The number of applicants for the Portuguese golden visa programme has risen in 2016 compared to the previous two years. In 2015 the programme was postponed over the scandal that led to several arrests while the government introduced enhanced procedures for checking applications. A fairer comparison is with the previous year and the numbers for the first six months of 2016 are already on track to beat 2014’s record year.
La Vida has seen a surge in interest in several of our high profile real estate projects in Lisbon in recent months on the back of a robust market that is seeing prices rise from historic lows and one that shows promise of good capital gains in the coming years.
Sottomayor Residences Lisbon
Investors in the early days of Portugal’s Golden Visa programme will have seen average rises of over 10% in their investments according to the latest government figures.
Property prices in Portugal rose 5.1% in the first quarter of 2016 compared to one year ago. Prices are on average 10.2% higher than the first quarter of 2013 back at the start of the visa investment programme.
The golden visa programme has seen around 5,000 applicants invest in property in Portugal, mainly in Lisbon, since its inception in 2012.
Central Lisbon developments such as Sottomayor close to the Avenida de Liberdade are experiencing strong demand from international investors seeking the investor visa.
We have dealt with many clients for real estate investment for the Portugal Golden Visa and other country programs too, such as Spain and Cyprus. These investment visa programs are very different to traditional immigration schemes. They allow clients who have the financial resources to achieve far more flexibility with their travel and tax arrangements. They do not require applicants to move countries but they give the security and insurance of residence, should it be needed at any time. Please see our Top 10 Reasons Guide for the Golden Visa on our main website. Follow the link to read more.
Portugal continues as the favourite destination among our residency visa investors as we enter 2015. The golden visa programme in Portugal attracts investors seeking residency visas due to its flexibility and relatively low cost. An investment of just €500,000 in real estate secures a residency visa but it is the additional benefits that put Portugal ahead of other countries that La Vida offer to our clients. A golden visa in Portugal allows freedom to travel throughout the EU Schengen visa zone and the ability to apply for permanent residency (5 years) and citizenship (6 years) without needing to live in Portugal. In fact investors need spend only two weeks every two years in Portugal to renew the visa. Compare this to other countries in Europe offering similar schemes such as Spain and Greece that require investors to live in the country for some years before citizenship can be applied for. Citizenship in Portugal and an EU passport means the holder can freely live and work anywhere within the European Union. For full details see the La Vida golden visas website.
La Vida Exhibition Stand
La Vida will be visiting China in December to promote the Portuguese golden visa along with several other investor visa programmes in Europe. Portugal is currently the number one destination in Europe for investors seeking a residency visa through investment. La Vida promotes several programmes including the real estate investment schemes in Spain, Greece, Malta, Cyprus and also the residency bond programmes in Hungary and Bulgaria. However Portugal is often the preferred choice for clients because of its low investment cost and the flexibility it provides for potential EU citizenship. We will be exhibiting at the Luxury Property Show in Shanghai from the 12th to 14th of December. It follows on from our recent exhibition in Abu Dhabi at the International Real Estate Investment Show.
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The golden visa programme in Portugal has now attracted over €1 billion in investment from real estate buyers seeking the flexible investor visa that is on offer. A total of 1,649 investor visas have been issued so far in Portugal with numbers climbing quickly. To date in 2014 investor visa permits issued to foreign nationals are already double those issued in 2013. Most buyers are buying at otr around the €500,000 investment limit and choosing to rent the property. The visa programme does not require holders to spend time in the country. In fact just two weeks every two years to secure renewal. In return investors are free to come and go as they please into Europe without having to continually renew their Schengen visa for EU entry.
The latest RICS Portuguese housing market survey shows positive news. Developers are seeing rising prices in Lisbon. This is perhaps helped by the influx of international buyers in the capital chasing property above €500,000 in order to obtain the golden visa.
New buyer enquiries increased for the 11th consecutive month. It follows recent news from Deloitte in its Property Index Report that revealed Portugal to be one of the most affordable residential markets in Europe along with Germany and Denmark as the top three top destinations.
Despite the positive news prices of property in Portugal remain well below their peak leading to a potential opportunity for today’s international investor seeking the residency visa.
Investors considering the Portuguese Golden Visa scheme will be encouraged by the recent recovery in property prices following 6 years of decline. Prices of real estate fell more than 25% since the credit crisis in 2007 however figures from the last year show a turn in prices and sentiment in the market no doubt assisted by the level of international investment chasing the golden visa benefits. Real estate prices rose by 0.9% in Q2 of 2013, followed by a rise of 0.4% in Q3 and 1.4% in Q4.