Lisbon the capital, and up-and-coming Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal, as well as beautiful Cascais in the heart of the Portuguese Riviera, is currently the hotspots for South Africans investing in property in order to acquire EU citizenship via Portugal’s Golden Visa Programme.
A minimum investment of €500 000 affords them visa-free travel in all 26 countries in the Schengen zone and enables them to live and work in any of the EU countries.
Says Chris Immelman, who heads up Pam Golding International: “It’s not surprising that Lisbon features strongly on the radar of such investors, as according to the Emerging Trends in Europe 2019 report, it is currently the top-rated city in Europe for overall investment and development prospects in 2019, having leapfrogged 10 places to number one.
“Ranked ahead of Berlin, Dublin, Madrid, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, dynamic Lisbon is considered one of the smaller newcomers to the Top 10, vying with the larger, tried and tested markets in terms of these criteria, as well as ‘quality of life’ and ‘leadership’.”
Coupled with this, the report also cites the fact that Portugal’s economy is growing healthily, with Lisbon now an international destination for companies, investors and tourists.
Adds Immelman: “Since we began marketing property in Portugal just a few years ago, we have concluded real estate transactions with close to 300 South Africans who have taken up this opportunity at a total value of approximately €150 million, with Lisbon and Porto the most popular locations.
“Over the past few months, there’s definitely been an uptick in enquiries and sales, mainly for properties in the price band between €500 000 and €1 million in order to meet the minimum investment criteria.
“However, in special circumstances, the entry level may be lowered to €350 000 for investment in refurbished units in renovated buildings of at least 30 years in historically significant locations earmarked as urban regeneration areas. For example, Hotel Belas Artes in the historic centre of Porto, a Historic Site conversion into a boutique hotel, and The Rebello Luxury Hotel Apartments - also in Porto, where construction commences in October this year (2019).
“The bulk of our South African investors in projects such as these are from the major centres, as well as in the Boland region in the Western Cape. Apart from all the benefits of a Golden Visa, investors also enjoy rental returns of approximately 4% gross per annum. This compares very favourably with other European cities – with Lisbon the best performing city in Europe over the past three years and still with some upside in the next few years, albeit with slightly lower growth.”
Pam Golding International’s latest real estate investment to qualify for a Golden Visa and potential citizenship in Portugal is The Emporium in Downtown Porto, located in the beautiful tree-lined Sá da Bandera Street, steps away from Bolhão market and in easy reach of the city centre and all amenities. Another appealing feature of this neighbourhood is its proximity to other popular areas like Aliados, Santa Catarina and Clérigos, right in the heart of the Downtown action. Combining modern design with classical architecture, and with exceptional views of the famous Nossa Senhora da Boa Hora Chapel, this building has 23 one to four-bedroom apartments with outdoor areas, priced from €330 000.
Designed by architect José Porto, who embraced Art Deco architecture, this iconic 1940s building has been converted into a small luxury condominium of unique residences. Residents enjoy a private garage and 800sqm private garden. Within walking distance are shops, restaurants, a market and several hospitals. Home to several colleges and universities and well connected via subway lines A-F, this vibrant area is sought after for its modern architecture and neighbourhood feel.