Affordable mortgages, value for money property and new flight connections with the UK make Lisbon one of the most appealing European capital cities for investment in 2018, said Spot Blue in November.
Investors put off the UK market by cooling property prices and the likelihood of further interest rate hikes next year should instead consider Lisbon, where conditions are more favourable.
Mortgage rates available to foreign buyers in Portugal remain less than three per cent for variable deals, with Portuguese banks typically offering 65-70 per cent loan-to-value and terms of up to 20 years, depending on personal circumstances. “Clever investors, who would usually be cash buyers, are taking advantage of these excellent mortgage deals to reduce their exposure to today’s poor £/€ exchange rate,” said Julian Walker, director at Spot Blue. "When your funds are in Sterling, getting a euro mortgage to buy in Portugal that can be paid off in full or part, with negligible penalties, once the euro weakens could be a wise move.”
Combining a cheap mortgage with a savvy property purchase in an up-and-coming district of Lisbon could make sound financial sense. A new report by Portugal’s Office for National Statistics reveals a median house price across the municipality of Lisbon of €2,231 sq/m for the year to end of June 2017, which represents a 15 per cent rise on the previous year.
Looking closer, the central districts of Santo António (which includes Avenida da Liberdade) and Misericórdia (which includes Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré) achieved the highest median prices, namely €3,294 sq/m and €3,244 sq/m respectively, representing year-on-year increases of 46 per cent and 38 per cent. While this growth is significant, prices are low compared to prime real estate quarters of other major European capitals.
“Other fashionable Lisbon districts where prices are lower, although still higher than the city’s average, include Estrela, Belém, Alvalade and Avenidas Novas,” added Mr Walker. “Median prices there are around the €2,500 sq/m mark, so there could be room for healthy capital appreciation. Meanwhile, districts that are below the city average include Olivais, Santa Clara, Benfica and Campolide, which again could offer appreciation potential for the long-term.”
Elsewhere, confidence in the UK market was highlighted by the launch on 29th October of the first ever flight between London City and Lisbon. Operating twice-daily on weekdays and once a day at weekends by TAP, the service complements the Portuguese national carrier’s existing Lisbon services from Heathrow and Gatwick.
Supporting its commitment to the UK market, TAP recorded a 20.3 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of passengers travelling between London and Lisbon in the first quarter of 2017.