‘All of Portugal is booming’: golden real estate visa attracts investors


Portugal’s Residency by Investment program, one of the most popular golden visas in the world, introduced some changes in January 2022: in particular, investing in coastal residential properties no longer qualifies investors for the program. Still, with around five percent rental income per year and capital appreciation of up to four percent per year, residential units inside Portugal remain an attractive proposition. PTGoldenVisa’s David Machado and Tiago Camara discuss changes to the program, residential and commercial investment opportunities available throughout Portugal, and larger real estate projects that PTGoldenVisa has begun to offer its investors.

World Finance: David, what changes were made earlier this year and how has the market reacted?

David Machado: Yes, the Portuguese golden visa program has not changed much: we still maintain the same categories.

It is true that from 1 January 2022 we can no longer benefit from investments in residential properties in coastal areas. But we have some pretty good opportunities in the inland regions, we’re seeing really good results, and the reality is that all of Portugal is booming at this point. So, very high capital appreciation is expected on these investments, even for those who choose to invest in inland areas to qualify with residential properties.

World Finance: Tiago, tell me more about these investment opportunities.

Tiago Camara: In the €280,000 category within Portugal, the majority of our properties are residential units, with 2-3 bedrooms in areas with easy access, good logistics and infrastructure. In these areas, we normally agree with local developers to let these properties and guarantee our investors four to five percent rental income per year. Expected capital appreciation ranges from 2-4% per year.

In high-density areas, the investment amounts to €350,000. Lisbon continues to be the most demanded region, where we have successfully sold offices and shops to our clients, providing them with approximately four percent guaranteed rental income. And a capital appreciation of four to six percent for these types of properties.

Another highly demanded region is the island of Madeira. It qualifies investors for a golden visa with an investment of €350,000. Madeira is a region full of tourists all year round, very well connected to all European cities by air and with a real estate market appreciation of more than 10% every year.

World Finance: Now David: who are your clients? Where do you see the most interest in the world?

David Machado: Yes, the Portuguese Golden Visa Program targets all non-European Union citizens. We are seeing an extra push these days from North Americans coming to Portugal and making a lot of investments, so that’s kind of the change that’s happened over the last year. Before, the main investors were Chinese, and they are still a big part of the Golden Visa program.

The program continues to reach around the world; people who are looking for a backup plan for their family, opportunities to relocate, to enjoy their retirement days in Portugal, have access to high-end healthcare facilities, high-end education. All of these benefits – along with the ease of movement once you have a residence permit from the Schengen countries – is what attracts investors.

Also, after five years, you are eligible for citizenship, so these are the benefits that bring people from all over the world.

These days I would say investment, only pure investment in real estate in Portugal offers very high returns, so that’s also something to watch out for.

World Finance: Each year you help more than 100 investors to apply for the residency program in Portugal. What type of experience do you offer your customers?

Tiago Camara: First of all, we are a one stop service provider, managed by two experienced Portuguese managers, with a perfect knowledge of the Portuguese real estate market. We have a team of around 40 professionals based in Portugal, guaranteeing our clients on a daily basis the full range of services they need to pursue their investments and residency programme.

We support our clients specifically on the selection of the best investments, the opening of their bank accounts, the possession of a tax number in Portugal. We help them find the best law firms to support them in the program and in the investment. And we guarantee a very professional management of their assets in Portugal. We manage their properties, and we are able to generate very good returns for them on their investments.

World Finance: And what does the future hold for PTGoldenVisa?

David Machado: We are always very focused on providing a high level of service to all of our customers. Hence the idea that we continue to provide this service from A to Z, which offers a complete solution to any client wishing to invest in Portugal and receive the benefits. This is mainly our goal.

However, because our client database is quite large and we have overseen great opportunities in terms of real estate transactions, we are also now focusing on larger developments – say hotels, where we provide hotel development for the customers. Or apartment hotels, or larger projects to develop compounds. So these are projects that PTGoldenVisa is now also focusing on, which are not directly related to the golden visa, but mostly also involve investors who started with the golden visa and are now making other investments with us.

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