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.
Prices for residential real estate in Lisbon are lower than most major European cities. Figures presented at Portugal’s 10th Property Conference held at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in London last week showed Lisbon to be one of the most affordable cities for property investment. With an average price of €2600 per m2 Lisbon was lower than Barcelona (€4700 per m2) and Madrid (€5200 per m2). London toped the list with an average price of €21,800 per m2 more than 8 times that of Portugal’s capital city. There were 3500 foreign buyers of property in Portugal during the first quarter, many of them encouraged by the residency visas now on offer for purchases above €500,000.
The Portuguese economy is recovering and there are clear signs of an upturn according to the Secretary of State for Toursim, Adolfo Mesquita Nunes speaking at a conference attended by La Vida Portugal this week. Unemployment is down 1.4 percentage points from Quarter 1 to Quarter 4, 2013. Construction is up in the four main sectors including construction. Ten year bond rates have fallen from a peak of 7.47% to 3.71% and are now just 0.2% higher than those of Germany. Portugal is set to exit from the EU bailout programme in the coming months. Adolfo Nunes talked about the success of the government’s policies for encouraging inward investment including the golden visa programme and the new tax regime for non-habitual residents. To date 781 golden visas have been issued by Portugal, 2 in 2012, 490 in 2013 and 289 already in the first few months of 2014. The investor visa programme appears to be running at a rate of 1000 visas per year and climbing.