Your Guide to Buying Property in Portugal

9 mins read

This guide to buying property in Portugal is one complete resource for anyone considering investing. Portugal belongs to the Iberian Peninsula, near Spain. As well as being popular with tourists, Portugal has attracted many expat communities who live there all year round. In addition, the country is a popular place to own a holiday home. Indeed, Portugal is a beautiful country with much to boast about. Commanding an upmarket reputation, Portugal is a suitable alternative for those who don’t want to purchase property or invest in Spain. Naturally, real estate investors need to plan and research. Let’s look at what information you need and how to ensure your property purchase goes well.

Guide to Buy Property in Portugal

buying property in portugal

1: Reasons to Buy in Portugal

Various Locations: From large cities like Lisbon to rural countrysides to beachfront locations, Portugal delivers various locations in abundance regardless of your lifestyle preferences. Some home buyers opt for the marina lifestyle to indulge in their passion for sailing, while others buy large golf villas, so they do not go far to swing their clubs. For traditional Portuguese, head inland to small villages, or for modern amenities on your doorstep, big cities fit the bill. Perform local research rather than countrywide to find your dream location easily.

Portugal’s Transport Network: Getting to and from Portugal is accessible from other countries because of the top three airports; Lisbon, Faro, and Porto. All operate summer and winter schedules, so book the flight ticket and pack your suitcase for impromptu visits or getaways. Additionally, Portugal has an excellent cross-country bus network, and some expats living there also drive, thanks to superb road infrastructure.

Foreigner Friendly: Portugal’s important tourism and real estate sector has welcomed foreigners for decades. Locals, especially those in tourist industries, speak various foreign languages, and some communities have significant expat populations that coexist with the Portuguese people. Try and learn the language to improve your quality of living. As will, learning about their history, food, and culture, but overall, people find Portugal easy to settle into.

Affordable Taxes: Portugal’s main non-habitual tax scheme easily lures European and non-EU expats. So, anyone signing up can take advantage of lucrative tax benefits in Portugal for up to ten years. The program that launched in 2009 was explicitly aimed at targeting foreign nationalities to come and live in Portugal, proving the country’s dedication to multicultural communities. Property buyers who plan to live in Portugal should check out the scheme.

Attractive Health Care: Regarding lifestyle benefits, healthcare ranks highly when looking for somewhere to live. Foreign nationalities can sign up for the SNS service (Servico Nacional de Saude) as long as they have residency and a social security number. Alternatively, some sign up for private health insurance but check the terms and conditions. Regardless of your choice, expect top-quality hospital, doctor, and pharmacy services.

Cultural Lifestyle: Everything Portuguese: We enjoy travelling around Portugal to learn about their history, which lends weight to current traditions and the Portuguese lifestyle. The first place to start is the regional cuisines. Naturally, fish like cod and sardines is big business around the coastline, and do we even start on the famous wines? Part of the excitement of moving to Portugal is something new. But every one receives warm welcomes from locals, who are used to other nationalities owning property.

Gorgeous Beaches: Portugal’s 832 kilometres of coastline is home to gorgeous beaches, including Camilo, Falésia, Amado and Quinta do Lago in the Algarve. Many people make road trips along the coastline to experience Portugal’s coastline not only because of its beauty but also its variety, from the fast waves to those suitable for children.

Places of Interest: Ok, this is where Portugal starts to get interesting. Portugal currently has 17 places on the UNESCO World Heritage site list. Couple that with the many other places of interest and gorgeous landscapes for the perfect base for exploration and travel. We often tell our clients buying property overseas that one of the best ways to learn about your new country is to travel. Places to put on your bucket list include Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Oceanário de Lisboa, Palácio Nacional de Sintra, Belem Tower, Pena park and national palace, and Castelo de S.Gorge.

