Foreign investors underpin growth in Lisbon’s market in 2016

Foreign investors are helping to drive Lisbon’s property market in 2016 attracted by the chance to invest in upmarket apartments in the city’s historic districts and obtain residency through the Golden Visa scheme.

Recent statistics show that the value of investment through the Golden Visa scheme surpassed €571 million during the first seven months of 2016, which is more than double compared to the same period last year. In July this year alone, 106 permits were granted, of which 104 were for the purchase of property.

Foreign purchasers accounted for 90 per cent of the record two billion euros invested in Portuguese real estate last year, double the amount in 2014, according to Cushman & Wakefield in Portugal.

Under the Golden Visa scheme, purchasing a Portuguese property worth at least €500,000 entitles a foreign investor to residency in the country. The programme is especially popular with Chinese and Southeast Asian citizens but there are expectations that interest from Middle Eastern buyers will grow.

Foreign investment is fuelling a fast turnover in Lisbon’s market. According to real estate specialists Confidencial Imobiliario, between June 2015 and March 2016 around 55 per cent of all available properties in Metropolitan Lisbon took less than six months to sell.

In the same period, more than 6,700 transactions were completed, with 20 per cent of those taking less than three months to complete and 35 per cent between three and six months.

Meanwhile, property information network Idealista said recently that prices in the Lisbon region rose six per cent in the second quarter of 2016, reaching an average €1,451 per sq metre, while in the Lisbon municipality, prices rose 9.1 per cent, to €2,716 per sq metre.