Real estate in Portugal: guide to get more for less
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Our French-speaking teams will find your ideal home in Portugal, just as you want it and according to your budget.
We accompany you in your investment: research, visits, sending of photos, administrative and fiscal procedures and much more…
And you save on the price of your future house because we negotiate for you a very nice price reduction (our teams on the spot know the real prices of the real estate).
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Discover our guides to real estate in Portugal
How to rent and buy? What taxes to expect? What are the obligations? What can I expect to get for my budget? Our guides to real estate in Portugal provide you with all the answers.
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You are rather Lisbon, Porto, Algarve… Seaside or countryside? Discover some examples of offers we can negotiate for you. We have access to more than 30,000 offers for houses, apartments and land throughout Portugal.
What you should know before buying in Portugal
The real estate sector in Portugal is evolving at a very high speed. Is this an opportunity for this country or a future calamity? And what are the consequences for you? We take stock of a market in turmoil where there are still great deals to be had, provided you don’t rush and do a thorough study of the market.
As French people living in Portugal, we have discovered the real aspects of real estate in Portugal. Many surprises can await you when you buy a property.
You should know, for example, that not everything can be found on the internet. The descriptions are often fanciful, the photos do not correspond. In short, you may be disappointed when you arrive in the country for a real visit. Real estate agencies are not all competent and sometimes present you with properties that have nothing to do with your search or with insufficient information on the environment, the neighborhood, etc…
Concretely, what can we obtain and at what budget?
Between 100.000 and 200.000 euros, you will find single-storey houses in the center of villages, with gardens and fruit trees.
Between 200,000 and 300,000 euros, you will get modern detached houses of the T4 type located by the sea or in the big cities.
Finally, for a budget of 300.000 to 400.000 euros, it is possible to find stone houses entirely restored with class and refinement.
House or apartment: you have a choice
There is truly a lot of property available in Portugal with a preponderance of single family homes or villas. The Portuguese are true builders with the skills to build beautiful homes. The whole country is dotted with villas, single-family homes generally very well built.
In short, the market is very large, with many choices ranging from very expensive dream houses to ruins to be taken over. Even for apartments, there is something for every taste and every budget.
In order to carry out your transaction, it is important to be assisted on the spot either by a real estate agency or by an intermediary: lawyer, jurist or search agent. Learn more about choosing a real estate agency in Portugal. The Internet is a great help to find opportunities but nothing can replace a presence on site.
Real estate prices in Portugal: interesting but rapidly increasing
Prices are still in many places very interesting. You will find houses of at least 200 M2 with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms for 125 000 Euros, apartments of more than 100 M2 with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms very well equipped for 80 000 Euros. Of course it will be more expensive with a sea view.
For years now, thanks in part to the RNH status, thousands of French and foreigners have already bought here. 10 years ago, we were doing great business even in Lisbon, Porto and probably in the Algarve. Prices are going up by 10% per year, everywhere! Even in the center of Portugal and in remote areas far from the Algarve, the big cities and the seaside.
Areas like the Algarve, Lisbon and even Porto are already too expensive. One can still find bargains there or simply like these areas enough to pay the current price. It’s probably also a safe investment since it’s in such high demand.
Understanding the Portuguese capital gains regime
This is an important thing to know, little known and little discussed by the agencies. There is a tax that does not exist (yet) in France, namely a tax on capital gains even for the resale of a principal residence.
Its calculation is complex but it must be taken into account when you buy in Portugal to evaluate the profitability of your investment over its entire life cycle. It is possible to avoid it but you must buy a property in Europe within 3 years and of the same value.
How to finance a property purchase in Portugal?
You can opt for a loan granted in Portugal. In this case, you will have to provide a mortgage guarantee for the property in this country. The conditions of loans are different there. The rates in Portugal are mostly uncapped variable rates.
If you wish to borrow to finance your purchase, you should know that interest rates in Portugal are generally a little higher than in France. The duration of the loan can go up to 40 years for young people of course. But banks lend up to 65 years for 10 years.
You can also opt for a loan from your country of residence with a guarantee of a property in that country. Be careful however: the contracts of promises of purchase in Portugal are not subjected by the law to deadlines of retractations nor to clauses of suspensions by obtaining the real loan. You must therefore know your financial capacities and the loan conditions before signing.
The keys to real estate taxation
Taxes, legal fees, registration fees, stamp duties and notary fees, if any, are charged on the purchase price of the property. They are payable by the buyer. There is no VAT on the purchase of a property.
The property tax (IMI) is due annually. IT is calculated on the Tributary Patrimonial Value (TPV) of properties generally lower than the purchase price.
The most popular cities and regions
Property prices vary considerably by region. The two cheapest areas, Centro and Alentejo, are half as expensive as the Algarve, Lisbon or Porto. Cities like Evora, Elvas, Coimbra or Aveiro still offer good opportunities.
The Algarve is the most expensive region because of the high demand from foreigners. The golden triangle of the Algarve, between Vale do Lobo, Quinta do Lago and Almancila aroused a lot of interest because of a well studied marketing and beautiful pictures. It is not here that you will make the best deals if you are looking for a good plan.
The Lisbon area is at the top of the table, which is normal since the city is the capital and financial center of the country, but also a major tourist site.