Golfing in Portugal: Do we even need to mention the golf courses? Portugal’s reputation for golf screams for excellence and professionalism. Thanks to the beautiful weather and climate, temperatures rarely drop below 16 degrees in Portugal; hence fans play golf all year round. We are not just talking average golfing courses either. But world-renowned courses, suiting everyone from beginners to professionals. Some of Portugal’s best golf courses are Monte Rei, Oitavos, Quinta Do Lago and Dom Pedro Victoria.

Cost of Living in Portugal: Now, we come to a crucial aspect of living abroad. The costs of living are another factor determining if the dream is possible and where to live since living costs vary from country to country. The good news is that according to Numbeo, the database that collects prices from around the world, Portugal is 21% cheaper than France and 4% lower than Spain for daily living.

Global Peace Index: No matter where you move abroad, always check the global peace index, in other words, the political stability of politics for your intended country to buy property. In the case of Portugal, the country can stand proud by achieving a sixth place on the global peace index. There are problems in Portuguese politics and the government, like with any other country but the expert ranking points to future stability.

The Golden Visa Program: Out of all worldwide investment programs, the Golden Visa Portugal scheme is one of the most popular. Launched in 2012, thousands of non-EU nationalities used the system to gain visas and residency rights for themselves and their family in Portugal. Criteria are a clean criminal record, ability to speak the language and registering with local tax authorities in Portugal. However, the appeal to obtain a permanent resident card is undeniable—more about the golden visa program.

Golden visa Portugal


2: Where to Buy Property in Portugal

Lisbon: Capital cities always appear on the list for real estate, and in Portugal’s case, this is beautiful Lisbon. Lisbon ranks well for investment house hunters in Portugal, but budget price buyers look elsewhere because prices per square meter have already peaked. Reagrding attractions, Lisbon offers everything urban landscapes in Portugal should. Consider separate areas like Alfama, Principe real, Estrela, and Belem if you buy a house in Lisbon.

Porto: Porto ranks highly for ex-pats retiring and buying property in Portugal. One luring aspect, the high liquidity of real estate, keeps domestic and foreign house markets buying with high demand and reasonable purchase prices. Additionally, for real estate, Porto offers everything Lisbon does. The attractions lure retirees to Portugal. Given its northern position, residents compromise on yearly sunshine compared to the south of Portugal, but places like Vila do Conde, and Vila Nova de Gaia still attract real estate buyers.

The Algarve of Portugal: Anyone buying rental property for summer holidays should head to the Algarve. This region gives impressive rental yields, but research local markets and prices carefully because there are already many rental apartments and villas. Otherwise, daily life in this part of Portugal is top-notch, with a unique bus system around the Algarve and outside towns. The Lagos district in the western Algarve has risen in popularity over ten years. But other popular places include Alcoutim, Tavira, Loule, Albufeira, and Vilamoura. Lastly, Algarve is definitely for golfing fans in Portugal.

Cascais: Sitting west of Lisbon, Cascais, famed for an expensive marina, presents another worthy choice for prices. Homebuyers pay higher fees for coastal properties with fantastic sea views, but local real estate markets do luxury homes with style and finesse. Cascais sits an hour from Lisbon, so ideal for those buying in Portugal who want all city benefits but don’t want to be in the heart. Overall, Cascais offers an upmarket lifestyle, international city schools for families, and vibrant real estate markets.

Buying in Coimbra: Dating from Roman times, the aqueduct is just one example of this region’s fine architectural gems. Coimbra boasts of Europe’s oldest university, and the old town part on the Rio Modego banks, with colourful properties, is a travel delight. Coimbra isn’t just about visiting history, though, because it blends traditional with new.

The Silver Coast: Offering lower property prices than the Algarve but still with the European coastal lifestyle. The area has a typical sun, sea and sand lifestyle yet is a short drive to major cities and airports. For an established community, look at property in Caldas da Rainha. In addition, the Silver Coast, a surfing hotspot, promotes community and cultural events throughout the year. Popular areas to buy property are Aveiro, Nazare, and Peniche.

