Currently, there is not much information online that provide any details as to what kind of properties you should look when applying for the Golden visa program in Portugal.
In this guide, we go in detail about the process of acquiring Portuguese Golden Visa properties.
- What are the available options for both residential and commercial investments?
- Where can you buy properties in Portugal that qualify for the Golden Visa?
Since the new rules started on January 2022, we thought this was an appropriate time to answer these questions regarding the eligible Portuguese Golden Visa properties and provide some updated and relevant information.
Let’s go through the recent changes in the program, the best areas for acquiring property and how to find the best properties.
New 2022 rules for the Golden Visa property investments
The Portuguese government announced plans to change the rules governing the Golden Visa program in 2022. This decision came after years of discussion about the rising cost of real estate in Lisbon and Porto.
In particular, the price of apartments in the capital city has risen dramatically over the last decade.
The major changes are related to the areas where you can invest and apply for the program.
The real estate investment options and their amounts are now the following:
- €350,000 minimum investment in properties that require rehabilitation, located in high-density areas:
Buy residential and commercial real estate anywhere in Portugal’s autonomous islands of Madeira and Azores, worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project. Also, you can buy commercial properties for up to €500,000 in any part of Portugal, but if they’re in a low-dense area, then you get a 20% reduction off the price.
- €400,000 minimum investment in properties in low-density areas:
If the residential properties are located in low-density zones, then you receive a 20% discount (which amounts to 400,000 euros and 280,000 euros respectively).
- €500,000 minimum investment in property in high-density areas:
You can buy residential properties in Portugal for up to €500,000 or for up to €350,000 if you invest in a renovation project.
What properties qualify for Portugal golden visa
Residential Real Estate
After the 2022 changes, eligible residential properties are dependent on the following factors:
- Location – Property must be located within a Low Density NUT111 region. A low density area is defined as having a population density of less than 110 people per km2.
- Investment Value – The total value of the property and its renovations must add up to more than €280,000.
- Renovation Cost – Both the property value and the renovation costs must exceed €280,000. If either of these numbers fall short of the requirement, the investor will not qualify for the program.
Commercial Real Estate
As for commercial real estate, the big change is regarding the touristic properties.
There were no rules for investors before 2022 as to where commercial real estate should be in order to qualify.
However, since the new rules came into effect, there are certain areas where investors cannot purchase residential properties. These include Lisbon, Porto, Algarve, and Sintra. Investing in residential properties in these regions will no longer be allowed.
However, investors who want to buy property in Portugal should know that they must comply with Portuguese law regarding tourism licenses. They should also be aware that commercial properties in Portugal are subject to local regulations, which means that they may not be able to operate without obtaining proper permits and licenses.
Also, a hotel or serviced apartment with a 10 year rental license must be licensed by a single owner for the entire period. However, the investor may sell the property at any point during the term.
We will keep updating this page as new commercial real estate projects become available.
Portugal offers many opportunities for investors looking to invest in real estate.
There are over 2 million square meters of commercial space available across the country. In addition, there are numerous incentives offered to foreign buyers.
For example, residential buildings are exempt from taxes while commercial properties are subject to a flat rate of 5%. Furthermore, commercial properties are eligible for a 20%-50% tax rebate depending upon the value.
Commercial or Residential Real Estate Investments?
Portugal’s Golden Visa program has been very successful since it launched in 2012, attracting thousands of investors from around the world, for both types of property investments.
But while many choose to invest in Portugal’s residential real estate market, others opt for the commercial side of things, where returns are much higher and the risks lower.
While residential real estate generally offers a higher return, the commercial side of things does offer some benefits, including:
• IMT and VAT are usually included in the price
• Most investments come with pre-approval for yield payments and/or purchase backs
• It can be arranged remotely, and management is handled by the developer
Where can I buy property in Portugal for Golden Visa
There is no shortage of realty options for the golden visa applicants. Whether you want to live on the coast or in the city, or even on a farm, you can find something that suits your needs.
However, If you want to purchase a property in Portugal, you might have to take the new changes mentioned above.
As explained above, residential properties will be restricted to some areas of the country, mainly interior areas and the islands of Madeira and Azores, as well as the so-called low-density areas. After the changes, this move is expected to encourage investors to buy properties in those eligible low density areas, reducing demand for housing in Lisbon and Porto.
We’ve dedicated specific guides for each of the most popular investment areas for residential real estate that are eligible for the Golden visa Portugal. However, we also list here a summary of each of those locations.
One of the most costly locations on our list, but it’s truly unique both geographically and historically. It has a semi tropical climate and is actually closer in proximity to Africa than Portugal. It’s capital is Funchal which is the 6th largest city in Portugal, so not completely isolated. And their island territories are all considered high density inland parts of Portugal, so an investment of at least $500,000.
If you’re feeling adventurous, maybe the islands off the coast of Portugal might be the perfect spot for your next vacation. With plenty of outdoor activities including scuba-dive sites, surfing, and hiking trails, the Azores offer something for everyone. Prices are low compared to neighboring countries, and property values are rising fast.