Seaside real estate in Portugal is also in high demand. Some regions have become exorbitantly expensive but others are still small paradises with great opportunities and acceptable prices per square meter. If you are a do-it-yourselfer or if you wish to make a substantial capital gain, you can opt for a property to be renovated, especially by the sea. It is thus possible to find rare properties, feet in the water for a pleasant retirement or a rental investment with high yield.
The real estate market in Portugal in a few figures
The French are crazy about Portugal. Imagine: nearly 30% of the properties purchased by non-Portuguese were acquired by French people in 2017. The French are the first real estate investors in the country, ahead of China.
The market, which was in total crisis in 2009 has therefore recovered well. According to Apemip, 80% of properties put up for sale in 2017 were sold in less than 6 months. The number of real estate transactions there increased by 31% between 2016 and 2017. As a direct consequence, Portuguese real estate prices increased by almost 10% in 2017. In the center of Lisbon, the average price now stands at 4,500 euros per m2.
? Discover Portuguese real estate statistics and average prices region by region
The main changes in real estate in Portugal
To put it simply, we would say that renting and buying are evolving rapidly compared to past years.
Portugal was not a country of renting, the Portuguese being very stable, they preferred to buy or build their family home. So few rentals, few sales and transactions, very low prices.
Moreover, laws protecting the tenants in the city had discouraged the renters and especially almost prevented the maintenance of the rented apartments. Hence a great decrepitude of housing in many central districts of large cities.
Renting freed up
The Portuguese government has proposed a new law on Real Estate Rentals in Portugal, the objective of which is essentially to stimulate the market. In 2012, the implementation of the “Nova lei do arrendamento urbano” (the new urban rental law) came to ease the constraints of real estate rental.
Read our article on renting here for more details. So this sector is improving, there are offers and especially a lot of rehabilitation in the city centers of the big cities. Speculation too!
As a result, there are many more rentals but the market is very fast. Many foreigners in the country want to rent first to know if they can really adapt to the country. It’s a good strategy and we happily did the same.
? Find out the prices of a yearly rental in Portugal region by region with a breakdown of the major cities.
Who is buying?
“In all, at the beginning of 2017, Portugal had 10,684 non-permanent residents (cumulatively since the new regime has existed). “In 2018, about 15,000 foreigners could benefit from this regime,” points out Cecile Gonçalves, director of the French-Portuguese real estate agency Maison au Portugal.” What a huge increase!
Portugal is more than ever a real estate Eldorado for the French. They are now the leading foreign investors in Portuguese property, overtaking the British and Chinese for the second year running. Thus nearly 30% of the properties purchased by non Portuguese were acquired by French people in 2017.
? Opportunity: buying a foreclosed house at auction
“Portugal and Spain combine quality of life with attractive property prices. For the same budget of 150,000 to 200,000 euros, you can hardly buy anything in Paris today. But you can own a 100 square meter home in Portugal.” “More than 300,000 French people have bought a property abroad, most of them retirees,” explains Léo Attias, president of Fiabci France, an international real estate federation present in 48 countries. To learn more about the procedure for buying a property in Portugal, read our article and you will see that it is not very complex.
Possible developments in the stone market
It is obvious that real estate in Portugal will continue to grow but that it will be less and less interesting in the big cities except for speculation. The Algarve, in my opinion, is well beyond the saturation point of foreigners and no longer resembles the natural Portugal. It can remain interesting if you live there temporarily and not in summer. But very unpleasant if you are looking to live the Portuguese way.
We have more and more people going directly to the Center and the North, very pleasant, more or less close to the sea. Prices are still affordable and some very nice houses are at the price of a Parisian studio. The Portuguese are very welcoming and the quality of life is very pleasant. The cost of living too.
It is the new Eldorado of Portugal. There are still some great opportunities and beautiful places to live for a year or two. You just have to be more curious, less sheepish, spend more time understanding and exploring Portugal. This is the key to a beautiful retirement in Portugal or even to live there before retirement of course.
A fairly simple moving procedure
Any European citizen can move to Portugal. In order to do so, it is necessary to proceed with a few formalities. The first possibility is to obtain the status of Non-Habitual Resident (NHR). Alternatively, if you move to Portugal without the status of RNH, you must obtain a residence permit but you will not be able to claim the advantageous tax regime linked to the RNH. You will then be taxed on your income like the Portuguese, at rates between 14% and 48%.
In summary the procedure to move to Portugal is as follows: first apply for a NIF, then open a bank account in a Portuguese bank; go to the City Hall with a rental contract to apply for the “Certificado de Registo” of your new domicile then go to the Finance or “Loja de Cidadão” with this document to apply for the update of your address and your NIF as resident status.
? Learn more about the detailed steps to move to Portugal.
Building a house in Portugal
You can also decide to build your house yourself. This is the best way to get exactly the property you want to occupy, practical, well located with good thermal insulation in particular. Financially, it is often an interesting operation because the price of land is generally low, even very low. You can thus, with the same budget, obtain a better located or larger house.
However, as you can imagine, the administrative procedures are not easy. You need to use an architect who will obtain the building permit, a step that is subdivided into intermediate phases: architectural permit, engineering permit and then finally obtain the certificate of habitation and register your house with the land registry.
? Learn more about the procedure to build a house in Portugal
Real estate prices observed for each region
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