WHY INVEST IN LISBON

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So why should you invest in Lisbon? 

It might be easier to ask why not‽

The rising star of Europe, Lisbon is a stunning coastal capital with a magnetic appeal for tourists, ex-pats and investors alike.

Three-time World Travel Awards winner for Best Destination and Best City Break, and a 2020 nominee in five categories, this stunning location boasts an excellent quality of life, bustling tourist trade and a property market which is ripe for investment and rich in incentives. 

From millennials to celebrities, budding entrepreneurs to experienced tycoons, people from all walks of life are falling in love with Lisbon. The city’s abundant opportunities, idyllic scenery and rich culture are attracting incomers in droves. 

Whether you’re looking to start a new life under the sun, embark on a fresh business venture, or simply seeking the perfect place to retire, Lisbon is the ideal location to begin the next incredible chapter of your life.

Read on to find out why investors just like you are choosing Lisbon. 

Lisbon – invest in a city with an incredible quality of life

The safest place in Europe?

Portugal’s scenery, weather and culture all contribute to its widespread tourist appeal. 

But when it comes to safety and security, the country is well ahead of many others in Europe, and in January 2020 it was voted the best place in the world to retire – beating Panama, Spain and Costa Rica to claim the coveted top spot. The report by International Living cited the country’s low cost of living and accessible healthcare as major contributors to the overall quality of life – indeed, its healthcare systems is ranked as the 13th best in Europe by the Euro Health Consumer Index. 

Portugal also boasts some of the lowest crime rates in the world and has been ranked in the Top 5 Most Peaceful Countries for four consecutive years. 

As the nation yields success after success for its residents and guests, its capital is leading the way. The 2020 European Green Capital offers an excellent quality of life alongside a unique culture, stunning scenery and warm hospitality – what’s not to love?

The perfect view

Picture Lisbon in your mind’s eye and you’re probably conjuring up warm seascapes and sunlight bouncing off golden sand. 

This romantic image isn’t far from reality – Lisbon is one of the sunniest cities in Europe, blessed by 2799 hours of sunlight annually across around 300 days and with little rain and no snow. 

But its remarkable coastline isn’t the only place to soak up the rays – the city’s views are more varied than you might think. 

Lisbon is home to several countryside hotspots, including the resort town of Sintra, whose lush verdant hills are a sight to behold. The first site in Europe to hold UNESCO’s Cultural Landscape status, it’s filled with breath-taking greenery perfect for walking explorers.

Lisbon’s inner city is also arresting – alongside its many stunning residential and commercial properties, the city is filled with impressive works of architecture that reflect its incredible history, from the Lisbon Cathedral, which is over 800 years old, to the Oriente Station, a more modern installation.

Plenty to do

With so many natural hotspots and fascinating landmarks, there’s plenty for a curious explorer to do in Lisbon. 

Buildings such as the Sao Domingos Church and Jeronimos Monastery are remarkable not only for their stunning visages, but also for their incredible pasts – both have played significant roles in Lisbon’s history and have survived earthquakes. 

With stunning districts such as Alfama and Bairra Alto, tourists can explore the Lisbon way of life, soaking up local and authentic culture, taking in some Fado music and enjoying classic Portuguese dishes. 

The local cuisine is always enticing, and a quick skim of any restaurant menu reveals why – you’ll typically be tempted by a range of seafood caught on the Lisbon coast, fresh vegetables, delicate pastries and free-flowing wine – in fact, of Portugal’s total of 27 Michelin star restaurants, 8 are located in Lisbon alone!

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Property Investment Opportunities

Lisbon’s property market represents a superb growth opportunity for those looking to profit in the short and long term. 

Whilst appreciating property prices make it a secure choice for the long haul, the city’s vibrant tourist trade is raising commercial demand in a number of industries right now. Amongst these ripe opportnities are holiday rentals – 2019 figures estimated around 5.6 million visitors to the city that year and that’s more than ten tourists per resident! And across the country, tourism accounts for around 15% of the economy. 

It’s for this reason that international property investors are seizing opportunities in the city’s holiday industry, with companies like Airbnb facilitating short-term rentals. 

Lisbon property market facts and figures

A 2019 PWC report identified Lisbon as the European market with the greatest overall prospects for real estate investors, and whilst the city’s tourist sector is soaring ahead of other major European cities such as Barcelona, its investment prospects also offer better value for money than other major capitals on the continent. 

The average price per square metre of a residential property in Lisbon averages at €4000, whilst investors can expect to pay around €12,000 per square metre for prime real estate. Meanwhile in London, the average price per square metre begins at €6,500 and can exceed €20,000 in more prestigious boroughs. Furthermore, investors in Paris can expect the average price per square metre to begin at €10,000 and this figure can be as high as €30,000.

This outstanding potential ROI makes Lisbon an obvious choice for investors seeking value for money along with appreciating prices. 

