos da Serra
TaviraCachopoSanta Catarina da Fonte do Bispo
TomarOlalhasSabacheira
União das freguesias de Além da Ribeira e PedreiraUnião das freguesias de Casais e Alviobeira
União das freguesias de Serra e Junceira
Vale de CambraArõesJunqueira
ValençaBoivãoFontoura
União das freguesias de Gondomil e SafinsUnião das freguesias de São Julião e Silva

 

Low-density counties in Portugal:
1. Abrantes
2. Aguiar da Beira
3. Alandroal
4. Alcácer do Sol
5. Alcoutim
6. Alfândega da Fé
7. Alijó
8. Aljezur

9. Aljustrel
10. Almeida
11. Almodôvar
12. Alter de Chão
13. Alvaiázere
14. Alvito
15. Ansião
16. Arcos de Valdevez
17. Arganil
18. Armamar
19. Arouca
20. Arraiolos
21. Arronches

22. Avis
23. Baião
24. Barrancos
25. Bej
26. Belmonte
27. Borba
28. Boticas
29. Bragança
30. Cabeceiras de Basto
31. Campo Major
32. Carrazeda de Ansiães
33. Carregal do Sal
34. Castanheira de Pêra
35. Castelo Branco
36. Castela de Vide
37. Castro Daire
38. Castro Marim
39. Castro Verde
40. Celorico da Beira
41. Celorico de Basto
42. Chamusca
43. Chaves
44. Cinfães
45. Constância
46. Coruche
47. Covil
48. Crato
49. Cuba
50. Elvas

51. Estremoz
52. Évora
53. Fafe
54. Ferreira do Alentejo
55. Ferreira do Zêzere
56. Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo
57. Figueiró dos Vinhos
58. Fornos de Algodres
59. Freixo de Espada à Cinta
60. Fronteira
61. Fundão
62. Gavião
63. Góis
64. Gouveia
65. Grândola
66. Guarda
67. Idanha-a-Nova
68. Lamego
69. Lousã
70. Marção
71. Macedo de Cavaleiros
72. Mangualde
73. Manteigas
74. Marvão
75. Meda
76. Melgaço
77. Mértola
78. Mesão Frio
79. Miranda do Corvo
80. Miranda do Douro
81. Mirandela
82. Mogadouro
83. Moimenta da Beira
84. Monção
85. Monchique
86. Mondim de Basto
87. Monforte
8. Montalegre
89. Montemor-o-Novo
90. Mra
91. Mortágua
92. Moura

93. Mourão
94. Murça
95. Nelas
96. Nisa
97. Odemira
98. Oleiros
99. Oliveira de Frades
100. Oliveira o Hospital
101. Ourique
102. Pampilhosa da Serra
103. Paredes de Coura
104. Pedrógão Grande
105. Penacova
106. Penalva do Castelo
107. Penamacor
108. Penedono
109. Penela
110. Pedo da Régua
111. Pinhel
112. Ponte da Barca
113. Ponte de Sor
114. Portalegre
115. Portel
116. Póvoa de Lanhoso
117. Proença-a-Nova
118. Redondo
119. Reguengos de Monsaraz
120. Resende
121. Ribeira de Pena
122. Sabrosa
123. Sabugal
124. Santa Comba Dão
125. Santa Marta de Penaguião
126. Santiago de Cacem
127. São João da Pesqueira
128. São Pedro do Sul
129. Sardoal
130. Sátão
131. Seia
132. Sernancelha
133. Serpa
134. Sertã

135. Server do Vouga
136. Soure
137. Sousel
138. Tábua
139. Tabuaço
140. Tarouca
141. Terras de Bouro
142. Tondela
143. Torre de Moncorvo
144. Trancoso
145. Valpaços
146. Vendas Novas
147. Viana do Alentejo
148. Vidigueira
149. Vieira do Minho
150. Vila do Rei
151. Vila do Bispo
152. Vila Flor
153. Vila Nova da Barquinha
154. Vila Nova de Cerveira
155. Vila Nova de Foz Côa
156. Vila Nova de Paiva
157. Vila Nova de Poiares
158. Vila Pouca de Aguiar
159. Vila Real
160. Vila Velha de Ródão
161. Vila Verde
162. Vila Viçosa
163. Vimioso
164. Vinhais
165. Vouzela

Low-density parishes in Portugal:

Águeda
União das freguesias de Belazaima do Chão, Castanheiro do Vouga e Agadão
União das freguesias do Préstimo e Macieira de Alcoba
Amarante
Ansiães
Candemil
Gouveia (São Simão)