The largest Portuguese region is also considered one of the most underdeveloped regions in the country. It lies south of the Tagus River and covers a wide area of the south of Portugal.
Today, Alentejo is mainly agricultural, with a focus of cork and olive grove production, although wine growing and viticulture are also important industries. There are many small villages scattered throughout the region, and other popular and larger cities like Évora and Beja.
Located inland from Porto, the region known as the Douro Valley is a popular part of interior Portugal. It has some beautiful countryside, including vineyards along the River Douro, and is close to both Porto (the second largest city) and Braga (a university town). However, it is still relatively inexpensive compared to the Algarve or Costa del Sol.
It’s located in the north of Portugal, near the Spanish border. It’s a popular hiking destination and is also close to two cities (Viana do Castelo and Vila Real) which are both low density areas. Additionally, it has a short drive to Galicia in Spain, making it an ideal location for anyone looking to explore the country.
The Algarve (some parts)
A lot of the coast of the Algarve remains undeveloped, especially in the interior. These areas include the towns of Aljezur and Castro Marim, along with the parishes of Monchique, Silves and Taviro. In addition, there are also some parishes within the cities of Loulé, Silvres and Tavira that are classified as inland.
These places offer beautiful nature and local cultures in the most unexplored regions of the Algarve. They are also ideal investments, as they are close to major cities such as Lisbon, Faro and Seville.
Some of these areas are not really isolated either, as Aljezir and Vila do Bispos are only about thirty minutes away from Lagos. Alcoutin is only one hour away from Faro, and if your travel takes you into Spain, two and half hour from Seville.
Remember that for commercial real estate or residential rehabilitation projects, prime locations of the country like Lisbon, Porto, Braga, Coimbra, the Silver coast or the some of the most popular areas of the Algarve, still apply.
Portuguese Golden Visa real estate option
There are mainly two ways to apply for the golden visa program these days. Through real estate or through investment funds.
We focus here in the real estate path.
Buying Portuguese golden visa properties is one of the most popular ways to invest in Portugal today.
Many people buy real estate in Portugal to earn income tax-free and without having to worry about paying capital gains taxes.
You can choose between buying new or used property for the golden visas.
New properties are more expensive than used ones but they offer better returns.
If you decide to purchase a property in Portugal, you should know that it’s not necessary to have a large amount of money to do so. It is possible now to acquire a new property with just €100,000 depending where you are looking for.
There are many other ways to invest in Portugal’s golden visa properties.
New 2022 Portuguese Real Estate Golden Visa Investment Options
After the new rules for the program in 2022, new golden visa options are available. Qualifying properties include residential homes, commercial buildings, and even holiday apartments in specific areas of the country, which don’t include anymore the residential properties at the most sought regions like Lisbon, Porto, Algarve, the Silver Coast.
The low-density areas options are one of the most attractive investments right now.
These areas offer investors an opportunity to purchase property at a big discount. Investing in these properties offers tax benefits and other perks. There are some investors should consider buying multiple properties in order to maximize their returns.
We analyze these specific option in the following guide.
Can you finance property for Golden Visa Portugal? (Portugal Golden Visa Mortgage)
Yes, a mortgage can be used to finance an investor’s purchase of property. However, it cannot originate from a Portuguese financial institution because the government identifies that any mortgages originated by banks located outside Portugal are not eligible for the Golden Visa Program.
If you’re using your own funds to invest, you need to be aware that the minimum initial investments aren’t covered by the mortgage. However, if you plan to purchase a more expensive property and then take out a mortgage using the minimum initial investments as the loan deposit, that’s fine.
Wrapping up our guide of Portugal Golden Visa Properties
Buying real estate in Portugal is one of the best investment options you could ever make right now in Europe.
The Portuguese government offers attractive conditions for foreigners looking to invest into real estate projects within Portugal.
Foreigners interested in investing in Portugal will find property investments in both residential and commercial real estates such as apartments, houses, shopping centers, office buildings etc.
In addition, Portugal offers attractive conditions for foreign investors because purchasing properties under the golden visa program is made to be easy.
There are three main reasons why people invest in Portugal Golden Visa Properties:
- 1st reason: Tax advantages.
- 2nd Reason: To get a residence permit through Golden Visa
- 3rd Reason: Different types of investment opportunities
Before the recent changes, there was some speculation that the government was considering making the minimum investment amount in the country’s major cities mandatory. However, the government decided against such a move. Instead, it opted to increase the minimum investment amount in certain areas of the country where the demand for housing is particularly strong.
Portugal had already introduced several measures to combat the problem, including increasing the number of visas granted each year. In addition, the government offered incentives to encourage foreign buyers to invest in Portugal, including tax breaks and grants. The government also increased the maximum amount of money that could be invested annually.
In response to the announcement, the European Commission stated that it supports the efforts being taken by the Portuguese authorities to stabilize the situation. The commission added that it hopes that the changes will help address concerns about the affordability of housing in some parts of the country.
For now, the changes are expected to increase the demand in the so-called low density areas, and they may have a positive impact on prices in those areas.