In this article we will highlight the many qualities of Portugal. These advantages make this country a great place to invest in real estate. As a preliminary information, according to the OECD, Portugal has a GDP per capita of 35 K$ on a population of more than 10 million inhabitants. The economic recovery after the health crisis has been felt in the EU member countries and particularly in Portugal, which recorded the best performance in the first quarter of 2022 with a growth of 11.6% according to Eurostat.
1/Excellent quality of life
First of all, the living environment here in Lisbon is very pleasant and brings a lot of change of scenery for a European city! The country has magnificent beaches, sunshine (over 300 days a year) and a warm climate.
The landscapes are varied and can satisfy all tastes with: the beautiful countryside in the Alentejo, the Douro valley, the beaches of the Algarve as wellas the mountainous landscapes in the North towards Gerez!
The country is also home to art museums and beautiful architecture, especially with its azulejos! Philippe Starck, the world famous designer, has highlighted the beauty of the Portuguese capital by saying that Lisbon is not a city but a work of art!
On average, the cost of living in Portugal in 2022 is 30% lower than in most European countries.
In terms of activities, there is little chance of getting bored. Indeed, it is possible to do a lot of activities such as kitesurfing, surfing, cycling in the nature... something for everyone! The country is ideal to live in, and the number of tourists welcomed each year is a proof. Just before the Covid in 2019, nearly 27 million tourists were counted in Portugal according to the INE (National Portuguese Stats institute). Even if the covid has scratched the dynamic, the tourism’s attractivity is getting back.
On the other hand, Portugal is also a country where the feeling of insecurity is low. A quality that reinforces the credibility of a country. It is indeed an argument to be taken into account when buying a property. For example, Portugal has been ranked by the Global Peace Index as the third safest country in the world (after Iceland and New Zealand). When you go to Portugal to confirm thepoints made in this article, you will notice that the Portuguese are kind, welcoming and caring.
The country's unemployment rate has been falling steadily since 2013 and has been around 6.6% in 2021 according to the OECD, which is lower than in France and much lower than in its southern neighbours Italy, Spain and Greece!
3/Very good accessibility
The country benefits from very good accessibility, particularly with Lisbon airport which serves the main international destinations, such as Paris, in less than 2 hours! Moreover, the airport is close to the city centre. It takes about 25 minutes by metro and about 15 minutes by car to get there. This is convenient for digital nomads who want to settle in Lisbon quickly.
For the more adventurous, the city is also known to be accessible by sea. As a side note, it should not be forgotten that Portugal has seen the birth of great navigators who have participated in the writing of history, such as Vasco de Gama and Magellan. They explored the world and can be found on the monument of discoveries!
4/A constantly growing startup scene
Lisbon is a city that is becoming a technological hub and is taking an important place on the international scene and obtaining the status of a worldwide Fintech capital. This is also one of the reasons that attracts a large number of digital nomads. Lisbon is often compared to the Silicon Valley of Europe! There are also events organised in this city to establish this legitimacy. These include the Web Summit, which is the most important tech event in the world, and the NFC!
In recent times, Lisbon and the rest of Portugal is becoming an excellent web3 environment. Several examples make Portugal a reference: the first bitcoin transaction was made in Braga and the creation of a village by the"bitcoin family" (Taihuttu) in the Algarve. One of the reasons for this is the crypto-friendly environment in Portugal. Fiscally, it is important to note the action of the Portuguese government, which has relaxed its taxation on crypto. This results in the cancellation of taxes on capital gains related to cryptos!
5/A large number of expatriates and nomads
Lisbon was ranked first city for "executive nomads" before Miami, Dubai and... the Algarve in 4th place! Lisbon has quickly become one of the world's leading coworking capitals. Indeed, more and more people have been arriving in Portugal over the last few years and this number is only increasing over time: whether it be Americans, or expatriates who were previously in Asia!
This can be explained by the fact that the Portuguese speak English very well (American films are left in their original version here) and also by the presence of high quality schools.
