The economic environment in Portugal throughout the recent years’ recession has had a big impact on the acquisition and sales of residential assets. However, since the end of 2013 and in 2014 this market has shown signs of recovery, especially in the Greater Lisbon Area. This upturn, driven mainly by foreign investment, continues to indicate positive signs, with demand steadily growing in the first quarter of 2015.
We cannot overlook that new laws passed in Portugal recently have helped creating this momentum. Firstly, the changes in the Urban Lease Law paved the way for the liberalisation of the residential lease market, which made the market truly attractive from an investment point of view.
The implementation, in the last quarter of 2012, of legislation which grants a Residential Permit for Investment Purposes (ARI), also known as the Golden Visa, as well as the growing popularity of the Non-Habitual Residents Tax Regime were equally decisive aspects of the legal framework that consolidated the demand for properties by foreign citizens. These measures grant not only an open door to free circulation in the Schengen Area for non-European citizens, in the case of ARI, but also an extremely attractive tax incentives, for the Non-Habitual Residents Tax Regime.
The majority of home buyers continue to make their purchase envisioning using the property and increasing its value, either as their full-time residence or as a holiday home.
Today, Lisbon undoubtedly a city that is highly sought-after by international buyers. This became obvious initially in the tourist market, with an increase of tourist traveling to Portugal. But lately, Lisbon has also attracted considerable flows of foreign investment in the real estate sector.
Recent changes in taxation and the new rules for Local Accommodation Establishments have helped boosting the acquisition of apartments purchased with the intention of placing them on the market for short-term stays and/or for serviced apartments (apartments for longer stays for professionals and expats).
The overall international feeling is that this is a golden opportunity to acquire real estate property in Portugal. The forecast for 2015 is much brighter and our mission is to strengthen Portugal’s position as one of the best residential real estate destinations in Europe, a country that offers enormous competitive advantages, safety, a fantastic climate, internationally recognised cuisine, services’ excellence and superb tourism facilities.