Real estate
June 13, 2024
Reading Time: 4 min

What property to buy in Portugal since 2022 to get a residence permit

Portugal golden visa conditions relating to real estate have been changed since 2022. Now investors can’t buy residential properties in popular urban areas like Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve, and coastal towns like Setubal.

Elena Ruda
Elena Ruda

Explained the new rules for buying property under the Portugal Golden Visa

Portugal golden visa: rules for buying property since 2022

What property to buy in Portugal since 2022 to get a residence permit

The changes are contained in the legislative decree of February 12, 2021, No. 14/2021 of the Government of Portugal.

Portugal Golden Visa is no longer available for property purchase

The options involving investments in real estate were cancelled on October 2nd, 2023. However, investors can still get Portugal Golden Visas: learn more about the options that are currently accessible.

Where to purchase residential property to get a Portugal Golden Visa

Since 2022, participants in the Portugal residence permit program can buy residential property:

  • in the Azores and Madeira;

  • in the interior regions of the country.

Due to high-density changes, the interior areas do not include the major cities of Lisbon and Porto, Portugal’s coastal and resort regions. A complete list of internal regions is in the annex to the decree of July 13 No. 208/2017.

Map of municipalities of Portugal: where you can and cannot buy residential property to participate in the residence permit program by investment

The changes concern the most demanded real estate to obtain a Portugal golden visa. For example, you can no longer buy apartments in Lisbon and Porto or villas in the resort and coastal areas, such as Cascais, Setúbal and Faro.

Rules for buying commercial property in Portugal to get a Golden Visa

Commercial real estate is available for buying in any region, including Lisbon, Porto and resort towns such as Cascais. Investors can purchase both new properties and old commercial real estate for renovation.

How much to invest in Portuguese real estate

Minimum property investment. To obtain a Portugal residency, investors choose one of two ways:

  • from €500,000 — new or resale properties under 30 years old and not requiring renovation;

  • from €350,000 — properties older than 30 years old for renovation.

If the property is located in a region with low density, then the minimum real estate investment amount is reduced by 20%. In this case, objects for restoration should cost €280,000, the others — €400,000.

Areas with low density are regions with fewer than 100 people per square kilometre or where GDP per capita is less than 75% of the national average.

To fulfil the minimum transaction amount condition, the investor can buy one or more real estate objects. But you can’t combine options. For example, all properties must be under renovation.

Additional expenses. When buying property in Portugal, the investor also pays the property transfer tax and stamp duty.

The tax rate depends on the transaction amount and where the object is located. In mainland Portugal, properties worth up to €92,407 are not taxed; in the Azores and Madeira — up to €115,509.

Costs when buying property in Portugal

Costs

Amount of costs

Property Transfer Tax or Imposto Municipal sobre Transmissões (IMT)

0 to 8% of the property price

Stamp duty

0,8% of the property price

Registration of ownership

€250

Change an owner in the utility bill

~€200

Real estate purchase procedure

1. Getting NIF. First of all, the investor gets registered as a Portuguese taxpayer. To do this, he needs to contact any branch of the tax service in Portugal and get a unique nine-digit number.

NIF presence does not oblige the investor to pay taxes in Portugal. But without NIF, for example, you cannot open an account in a Portuguese bank. You will also need a tax number for any major transactions, including when paying for the real estate purchase.

2. An account in a Portuguese bank is needed for non-cash payments to purchase real estate. In the future, the account can be used for settlements under the residence permit program, paying for utilities and receiving payments from tenants.

3. The reservation agreement guarantees that the object is withdrawn from sale and assigned to the investor. In this case, the buyer pays 10% of the transaction amount.

4. The property transfer tax must be paid after the conclusion of the preliminary contract for the sale of real estate but not less than three days before the final transaction.

5. The contract for the sale of real estate is concluded in the presence of a notary. He certifies signatures and copies of the agreement, which he then sends to the tax office and the Land Registry to register the new owner. The investor receives a registration certificate and a house book.

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Portugal

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Portugal

What investors get after buying property in Portugal

Residence permit of a country — a member of the European Union. Buyers of Portuguese real estate can obtain a Portugal golden visa if they fulfil the conditions of the investment program.

Portugal residents have the right to live, study, work and do business in the country without restrictions. It is not necessary to live permanently in Portugal: spending at least seven days a year in the country is enough. After five years of maintaining resident status, investors can apply for Portugal citizenship.

Visa-free travel within the Schengen Area. The Portuguese residence permit card replaces the Schengen visa: you can freely travel around the region. It allows staying in any country of the Schengen agreement for up to 90 days in 6 months.

