House sales in first quarter up on year as influx of foreign cash swells

Page created: Monday, 28 April 2014 18:12 GMT

APEMIP   Business Climate  Golden Visas

Sales of residential property in Portugal in the first quarter were well up on the same period of last year, with foreign buyers accounting by 14% of the some 24,000 transactions in the period, the president of the estate agents’ association, APEMIP, said on Monday.

“One factor that drove this quarter was the increase in foreign investment and, for example, in the Algarve more is starting to be sold,” Luís Lima told Lusa, describing the market’s state in the period as “lively”.

The success of ‘golden visas’ – fast-track residence permits for foreigners willing to spend €500,000 or more on a property – by no means accounted for all that growth, Lima said.

Overall, he argued, the special income-tax regime for non-habitual residents has been a more important factor, with UK citizens accounting for the largest slice of investment in residential property.

Citizens of China – who dominate the golden visa business – are in second and French citizens in third.

Foreign investors who bring in €1 million or more in capital to create at least 10 jobs are also eligible for golden visas. According to the government, by the end of last year 471 such visas had been issued.