Over the last few years, the Lisbon real estate market transformed itself from down-at-heel to vibrant. In a city where high youth unemployment made itself painfully felt in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), Lisbon property landscape has undergone a renaissance. Almost every street appears to have a building covered in scaffolding as home owners and businesses renovate historic properties, encouraged by government grants. A dynamic startup scene is also starting to flourish.
While Portugal has long been a popular place to live with foreign investors, particularly retirees, Portugal's tax reforms in 2009 have put the icing on the cake. And more and more of those foreign investors are heading to Lisbon, where property prices rose by 4.9% in the year to November 2017, according to Global Property Guide. Prices per square foot have now risen to €1400 ($1707.79) according to real estate agent Century 21 Portugal.
Sofia Rodrigues Nunes, Head of Real Estate and Planning at Gómez-Acebo & Pombo Abogados Portugal agrees that foreign demand, which she estimates accounts for one-quarter of property transactions, is not showing any signs of slowing. The French in particular are snapping up Lisbon apartments for sale in the Chiado, Principe Real, Baixa, Santos, Alfama and Bairro Alto districts. "They look for old palaces and charming buildings, mostly in the historic areas of Lisbon to renovate and convert into luxurious apartments and charismatic shops or hotels which they sell mainly to the French market.
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