Foreigners bought 17 thousand houses in Portugal last year

  • ECO News
  • 19 October 2018

Over a thousand of those houses cost more than half a million euros. Non-residents were responsible for 11.5% of the total of last year's real estate sales. French lead, followed by the Brits.

A quick walk through city centres, and we notice how different Portugal is by now. It is now possible to hear many different languages everywhere, as more and more foreigners visit the country. Some of them, however, are not merely visiting, they are planning to purchase a home in Portugal.

According to the Portuguese statistics office (INE), a considerable amount of the estate sold was bought by non-residents, but however high the number is, it hasn’t yet reached the levels witnessed in 2014, the year the golden visas programme started. The average of the houses purchased by this type of clients is 50% above the value the Portuguese people pay for their homes.

In 2017, non-resident investors were responsible for 7.7% of the total of transactions, correspondent to 11.5% of the total value of real estate that was sold.

Comparing to 2016, the sales to this type of investors have increased by 19.2% in the number of transactions, and by 22.6% in terms of total value. The French were, for the second consecutive year, leading the acquisition of houses in the country, followed by the British, as shown by INE’s report.

Gold visas boost house sales

From the 17,388 properties sold last year, 6.8% (1,180) have cost €500m or more, and it has been mostly since 2013 that property values have been increasing in the country. A year after, in 2014, “the growth intensified, mostly in terms of property values, with these houses representing almost half of the total of real estate purchased by non-residents/foreigners that year, in Portugal”, the INE shows, noting as well that these changes coincide with the beginning of the Gold Visas’ requests in the country.