A study carried out by APEMIP (Office of Studies of the Association of Real Estate Agents and Real Estate Companies of Portugal) reinforces the idea that foreign investment has been essential for the development of the real estate sector, noting that the biggest investors are the French and the Brazilians.
According to the recently released data by APEMIP, 29% of real estate investment is carried out by the French, with the biggest growth coming from Brazilian investors, which reached 19% this year. The study also revealed that in addition to these nationalities, there are others who invest heavily in real estate in Portugal, with the presence of the British, which is equivalent to 11%; the Chinese, whose investment was 9%; and Angolans who, in 2017, accounted for 7.5% of real estate purchases in Portugal.
Luís Lima, the president of APEMIP is not surprised by these results, considering the number of Brazilians who choose to invest in Portugal, this would be expected due to the political and social instability in their country. In fact, the president considers that in the current year, there will probably be an increase in the number of Brazilian investors in our country.
The Chinese investment gap is quite worrisome according to Luís Lima, who states that there is a need to review the Investment Authorisation procedures for Investment Activities in order to normalise the situation and facilitate the issuance of visas.
Foreigners in Portugal have a strong representation in real estate investment, and in 2017 this idea was strengthened, with 1 in 5 properties being purchased by foreign investors. Within this range, the regions of Lisbon, Porto and Algarve were most favoured with sought after T2 and T3 types of homes.
By 2018, it is expected that there will be a decentralisation of demand by foreign investors, and Luís Lima even believes it is possible that less populous regions may arouse international interest, since they are seen as viable investment alternatives. An example of this is the inner regions of the country, which may be of interest to rural tourism companies.
Considering that 2017 was a year of intense improvement and the results can only be described as highly positive - by a 25% increase in the global sale of properties compared to the previous year - the president of APEMIP seems to remain optimistic for the year 2018 , believing that the upward trend of the real estate sector will remain and the international interest on Portugal will accentuate.
In the eyes of these investors, our country is perceived positively due to its growth in tourism and its top position in the world rankings that awarded the country for its high level of safety, excitement, and the link between low cost of living and high quality of life. France, Brazil, England, South Africa, China and Russia also began to feel the growing attention, which would eventually manifest itself with the real growth of the property sector in 2017 and the percentage of foreign investment that it attracted.
In addition to boosting real estate growth, this demand from foreign investors has also been reflected in a global expansion of the domestic market, thus stimulating the economy and helping to create jobs.
The truth is that in our country, foreigners continue to see the real estate market as a safer investment than the financial market. This is their reason for choosing to purchase real estate for residential or commercial purposes. This trend of investment is also partly due to the fact that, unlike other European countries, Portugal is experiencing a kind of real estate bubble, where, although smaller, rates of return are more concrete and anticipated.
The role of Golden visas in creating this scenario must also be highlighted, although some improvements are still needed, notably in visa issuance and renewal - before reaching its full potential.
An essential part of the growth in the real estate sector in 2017 was the real estate agencies such as Engel & Völkers, who devoted its efforts to ensure the domestic and foreign investors have the best real estate experience.
With more than 40 years in this industry, Engel & Völkers remains a benchmark in the representation of clients seeking to buy or sell luxury properties for residential or commercial purposes.
In Portugal, through its shops and mediators, this agency brings the mastery acquired over the years, guaranteeing the best personalised service and playing an important part in the growth of the sector.