Is this a good time to sell your villa in Portugal? Well, we can tell you that there is a massive amount of interest in Portuguese properties right now. Much of the demand is coming from Chinese buyers.
The reason for this huge interest in properties for sale in Portugal is not hard to see. It’s the Portuguese Golden Visa, of course. Last year, over 320 Golden Visas were handed out to those who had invested at least €500,000 in the real estate market in Portugal.
This gives the investors, mostly non-EU nationals, the right to reside in Portugal and to travel across the Eurozone. There is an added benefit of a possible permanent citizenship in the future.
80 percent of those who applied for and received the Golden Visa were from the Chinese mainland. They are rich, highly successful business executives who can afford to invest such a huge amount of money and are very keen on moving to Europe.
Portugal is not the only country that offers the Golden Visa. Spain, Greece and Cyprus have their own Golden Visa programmes. But it is only in Portugal that this scheme has had its intended effect. It has attracted hundreds of millions of Euros of investment, and given a major boost to the property market in Portugal.
But questions are being asked. Could this programme continue for long? The reason the Golden Visa was introduced in the first place was that Portugal was in dire economic straits a few years ago and was desperate for any kind of foreign direct investment.
It has been seen that investments in the property market bring further investments into the mainstream economy. So a recovery in the real estate market is always followed by a similar recovery in the general economy. So it makes sense for the Portuguese government to introduce schemes to benefit their property market.
The Golden Visa is very tempting to cash rich, high net worth overseas investors from China and other emerging nations, who want to have the legal right to reside in Europe, in one way or another.
China is one country which has invested hundreds of billions of dollars into the overseas property market over the last decade and a half. So Chinese buyers are serious investors in the overseas property market in Europe, of which Portugal is a part of.
Yet, there are murmurs in Portugal against offering residency permits to foreign investors. There is this fear that such property investment visas create an artificial demand for real estate, this driving up the prices for everyone.
Even if that were true, it cannot be denied that the Portuguese economy has largely recovered from a prolonged recession and the government has solved the balance of payment crisis that was hurting the country. The fact that Portugal is such an attractive overseas property destination has played a major role in the nation’s economic recovery.
The government is unlikely to take away the option for the Golden Visa, as that could lead to a drop-off in people wanting to buy property in Portugal. This is a scheme that has worked pretty well and is likely to continue into the foreseeable future.