Expats account for a quarter of all Portuguese property purchases

Published:  15 Jan at 6 PM
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Portugal is as popular as ever with expats, who’ve accounted for 25 per cent of 2017 property purchases.

Foreign buyers are becoming even more active in Portugal’s property market, with data showing a 30 per cent increase in 2017 sales over the same period in 2016. Some 152,000 homes found buyers from France, Brazil, the UK and China, and the figures may be even higher as the figures only show the total of properties sold via real estate agencies.
According to Portugal’s realtor association, the number of sales in 2018 is expected to increase still further.

A related study states house prices during 2018 are expected to increase by around six per cent, with the next five years showing further hikes in valuations, but the rise isn’t expected to dampen down the market. It seems foreign investors are happy to pay more for guaranteed sunshine, a quality of life and safety. However, real estate agents are voicing concern that Portugal’s middle class may not be able to afford homes should the increases continue.

As with most world countries' capitals, properties in Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon are comparatively more expensive than in the rest of the country. For example, the average square metre price in December last year was €2796, an increase of 37 per cent over the previous year. Faro and Porto, both popular with expats, saw increases of 18 per cent and 24 per cent respectively, with real estate agents predicting Lisbon’s average could soar to €7000 per square metre.

One reason for the swingeing price increases is that foreigners are more than willing and able to pay a higher price than are Portuguese nationals, raising fears that locals may well be priced out of the market in a similar manner to British citizens wanting to buy a London property. One expat who’s recently moved from Paris to Lisbon told the media she’d decided to leave France due to the increasing risk of terrorist attacks. Many French nationals, she added, are looking to buy in Lisbon.
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