Visa incentives could boost Portugal property sales
Monday 15th October 2012
Fresh legislation introduced in Portugal designed to make it easier for non-EU citizens to get residency in the country through investing in property could help to boost Portugal property sales levels.
The new immigration law, dubbed the “Golden passport”, should help to attract more overseas investment to the country, particularly at the top end of the market as it enables citizens of countries outside of the European Union to obtain Portuguese residency through property ownership, which wasn’t possible under the previous rules. The property, or “immoveable asset”, obtained by the foreign investor must have a minimum acquisition value of €500,000 (£403,000).
The new law also presents two other options for a non-EU investor to obtain residency in Portugal, namely the incorporation of a company that creates a minimum of 30 jobs or the transfer of €1m (£806,000) into the country. Whichever route the investor takes, they have the benefit of being able to apply for their residency permit after arriving in Portugal.
“We welcome this amendment by the Portuguese government as a positive measure during a time of austerity and unpopular tax hikes,” said Chris White, director of Algarve agency Ideal Homes Portugal. “For buyers outside of the EU who wish to relocate to Portugal, the rules are now much clearer than previously and should give them confidence to come and enjoy the fantastic lifestyle on offer on the Algarve on a full-time basis. On top of that, there are some fantastic deals currently available, whether your budget is less or more than €500,000, which will appeal to buyers from within or outside the European Union.”
In the popular Lagos area in the western Algarve, for example, €550,000 (£443,000) will buy you a four-bedroom villa on a large plot, with a private pool and close to the beach, or a very desirable three-bedroom apartment on a gated beachfront complex. Typically, in the more upmarket Vilamoura area of the central Algarve, Ideal Homes Portugal has three-bedroom villas that start at around €550K.
“Of course, anyone struggling to sell a €500,000-plus property in Portugal will welcome the ‘Golden passport’ law change as it should open the door for another group of potential buyers,” added Mr White. “Vendors can now expect interest in their property not only to come from Europeans, but wealthy buyers from further afield – which should hopefully increase conversion rates.”
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