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 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.
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.
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.
La Vida Portugal featured in an article in the South China Morning Post yesterday (China’s largest English daily newspaper). The article discussed the number of golden residency visas issued by Portugal in the last year – 542 and how it is expected to grow from this level. According to Colliers in a research note the number of properties sold in Portugal has increased 70% fuelled by the attraction of the golden visa programme. You can read the full article here.
In addition to resort property on the Algarve and silver coast we also have a large selection of property in the city of Lisbon and just outside the city in Cascais. The Portugal investor visa programme has been fuelling interest in property over €500,000 in Lisbon. Prices are rising and choice is reducing. €15 million was invested in Portugal in one week last month under the golden visa programme. There is a lot of interest from China, India, Russia and the Middle East. Lisbon is a popular choice with an international airport just 10 minutes from the centre of the city offering excellent links to the rest of Europe and worldwide. Please contact us for further details and a brochure.
A lot of our clients ask about guaranteed rental on investments when they are seeking the golden visa either in Portugal or Spain. Most importantly anyone looking to gain residency needs to consider the rules of each country’s scheme for minimum stay in order to retain the visa. If the property is rented full time this creates the issue of somewhere to stay when spending the minimum period of two weeks a year in Portugal. Rather than invest in a property to rent full time on a long lease, investors can look at resort properties in Portugal. These are property investments the same as any other to qualify for the investor visa in Portugal. But on a resort you have a steady supply of holidaymakers looking to rent for one week or two weeks. Sometimes a few months. By picking the right resort with facilities for example golf and beach attractive to holidaymakers this is perfectly possible. But then it’s also important to select a resort that can manage the rental and allow you to use your property for periods you plan in advance. We have several such options in Portugal. Please contact us for details.
Portugal’s Golden Visa has been operating for over a year now and we are delighted to be involved in this programme offering property in several locations throughout Portugal that will qualify for the residency visa.
The scheme is similar to that in Spain although further advanced being 12 months ahead of the Spanish visa offering. Over 400 visa applications have been processed in Portugal since the start of the golden visa programme.
Investors need to spend a minimum €500,000 to qualify for the Portuguese residency visa. It can be renewed after 1 year, 3 years then 5 years. Owners of a property in Portugal can apply for citizenship after 6 years provided they have retained the investment of €500,000 in property.
La Vida Portugal is delighted to help with visa and property enquiries for investors looking to buy into the Portugal Golden Visa scheme with a minimum €500,000 investment in property. Please see the about us page for our contact details.