The right investment for you

The average cost of a night in a Lisbon hotel is around €97. But depending on factors such as location and facilities, some tourists will pay more than €200 per night. 

And whilst Lisbon’s tourist trade drives the demand for accommodation, rentals of this kind are not the only route for investors to accrue profit. 

Commercial properties such as shops, bars and restaurants thrive on the city’s international footfall and in these sectors, as is the case with with accommodation, supply is low and there are always opportunities for new businesses to establish themselves. 

Outside the tourist industry, the country has also become an increasingly popular spot for tech firms starting out, leading to an increased demand for office space, which hit a ten-year high in 2019. Lisbon is an attractive prospect to new businesses due to a strong overall economy, as well as good transport links, reliable broadband connections and networking opportunities – it’s the sixth most popular city for international meetings, according to the ICCA.

Residential property is a popular choice for investors in Lisbon, but with so much happening in this up-and-coming city, it’s by no means the only choice. 

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Where Should You Invest in Lisbon?

Lisbon is a diverse city with much to offer and is home to a number of distinctive neighbourhoods which are popular with residents and tourists alike.

It’s why the city is perfect for explorers – each unique district oozes culture, authenticity and individuality.

You can’t go wrong with a Lisbon investment. But when it comes to choosing the right location for you, there are a few prime spots to be aware of.

From residential regions that attract Portuguese natives flocking to the city, to leading tourist destinations perfect for commercial ventures and holiday rentals, these are just three of the best neighbourhoods to visit in Lisbon:

Baixa

One of the most popular tourist regions, Baixa is a central zone with great connections, it’s easy to travel to and from and is on the doorstep of some incredible sight-seeing opportunities. 

Amongst them is the Avenida de Liberdade. Known to locals as simply Avenida, this famous boulevard was once a park for the Portuguese nobility but transformations over the years have turned it into a luxury shopping zone populated with bars and restaurants, making it the perfect spot for residential and commercial ventures. 

Picturesque and elegant, Baixa is a perfect combination of authentic Lisbon life and vibrant modernity.

Alfama

Alfama is Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhood and home to some of its best-known landmarks, including the Lisbon Cathedral, Castelo de Sao Jorge and the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora. 

Its labyrinthine cobbled streets, stunning views, vibrant local community and bustling markets capture the imaginations of tourists from across the world. 

It presents a number of excellent investment opportunities, including several apartment blocks which are prime for renovation. Expatriates and tourists alike love Alfama, making it the perfect location to invest in short- and long-term rentals.

Marquês de Pombal

Marquês de Pombal is one of the best-connected areas in Lisbon and a busy business and trade hub. Known for its luxury shops and office blocks, it’s the perfect location for commercial ventures of all kinds.  

It’s also a popular residential spot for many workers, due not only to its proximity to offices but also its exceptional transport links that include buses and metro. 

As well as its practical merits, Marquês de Pombal is easy on the eye – its distinctive square borders the Parque Eduardo VII, home of the world’s largest Portuguese flag and the annual Lisbon Book Fair.

Principe Real

Principe Real is one of Lisbon’s trendiest neighbourhoods, and also one of its most diverse both in attractions and population. 

Peppered with 19th century mansions and a number of public parks including Principe Real Gardens, its local art galleries and antique shops make it a unique find. 

And while this region may seem quaint and traditional at first glance, it embraces modernity with its exciting nightlife. Home to a large LGBT community, the area is popular with the under 30s and its clubs and bars offer party-goers a lively and memorable experience.

Chiado

This popular tourist hotspot is a favourite for visitors seeking an authentic taste of Lisbon. Distinctive for its traditional architecture and lively atmosphere, Chiado is one of the city’s most sought-after regions for investors of all kinds. 

Its widespread appeal is down to the variety of the district’s offerings. The Sao Carlos Theatre is a must-see for those looking to take in a little local culture, whilst the shoppers’ haven of Rua Garrett is at the heart of the action in Chiado. Local highlights include Livraria Bertrand, the world’s oldest bookshop which opened in 1732.

As well as its premium shopping opportunities, Chiado is recognised for its many luxury properties which are perfect for holidaymakers and expats alike.

Bairro Alto

Don’t be fooled by its quaint exterior and winding paths – like Principe Real, Bairro Alto is recognised as a major party district in Lisbon, and attracts a younger clientele amongst both locals and tourists. 

But there is something for everyone here, and whilst nightlife is a major attraction, its shops are on the more traditional side. 

And you don’t have to be a party animal to enjoy an evening in Bairro Alto – in fact, it’s one of Lisbon’s top spots for culinary explorers, with a booming restaurant business that offers a wide array of dining options.

The Silver Coast

The Silver Coast stretches from Lisbon to Porto and is perhaps the most popular location for visiting tourists.  

Its stunning seascapes promote the classic Portuguese holiday experience, ideal for sun-bathing, walks on the beach and simply observing a magnificent coastline. 

