2014 was a good year for Portugal’s real estate market with the Golden Visa Program attracting direct investment of around EUR 972 million into the sector. On the whole, the program has brought in investment, direct and indirect, worth EUR 1 billion into the real estate sector in Portugal.
Data released by the Immigration and Borders Services reveals that Portugal issued 1775 residency permits with 85%, around 1510 permits, being issued to investors from China. Considering the number of permits issued and the value of investment brought into the country, it would not be incorrect to say that non-EU citizen investor immigrants have provided the necessary stimulus to revive Portugal’s property market.
Despite property prices in the country still hovering below pre-recession levels, there has been a steady increase in purchase of residential properties with hopes of revival in the commercial real estate sector through big buck commercial deals as well.
The Golden Visa program offers tax-free permanent residence to EU citizens desirous of residing in Portugal. This program has resulted in an increase in immigration from traditional sources like the UK as well as from new destinations like France. Demand from French investors, fueled primarily by the tax-free status, has resulted in demand for property in the country.
Data released by Portugal’s estate agents’ association shows that property transactions involving foreigners accounted for close to a quarter of all residential property purchases in the country in the first nine months of 2014. Along with the last quarter, the total investment pumped into the country is expected to rise beyond EUR 1.5 billion. This is one reason why analysts are optimistic about the prospects of Portugal’s property market in 2015.
Golden Visa apart, Portugal has implemented numerous strategies to boost the revival of the country’s property market. Lisbon is seeing a steady increase in construction and renovation activities. Commercial real estate has got a boost through the participation of funds like Blackstone, CommerzReal and Deka. These funds are buy real estate in Portugal, which clearly shows that Portugal is no longer being seen as a high-risk property market.
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