What makes the North American want to purchase a house in Portuguese?

  • ECO News
  • 9 April 2018

More and more North Americans are purchasing houses in Portugal. In Lisbon, they represent 6% of all transactions. They assure prices are more attractive than in other European capitals.

Portugal and its charms attract more and more people. Last year, 20% of home purchases in Portugal were made by foreigners, with the French and Brazilian leading those acquisitions. However, the number of North Americans falling for Lisbon has been increasing exponentially.

According to data from APEMIP (Portugal Real Estate Mediating Professionals and Companies Association), last year, a fifth of houses purchased in Portugal was acquired by international investors, with the French (29%) and Brazilian (19%) on the top of the list. Nonetheless, interest from the North American has been increasing: it now represents 6% of the market in Lisbon, and it is the fifth nationality that makes more purchases in the city.

The real estate agency Porta da Frente/Christie’s provides even more conclusive data. Last year, North American investors increased by 1,100% in comparison to the previous year, and ended up increasing the average purchasing amount of 200,000 euros in 2016 to 900,000 euros in 2017. According to data from the real estate agency, the preference of the North American market is Lisbon: last year, 72.7% of real estate sales concerned the Portuguese capital city.

The North American market is one of the new markets that is beginning to see Portugal as a very interesting option to invest in real estate, as well as a good place to bring their families. The country’s economic and technological growth, along with an unbeatable life quality, transform Portugal into a very appealing country.

Rafael Ascenso

General manager of Porta da Frente/Christie's

“The North American market is one of the new markets that is beginning to see Portugal as a very interesting option to invest in real estate, as well as a good place to bring their families. The country’s economic and technological growth, along with an unbeatable life quality, transform Portugal into a very appealing country”, Rafael Ascenso, general manager of Porta da Frente/Christie’s, told ECO.

Elizabeth Di Cioccio, 33 years-old, manager of a Fund, told ECO that the fact that Lisbon is an “average sized city, with a well positioned international airport” and a “moderate climate” made Elizabeth and her husband want to come to the Portuguese capital city. So, after getting married in Lisbon, they began searching for an apartment in Lisbon. “We wanted to find a neighborhood that was close to restaurants, coffee shops, parks and that had a more ‘historic’ look”, she stated. And according to their testimony, there was a lot of offers, but it was in Chiado that they found their ideal house.

Apartment in Chiado, bought by the North American couple. A three bedroom apartment, with 181 square meters, in a building that dates back to 1755, with a view to the river. Porta da Frente/Christie’s

"I have long admired Portugal and especially its capital city. I’ve been occasionally visiting Lisbon for a few years now. I always liked the life quality here and always thought it was a beautiful city. ”

Joshua Madan

North American investor

Like Elizabeth and her husband, Joshua Madan, the 59 year old tech engineer also purchased his Lisbon home with the help of the real estate agency Porta da Frente/Christie’s. “I have long admired Portugal and especially its capital city. I’ve been occasionally visiting Lisbon for a few years now. I always liked the life quality here and always thought it was a beautiful city”, the North American tells ECO.

Joshua decided to purchase a house in the Portuguese capital city in order to obtain a golden visa. According to SEF (Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service), in accumulated terms, since they started being granted until the end of February of 2018, 5,876 golden visas were granted for the purpose of acquiring real estate. From that amount, 51 went towards North American citizens, corresponding to 2.2 million euros out of the 3.26 billion that came from the purchase of real estate.

Apartment in Príncipe Real, purchased by the North American investor. A three bedroom apartment, with 145 square meters. Porta da Frente/Christie’s

Joshua found his house in Príncipe Real: “I spent a little over what I had initially planned, but not a whole lot. It was more because of certain characteristics I wanted to have in my house, such as a terrace”, he told ECO. Yet, when compared to New York or London, he believes the prices in Lisbon are not that high.

The same was advocated by Elizabeth, who states that acquired her apartment was acquired for an amount that was in line with her expectation. And as for the future of home prices, which keep increasing to maximums of 2011, Elizabeth believes that although those increases will not stop soon, “Lisbon will continue having good prices in comparison to other European and World capital cities”.