Tax optimisation. If an investor spends 183 days in Portugal in a year and becomes a tax resident of the country, he will be able to apply for a preferential status — Non‑Habitual Resident. The status exempts from paying taxes on world income and establishes a flat rate of taxes on income from work and retiree payments.

High-quality European education for children. Four Portuguese universities are ranked among the top 500 universities globally for quality of education and the top 300 for employment. QS World University Rankings give this assessment. For citizens and residents of the country, higher education is free.

Liquid asset and passive income. 87% of investors chose to purchase real estate to participate in the residence permit program in 2021. The liquidity of Portuguese objects explains the demand for the option.

Real estate prices in Portugal are growing annually by an average of 7%. The most expensive real estate is in Lisbon, where a square metre costs €4,898 when buying a house. At the same time, real estate prices in the interior regions grow by no more than 5% per year, and in some regions, they do not grow at all.

Participants of the residence permit program by investment must own real estate for at least five years. At this time, they can rent out objects and receive income from 3 to 7% per annum. After five years, investors can sell real estate and return the invested money with the benefit of rising prices for objects.

Long-term residency. Investors must renew their residence permit cards every two years to maintain Portugal’s golden visa status. You need to collect the same documents as when applying for a golden visa the first time and submit biometrics.

Investment changes in other Portugal Golden Visa options

Investors can get Portugal golden visa by other investment options. Four of them were also changed since 2022.

The two less popular of the seven investment options stay the same — supporting culture and art cost €250,000 and creating 10 new jobs in a Portuguese company.

How the minimum investment requirements have changed

Option

Before January 1, 2022

After January 1, 2022

Purchase of units in an investment fund

€350,000

€500,000

Capital transfer

€1000,000

€1,500,000

Investment in research project

€350,000

€500,000

Business investment with creation of 10 jobs

€350,000

€500,000

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Will you obtain a residence permit in Portugal?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain a residence permit in Portugal?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is buying property in Portugal a good investment?

    Yes, 87% of investors chose to purchase real estate to participate in the residence permit program in 2021. The liquidity of Portuguese objects explains the demand for the option.

    Real estate prices in Portugal are growing annually by an average of 7%. The most expensive real estate is in Lisbon, where a square meter costs €4,898 when buying a house. At the same time, real estate prices in the interior regions grow by no more than 5% per year, and in some regions, they do not grow at all.

  • Is the Portugal Golden Visa program ending?

    The Portugal Golden visa program is not closing. However, some requirements have been changed: for example, minimal investment sums increased for some options.

  • How long can you stay in Portugal if you own a property?

    If an investor gets Portugal golden visa by real estate purchase, there are no limits on staying in the country.

    By 2022, participants in the Portugal residence permit program can buy residential property:

    • in the Azores and Madeira;

    • in the interior regions of the country.

  • Do you get residency if you buy property in Portugal?

    Yes, if you participate in Portugal’s golden visa program.

    The minimum investment to participate:

    • €350,000 — purchase of real estate built over 30 years ago or located in renovation areas. If the object is also located in a sparsely populated area, its cost can start from €280,000.

    • €500,000  — purchase of newer residential an commercial property in Portugal. €400,000 if the object is less than 30 years old and located in a sparsely populated area.

    If the property is located in a region with low density, then the minimum real estate investment amount is reduced by 20%. In this case, objects for restoration should cost €280,000, the others — €400,000.

  • Can you get a Portuguese passport if you buy a property?

    No. There is no Portugal citizenship program by investment. But after five years of residence permit investor and his family members can apply for Portugal citizenship.

  • What is considered a low-density area in Portugal?

    Areas with low density are defined as regions with fewer than 100 people per square kilometre or where GDP per capita is less than 75% of the national average.

  • In which Portugal region can I buy commercial real estate?

    Commercial real estate is available for buying in any region of the country, including Lisbon, Porto and resort towns such as Cascais. Investors can purchase both new properties and old commercial real estate for renovation.

  • Is Algarve a low-density area?

    Several areas in Algarve are now suitable for low-density routes: Castro Marim, Vila do Bispo, Monchique, Alcoutim, and Aljezur, and even some parishes of Loulé and Tavira.

  • Are Madeira and Coimbra low-density areas for the golden visa?

    No, they are not. If you buy property in Madeira or Coimbra, you will not get a 20% discount.

  • Is Aljezur a low-density town?

    Yes. Aljezur is situated in the Algarve. Its population is approximately 6000 people in an area of 323,50 km². It means 18 people per 1 km², and an area is considered low-density if there are less than 100 people per 1 km².