All Change As Portugal’s Golden Visa Programme Is Revised
So, despite perceived local wisdom suggesting otherwise, it’s happened.
The Government in Portugal has bowed to Opposition pressure and has decided to revise the Golden Visa Programme.
The good news is that, essentially, the principles remain the same. If you want residency status in Schengen nations around Europe and the possibility of citizenship in Portugal through a property purchase, it can still be done. At least we were right about that bit in our previous predictions.
However, as a result the new legislation, you won’t have a free choice on location any longer.
From now on, the properties which qualify will be away from Lisbon. Only homes in the inland municipalities and autonomous regions such as the Azores and Madeira will qualify.
Why? Well, like many major cities across Europe, Lisbon property prices have been rising so fast locals have found themselves being left behind.
Golden Visas were conceived in 2012 as a method of attracting overseas investment, bringing much-needed income into the country after a shaky period a decade or so ago when the whole of the Euro zone was struggling.
Although they were by no means entirely responsible, they certainly helped. Indeed, Portugal’s property market has enjoyed a significant upturn, with prices on the up for some time.
However, that’s also meant “affordable” property in popular locations such as the capital, Cascais, Estoril and the Silver Coast has become hard to find. As a result, there has been growing resentment that prices are now so high only “rich foreign investors” can afford them. The solution, therefore seemed obvious; the Golden Visa programme has been revised to shepherd foreign buyers away from the “honeypots”.
It could work. You could argue, with fewer buyers around, sellers will accept lower offers simply because they fear they might not get another.
But on the other hand, are sellers going to accept they’re the fall guys in all this? Maybe there will be a period of stagnation while everyone waits to see what happens next. It’s just too early to tell at the moment.
But, as agents selling homes in Portugal largely to foreign nationals, one thing we do expect is a change in our portfolio.
Keep an eye on our pages here and we’ll keep you posted on the homes which still qualify for Golden Visas just as quickly as we can.
If you’re looking for a bolthole in the sun, don’t forget we also have a good selection of villas and apartments for sale in Istanbul and along Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, where by the way the investment level to qualify for citizenship is just $250,000. Why not drop us a line or give us a call? We’d love to help.
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