If you’re thinking of purchasing a holiday home or moving to Portugal, these five key reasons could be just what you need to kickstart your search…
And remember, if you do decide to buy a place in Portugal, our comprehensive Overseas Property Insurance is available to protect it. Get a quick quote online here.
- Range of scenery
The sunny Algarve attracts the majority of Portugal’s foreign property owners, who are most enticed by the friendly beach resorts, pleasant climate, access to leisure activities and laid-back lifestyle. The Central Algarve, which is home to the exclusive Golden Triangle, and the Western Algarve, which includes resorts such as Lagos and Carvoeiro, are particularly popular.
The Eastern Algarve is less developed, with the towns of Olhão and Tavira notable highlights. Prices in the Algarve can range from less than €100,000 for an apartment near the beach into the millions for a luxury villa.
Lisbon is the country’s second most popular tourism and property hub. The ongoing regeneration of much of the capital city has made it attractive to international investors, as well as those looking for an exciting – and lettable – city bolthole.
For a rustic lifestyle in Portugal’s interior, the areas around Castelo, Branco, Santarém and Leiria are dotted with great value country homes.
Meanwhile, culture vultures not bothered about wetter weather could consider Porto in the north, which is another fashionable city destination with a foodie edge.
Wherever you decide on, don’t forget how favourable mortgage rates in Portugal are right now, especially considering sterling’s ongoing weakness against the euro. Variable rates of less than 3% requiring a deposit of 30% are typical for foreigners.
- World-class golf courses
Golfers have found their paradise in Portugal. Since Penina in Portimão opened as the Algarve’s first golf course just over 50 years ago, the region has become an international golf destination, with more than 40 courses. The three key resorts of the famous Golden Triangle have no less than seven championship courses between them – two in Vale do Lobo, three in Quinta do Lago and five in Vilamoura, which is also home to the country’s largest marina.
Frontline golf properties within these communities, which also include five-star sports and leisure facilities, are some of the most sought-after in Europe; many are owned by the global jet set and famous sports personalities. The short transfer from Faro Airport – the gateway to the Algarve, with regular flights from the UK – makes these resorts even more appealing.
Elsewhere, golfers with more reasonable budgets are spoilt for choice in the Western Algarve, where properties within one of the many golf resorts make popular holiday homes.
- Strong holiday let market
Tourism continues to boom in Portugal, with Britons accounting for the largest group of overseas visitors. The number of foreign tourists visiting Portugal rose by nearly 12% last year, reaching a record 12.7m. This means an increase in demand for accommodation.
Well-located properties let easily during the busy summer period, but, thanks to the Algarve’s consistent moderate temperatures, even during the winter months, occupancy rates are steady outside of the high season.
Golf tourism, in particular, is suited to the cooler months, so properties near a selection of courses should be good year-round earners.
Portugal’s rental market is regulated, which means that, to let a holiday home legally, you must register with your town hall and obtain a rental licence, known as an Alojamento Local. This helps to maintain a level of quality in the rental market, and justify healthy rent charges.
- Tax incentives
As if the lifestyle, scenery and properties weren’t enough, Portugal’s Non-Habitual Residence (NHR) scheme makes it one of Europe’s most tax-friendly destinations for foreigners.
The NHR regime, which was introduced by the Portuguese government in 2009, permits qualifying foreigners to enjoy almost all sources of foreign income, including pensions, tax-free for the first ten years of being a new resident. And, thanks to the terms of the Portugal-UK tax treaty, UK state pensions can be paid gross in Portugal, where the NHR scheme would ensure that they don’t incur any tax.
Non-EU citizens can also take advantage of Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme, which grants you automatic residency (and the right to move freely across European borders) when you spend €500,000 or more on a property. Depending on how Brexit negotiations pan out, this could be a future option for Brits.
- Low living costs
Portugal might be home to some of the world’s most desirable golf homes, but, away from the exclusive areas of the Algarve, it is also one of the most affordable places to live in Europe. The country is ranked as the second cheapest holiday destination in Europe, according to the 2018 Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer by Post Office Travel Money (third if long-haul destinations are included).
Meanwhile, global consumer price website Numbeo.com rates consumer prices as 28% lower in Portugal compared to the UK.
Have these five keys reasons to buy in Portugal persuaded you to start your search? We wish you luck if you do decide to purchase!