Property Investment in Alentejo: Seaside Alentejo, excels in culinary oils, meats, wines, and cheeses. Separating into the upper and lower areas of Alto and Baixo, fantastic landscape views lead to inland locations with abundant property opportunities. Also, look at Vila Nova de Milfontes, Portalegre and Marvao or consider Mertola, for peace during off-seasons. Evora offers medieval vibes, and produce attracts food lovers.

Real Estate in Braga : Portugal: Belonging to Minho, Braga is another suitable destination to buy property in Portugal. Well known for its university, budget house hunters, and buy-to-let property landlords like Braga. The market has some well-priced apartments and houses for sale. Enjoy Portugal’s extensive Geres mountain range 15 minutes drive away. With around 2,500 hours of sunshine annually, Braga is a worthy contender for property for sale.

biggest mistakes when moving to portugal

3: How to Buy Property in Portugal

Fisco Number: Everyone buying property in Portugal needs a fisco number issued by the local tax office. Alternatively, you automatically receive one if you open a Portuguese bank account. We recommend opening a bank account for the purchasing process and handling bills and upkeep of the property after receiving the title deeds.

Foreign Currency: As well as deciding your final budget for property, use a foreign exchange company like Wise. These companies offer better transfer fees and better exchange rates because the property purchase is made in euros.

Finding Property in Portugal: To start your property search, browse our apartments and villas for sale in Portugal. Each listing contains location, home features and why that property stands out. There are also contact details to arrange viewings. Alternatively, call us today and let us know your budget and property requirements, and we can send various homes for sale in Portugal via email. Then, when you find a property, we convey your offer to the seller and start the buying process with contracts and a deposit.

Lawyer and Notary in Portugal: Your lawyer in Portugal will arrange house surveys to check that the property is in good condition. They also negotiate contracts for the notary in Portugal, who cross-check the property with the land registry. Once both parties have signed the property documents, our next step is to obtain title deeds and register the property. Also, factor in lawyers and notary fees into your budget.

Property Payments and Extra Costs: A buying deposit must be paid when signing contracts, and a final payment date is also agreed upon. The most significant tax to pay when buying property in Portugal is Imposto Municipal Sobre Transmissoes (IMT). If you live in your new home, you don’t pay this tax on the first 92,407 euros. However, you pay 1% on the first 92,407 euros for holiday homes. After that, any higher property value climbs to 8% but also remember 0.8% stamp duty and land registry fees.

Buy with Portuguese Mortgages: If you want to purchase a property in Portugal with a mortgage, Portuguese banks lend money on either a repayment or interest-free mortgage basis. Due to legal market conditions, you could need a 25% deposit to apply for a mortgage. If buying with a mortgage, factor in the additional fees, like legal administration, document survey, appraisal, and registering the mortgage.

4: Buying Rental Property in Portugal

You might consider buying property in Portugal to rent out, which is an attractive option because some areas present high rental yields. As with any property investment, buyers need creative marketing skills and good management. Non residents must legally pay 28% income tax, and can deduct running and business expenses, but mortgages are not included.

5: Build a Villa in Portugal

There is another option: buy land with permission and then build your villa instead of buying property in Portugal. Town halls issue building licences for land, and records are freely available. Always ask to see the constructor’s portfolio and visit any examples of their work. This is not a time to cut costs but opt for Portugal’s builders who provide quality work. When the villa is complete, the builder is responsible for snagging, minor problems for a year, and structural issues for five years.

About Us and Buying in Portugal

We are Spot Blue, an international real estate agent who prides ourselves on professional services. If you have any more questions about this guide or want advice, call us today and chat with an agent about whether to buy property in Portugal.

property in the algarve portugal

About Natalie

Natalie is a dedicated real estate professional currently working at Spot Blue International Property. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding global properties.

Properties For Sale in Portugal