Jazente
Rebordelo
Salvador do Monte
União das freguesias de Aboadela, Sanche e Vázea
União das freguesias de Bustelo, Carneiro e Carvalho de Rei
União das freguesias de Olo e Carnadelo
Vila Chã de Marão
Amares
Bouro (Santa Marta)
Goães
União das freguesias de Caldelas, Sequeiros e Paranhos
União das freguesias de Vilela, Seramil e Paredes Secas
Caminha
Dem
União das freguesias de Arga (Baixo, Cima, e São João)
União das freguesias de Gondar e Orbacém
Castelo de Paiva
Real
Condeixa-a-Nova
Furadouro
Guimarães
União das freguesias de Arosa e Casteiões
Loulé
Alte
Ameixial
Salir
União das freguesias de Querença, Tôr e Benafim
Marco de Canaveses
Várzea, Aliviada e Folhada
Ourém
Espite
União das freguesias de Freixianda, Ribeira do Fárrio e Formigais
União das freguesias de Matas e Cercal
União das freguesias de Rio de Couros e Casal dos Bernados
Pompal
Abiul
Ponte de Lima
Anais
Ardegão, Freixo e Mato
Associacão de freguesias do Vale do Neiva
Bárrio e Cepões
Beiral do Lima
Boalhosa
Cabaços e Fojo Lobal
Cabração e Moreira do Lima
Calheiros
Estorãos
Friastelas
Gemieira
Gondufe
Labruja
Labrujó, Rendufe, e Vilar do Monte
Navió e Vitorino dos Piães
Poiares
Serdedelo
Porto de Mós
São Bento
Santarém
União das freguesias de Casével e Vaqueiros
Silves
São Marcos da Serra
Tavira
Cachopo
Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo
Tomar
Olalhas
Sabacheira
União das freguesias de Além da Ribeira e Pedreira
União das freguesias de Casais e Alviobeira
União das freguesias de Serra e Junceira
Vale de Cambra
Arões
Junqueira
Valença
Boivão
Fontoura
União das freguesias de Gondomil e Safins
União das freguesias de São Julião e Silva
Viana do Castelo
Montaria
Viseu
Calde
Cavernães
Cota
Ribafeita
São Pedro de France
União das freguesias de Barreiros e Cepões

Portugal Golden Visa- In Brief

The Portugal Golden Visa Program is a five-year residency by investment scheme that grants qualifying applicants with Portuguese residency, in exchange for first investing in the country. Portuguese citizenship (effectively EU citizenship) is attainable after five years of holding your legal residency.

If you’d like to learn more about the full list of investment options under the Golden Visa scheme, as well as program requirements, consult our golden visa Portugal guide here.

Who we are and how can we help?

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique investment migration consultancy firm focused on finding the right residency or citizenship by investment program for individuals wishing to secure their future and become global citizens.

From helping individuals find their dream homes or investment with the help of our real estate division in Portugal — Goldcrest — to providing successful immigration and relocation services, our international team is with you every step of the way.

Our team has a 100% success rate when it comes to Portugal Golden Visa applications, and will make sure that you find the right investment for your requirements.

Your dedicated account manager will accompany you throughout the process, saving you time when it comes to making your application. Our team has years of experience and will help you avoid the difficulties that befall many Portuguese Golden Visa investors.

Frequently asked questions about Portugal Golden Visa low-density options

How to qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa low-density investment option?

Investors can opt to invest in commercial real estate in need of rehabilitation and restoration starting from €350,000 anywhere in the country.  A residential real estate rehabilitation project is also possible, but only in designated low-interior areas of the country. The autonomous islands of Azores and Madeira are considered high-density AND interior, so you can buy residential real estate here.

The property in question must at least be more than thirty years old and undergoing renovation.

A cheaper option is to invest €280K+ in renovations projects in low-density areas. These designated areas are split according to the region’s population. If the area hosts less than 100 occupants per 1,000 square meters, it counts as a ‘less densely populated area’.

Will Portugal Golden Visa changes in 2022 affect the low-density investment option?

The Portugal Golden Visa will receive an extensive makeover, starting from 1 January 2022. With regards to real estate investments, the following will apply: Properties in Lisbon, Porto, and other popular urban coastal towns will NOT QUALIFY for residential property investments under the Golden Visa scheme, only commercial real estate. Residential real estate investment in low-density areas will continue to qualify, but only in designated ‘interior areas’ of the country. Alternatively, you can buy residential property or invest in residential rehabilitation projects anywhere on Portugal’s autonomous islands (they’re not subject to restrictions).

What are considered official low-density areas of Portugal?

Low density areas in Portugal include the countryside/eastern areas in Portugal mostly, with the exception of coastal areas south of the River Lima and North of the River Sado. Madeira and Azores are also excluded.

Is Algarve a low-density area?

Yes, the Algarve qualified as low-density, so your real estate investments will automatically get a 20% discount for the Portugal Golden Visa.

Is Cascais low-density?

Cascais is not considered low-density. It’s high-density, so no 20% discount applies to your real estate investment for the Portugal Golden Visa.

Is Faro low-density?

Faro is indeed considered low-density. This means a 20% discount automatically applies to your real estate investment for the Portugal Golden Visa.

Is Madeira low density?

Madeira is not considered low-density, so there is no 20% discount to the golden visa property investment.

What is a Portuguese urban regeneration area?

Portuguese urban regeneration areas are key investment areas that can reap financial rewards. Since the buildings themselves are bought at relatively cheap prices, redone, and then are ready to be rented out, you can usuallt expect a high return on your investment.

Is Coimbra low density?

Yes, Coimbra is considered low-density.

What is 350k golden visa?

A 350K golden visa simply refers to the €350K rehabilitation investment route to a Portugal Golden Visa. In a nutshell, you must buy property in Portugal that is more than 30 years old and that needs to be renovated. The renovation costs are factored in when applying for the Portugal Golden Visa. So the renovation must be at least 20% of the property price.