The CET time zone is very favourable, as is that of London, which is 1 hour closer to the American time zone. This may seem like a detail but it is important for conference calls for example.
Nights are also very dynamic with superb festivals on the beach (Moga festival), classical festivals with famous artists who come to play on stage (Laurent Garnier, breakbot, Oasis...). It is also important to know that Portugal is punctuated by many events during the summer season with, for example, the Santo Antonio festivals which have just ended.
6/Lower property prices
Property prices in Portugal are lower than in any other European country. As an illustration, the average price of real estate per square meter in European countries is 4000€ compared to Portugal where you can get the same surface for about 2200€. This is a considerable difference and an interesting point to invest in real estate there.
However, it is still advisable to take precautions. Prices have risen considerably in Lisbon over the last 7 years, reaching over €8,000 per square meter in some areas such as Principe Real. There are still some interesting places like Porto, Braga...etc
7/Attractive tax legislation
Following the 2008 crisis, the Portuguese government introduced a large number of new tax incentives to attract new foreign investors to further stimulate and boost the economy. You will find some examples such as:
-Income tax exemption for pensioners for 10 years,
-No wealth tax,
-The creation of an NHR status, which allows for a significant reduction in taxes or even exemption from taxes for certain foreign sources.
-And also the absence of taxes on crypto capital gains. On the other hand, government and parliamentary discussions are planning to potentially implementa tax on crypto exchanges. Nevertheless, the legislation remains very advantageous even today
8/High seasonal rental income
Portugal has become one of the favourite places for tourists over the years. As tourists continue to visit the territory, they often feel a shortage of rentalproperties. This has led to an increase in rental rates, which is an advantage for landlords.
If you have a house or property in Portugal, you can always rent it out. The rents are excellent and will give you a quick return on your investment.
Another key reason why potential investors should buy property in Portugal is its legislation. It is very favourable to the property investor, unlike in other countries. They have legislation in place that protects buyers and regulates the market. The purchase costs on your investments are very low. Normally it is about 6-8% of the investment that goes to notary fees, taxes and lawyers fees etc.
The risk factor is also very low, as exchange rates, inflation and interest rates are controlled by the European Central Bank. In addition, the process of buying the property is fairly quick and goes without too much difficulty. It normally takes about 4 weeks for the documents to be finalised and for the property to be returned to you.
10/An untapped market :
According to report, many investors, especially foreign ones, are willing to pay double the average price per square meter in Portugal. In addition, it is also noted that the current rental market is still very underdeveloped and many investors are starting to work on it, in addition to foreign individuals looking to settle down. A study by Cushman&Wakefield shows that property prices are rising steadily. As an illustration, you will find below tables showing the evolution of prices per square meter in the cities of Lisbon and Porto. According to ImmigrantInvest, residential property prices are expected to rise by 14% by 2021.
Despite a rise in prices, the rental market remains under-exploited. It should also be noted that the quality of supply is still limited, given that its growth potential is enormous. The need for housing remains important and Portugal is the country in Europe with the highest volume of transactions in 2021. This increase will directly impact Portuguese construction capacity.
This data shows that the Portuguese property market is very dynamic and that property investment is more accessible in Portugal than in other countries thanks to its relatively low costs.
Another important argument that is not left out is the loan rates. It is important to know that the European Central Bank maintains a low key interest rate. As the table below shows, Portugal, together with Finland, is among the countries with the lowest borrowing rates in Europe.
Finally, you will notice after reading this article that property investment in Portugal is particularly favourable. Property prices are low and Portugal is a country that is becoming more and more attractive. Borrowing conditions are good thanks to low interest rates, not to mention the country's ideal and idyllic living environment. The cost of living is almost 30% lower than in most European countries. A negative externality that proves the craze to move is the choice of many Portuguese to move to cheaper cities or to the outskirts because of the price increase. This is the case of Portuguese Lisboners who move to the suburbs of the capital because of salaries that are becoming insufficient in the face of inflation price, particularly that of property. The purchasing power of a French person is therefore much better than that of a Portuguese person in general.
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