It is also a prime location for those looking to invest in a property for personal use – breath-taking views and proximity to the inner city make it the perfect spot for a holiday home, or even a peaceful retirement.

With an array of stunning townhouses and cosy yet spacious apartments overlooking breath-taking views, investors in the Silver Coast region will quickly feel at home.

How to Invest in Lisbon Property

We could talk for hours about the incredible opportunities Lisbon has to offer, whether you’re a savvy investor with entrepreneurial ambitions or an expatriate looking at long-term retirement plans. 

But we suspect you’re already sold on this fantastic city and are raring to go! In that case, you’ll need to decide which investment route is right for you. 

Portugal offers a number of incentives to foreign investors in the Portuguese property market. From its tax perks to the country’s Golden Visa scheme, the right opportunity for you is just around the corner. 

Read on to find out how to invest in Lisbon property. 

Tax Incentives

The Portuguese government are eager to help overseas investors get onto the property ladder, and a number of schemes exist to 

One of the most significant is the Non-Habitual Tax Residency program. The scheme supports retirees, as well as professionals and self-employed individuals in a number of industries, by enabling them to earn foreign income and receive overseas and private pensions without taxation in Portugal. 

Investment can be the first step to enrolment in the program, which also offers exemptions from wealth tax and, in some circumstances, inheritance taxes. 

Portugal also offers a number of opportunities for overseas investors looking to establish businesses in the country, making it the perfect location to launch your start-up or expand an existing enterprise. 

Of course, the most significant incentive for international investors in Portugal is the Golden Visa scheme – see below! 

Portugal’s Golden Visa

Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme launched in 2012 to attract foreign investors to the Portuguese property market. 

This fantastic opportunity grants investors the right to live and work in the country, as well as the freedom to travel in and out. The legal minimum required stay per year is just a week, and the visa grants its holder the ability to conduct business freely in the country. 

This route is perfect for those looking to establish a commercial venture or new start-up in the country, and the scheme crosses borders in more ways than one – as Portugal is a member of the European Union, the visa grants its holder the right to live and work in any of the Schengen States. 

Golden Visa holders can also apply for immediate family, including spouses, children and in some case parents, to join them in the country, making it the perfect location to start a new life.

Frequently Asked Questions

We hope this guide to Lisbon investment has told you everything you need to know! 

But if you still have any burning questions, we’ll do our best to answer them here.

If you don’t see your burning question, simply get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help!

Can a foreigner buy a house in Portugal?

Not only are foreign investors able to buy homes in Portugal, they are actively encouraged! 

Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme enables investors from all over the world to live, work and establish businesses in the country.

There are differing levels of investment, from around €350,000 to €500,000. Whether you’re seeking a property for renovation, or a ready-made dream home, we have a wide range of properties for sale just waiting for the right investor. 

Do expats pay taxes in Portugal?

The simplest answer is yes – if you reside in Portugal for more than 183 days per year, you are legally classed as a tax resident and required to pay tax on your income. 

However, the Non-Habitual Tax Residency scheme can provide a number of tax relief benefits. During the first ten years of Non-Habitual Residency, you may enjoy a flat rate of 20% tax on all Portuguese income, and no tax by the Portuguese government on international income.

The scheme offers a number of other tax benefits – to explore these further, check out our guide to Non-Habitual Tax Residency. 

Is Portuguese property a good investment?

At such a turbulent time, many investors are understandably concerned about the future prospects of potential investment locations. 

But in 2020, Portugal’s housing market has remained strong. Figures from September 2020 show that property prices rose 8.12% on Q2, meaning growth this year is not behind its previous figures. 

In spite of the current uncertainties, it appears that Portugal could be one of the strongest economies to invest in right now.

What type of business could I start in Portugal?

Whilst the tourist industry is one of the most lucrative business opportunities in the country, it is not the only route for investors looking to establish trade. 

A 2018 report by Scale-Up Portugal revealed the top five start-up industries by share of total investment, and tech companies overwhelming emerged on top. 

IoT, enterprise software and fintech (financial tech) all ranked, whilst health and marketing were revealed to be major players in the Portuguese start-up industry. However, these industries are by no means saturated, and Lisbon is ranked amongst the best locations in the world for fresh start-ups to find their way. 

Whether you’re carving out a new direction for the next digital innovation, or seeking to capitalise on tourist trade, Portugal is the perfect place to make your mark, and Lisbon at the helm.

Join hundreds of happy investors and live your Lisbon dream!

So What Next For Your Lisbon Property Investment?

If you’re looking to begin your Lisbon adventure, there’s only one thing left to do – get in touch with us today! 

We have extensive experience in helping investors just like you find the perfect property to begin their adventure, and our diverse portfolio offers hundreds of ideal investments to suit your needs.

Don’t wait to explore this incredible opportunity – get the ball rolling on the next chapter of your life.  

Our experts are ready for your call!

and begin your Lisbon Investment journey!

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