CEO Insights

Portugal gains pace as a global investment hotspot for real estate and residency

The latest market data has found that Portugal is on track to reach the 10,000 Golden Visa investors milestone in Q3, as the nation benefits from overspill from other popular destinations such as Greece and Malta, that’s according to the latest market data published by Christian Henrik Nesheim, founding editor of Investment Migration Insider.

Research from Astons, the international experts on real estate, residency, and citizenship through investment, has demonstrated why Portugal is becoming one of the Golden Visa investment hotspots.

With the ability to secure EU residency in as little as 90 days, Portugal offers a quick route to alternative residency for investors, as well as the additional benefit of visa-free travel to 26 countries across the Schengen Zone.

It also offers the option to apply for citizenship after five years of residency, with investors only required to stay in Portugal for just 7 days during their first year and 14 days during each subsequent two years of residency.

But it isn’t just speed and flexibility that Portugal offers investors, their entire family are eligible under the nation’s Golden Visa scheme and the country offers a high level of schooling and access to prestigious higher education at lower EU tuition rates, as well as an attractive tax regime for non-habitual residents.

Perhaps one of the most attractive benefits is the cost of investing. Applicants can invest via the purchase of real estate for as little as €280,000, making it far more affordable than other programs such as the UK, Malta, Spain and Cyprus.

Investing via the real estate route also allows investors to let out their property so their investment brings a return in addition to their alternative residency. What’s more, property prices in Portugal as a whole have climbed 5.9% in the last year and easily exceeding double-figure growth rates in Vila Real (16.6%), Aveiro (14.2%), Viseu (14.1%), Porto (11.6%), Coimbra (11.3%), Braga (10.5%) and Setúbal (10%) bringing yet a further benefit to those investing.

According to Aston’s research, a total of €647m was invested in Portugal via its Golden Visa program in 2020, with the average applicant investing €547,377. While this total was down -13% year on year, it’s a notable 119% more than in 2013 with total investment consistently exceeding €600m a year since 2016.

In just January and February of this year, there have already been €85m invested with the average investment per applicant increasing to €548,387, suggesting Portugal is increasing in popularity amongst the global investment community.

Managing Director of Astons, Arthur Sarkisian, commented: “Investor interest remains strong across many European countries and this is being driven not only by UK investors keen to overcome any Brexit obstacles but also by American investors due to the political instability of recent months.

Portugal is starting to take centre stage in this respect, having previously played second fiddle to other, more traditionally popular investment programs, such as Greece and Cyprus. As a result, total investment levels have declined in recent years but this looks like it is starting to change as the nation has a lot to offer from an investment perspective.

It’s affordable, provides flexibility, a great standard of living and good education prospects and so not only does it make sense financially, but many investors are showing interest with their family being the main motivation.”

Porto, Portugal

Investment into the Portuguese golden visa program

Total Investment: € 296,000,000
Main applicants: 494
Average investment per main applicant visa: € 599,190

Total Investment: € 916,000,000
Main applicants: 1,526
Average investment per main applicant visa: € 600,262

Total Investment: € 460,000,000
Main applicants: 766
Average investment per main applicant visa: € 600,522

Total Investment: € 848,000,000
Main applicants: 1,414
Average investment per main applicant visa: € 599,717

Total Investment: € 811,000,000
Main applicants: 1,351
Average investment per main applicant visa: € 600,296

Total Investment: € 839,000,000
Main applicants: 1,409
Average investment per main applicant visa: € 595,458

Total Investment: € 742,000,000
Main applicants: 1,245
Average investment per main applicant visa: € 595,984

Total Investment: € 647,000,000
Main applicants: 1,182
Average investment per main applicant visa: € 547,377

2021 (Jan and Feb)
Total Investment: € 85,000,000
Main applicants: 155
Average investment per main applicant visa: € 548,387

Lisbon, Portugal

Residential property prices per sq m across Portugal

  • Q1 2019: €1,849
  • Q2 2019: €1,932
  • Q3 2019: €1,981
  • Q4 2019: €2,028
  • Q1 2020: €2,060
  • Q2 2020: €2,070
  • Q3 2020: €2,090
  • Q4 2020: €2,147

Residential property prices per sq m across Portuguese districts and the annual change Q to Q

DistrictQ4 2019Q4 2020Annual change
Vila Real€739€86216.60%
Viana do Castelo€987€10324.60%
Castelo Branco€683€6951.80%

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Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller is CEOWORLD magazine's executive editor of news, writing analysis, and long-form reporting. In his role, he coordinates and tracks the publication of special packages, magazine stories, and the publication’s signature lists. He's a somewhat long-suffering supporter of Manchester United F.C. and a genuinely long-suffering fan of the Los Angeles Clippers.