The Charm of Portugal’s Urban Properties

Mon 24 Apr 2017

For the bulk of British buyers, a Portugal property means the golden dunes and golfing greens of the Algarve. But Lisbon’s real estate regeneration in recent years and the growing appeal of Porto as a weekend destination, thanks to cheap flights, is encouraging buyers to contemplate city life instead. 

The Airbnb revolution has also breathed new life into areas of cities that buyers would never have considered before. Lisbon’s Chiado district was in a “dreadful state”, with strict rent controls seeing tenants in situ for life, paying peppercorn rents while the buildings fell into disrepair. 

City life also draws many of the investors who sign up to one of Portugal’s two residency schemes. The Golden Visa scheme – available only to non-EU nationals (which could be handy for Britons in two years’ time) – offers EU visas and eventual passports for all the family in return for a minimum €500,000 property investment.

The other sweetener for foreign Portugal property buyers is the Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) scheme – a lifestyle option with tax perks. Spend at least half the year in Portugal, become a tax resident there and the fiscal benefits include no tax on your pension or investment income for 10 years.

One final thing to remember with city life in this sliver of a country is that you are never far from the coast. For that best-of-both-worlds combination of urban buzz and beautiful beach, here are four Portuguese locations to consider.


For quality of life, value for money and investment potential, Lisbon ranks above world cities including Madrid, San Francisco, Paris and London, according to a recent report by Savills. Its prime prices are still one fifth of London’s and a third of those in Paris, but Lisbon property for sale is poised for recovery and growth – and it offers what Savills calls “a compelling lifestyle story”. 

That lifestyle element spans the decorously historic to the trendily hi-tech. While old trams rattle along colourful cobbled streets, this city rivals Berlin for its cool club scene and has become Europe’s tech start-up capital as host of the huge Web Summit.  

British buyers are among those capitalising on Lisbon’s booming holiday lettings scene, according to Athena Advisers, which says that Airbnb contributed €268 million to Lisbon’s economy last year.

You can read the full article here.

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