Claude Berda, who sold French broadcaster AB Groupe earlier this year, has joined a growing number of French nationals investing in Portugal real estate market as that country’s economy accelerates and property prices rise.
Berda says he began looking into Portuguese real estate after his son Rolland asked him to visit the country two years ago. Since then, he’s bought ten buildings in Lisbon, a resort in the southern Algarve region and 350 hectares of land in Comporta, a beach retreat an hour’s drive from Lisbon. He plans to invest 450 million euros ($490 million) in the purchase and development of these properties before selling them, and he’s seeking bank financing for some projects.
“Portugal is definitely my next big project,” Berda said in an interview in Lisbon. “I’ve spent some time with real estate brokers and they’re looking for properties to sell. They don’t have enough product. The market is very good and strong.”
Portugal’s property market is generating growing interest from the French, which last year overtook British nationals as the biggest foreign property buyers in the country, according to the Portuguese Real Estate Professionals and Brokers Association.
Under Portugal’s so-called non-habitual residence programme, foreign pensioners who come to live in the country may have their pension income exempt from taxes as long as it’s paid from a foreign source. The country is also offering residence permits to non-Europeans who invest more than 500,000 euros in real estate – a so called Golden Visa programme. Both programmes have been a magnet for foreign buyers, including French citizens seeking lower taxes and Chinese seeking a home in Europe.
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