Portugal's unprecedented international exposure at the start of the last decade transformed it into a competitive destination for tourists, investors, companies, professionals, students, and residents.



Due to the macroeconomic and political environment at the beginning of the last decade, Portugal was the subject of unprecedented international exposure, which it was able to capitalise, asserting itself as a destination that can compete for tourists, investors, companies and professionals, students and residents, with any other place in the world.

The numbers leave no room for doubt: there are currently[i] 542.200 people of foreign nationality living in Portugal, more than double the 226.700 residing here 20 years ago. Today, they represent 5.2% of the residents in Portugal.

Focusing only on the country as a residential destination, it is interesting to confirm that, in addition to the nominal growth of foreigners residing in Portugal, there was also a surprising expansion in the reasons to purchase a home, as well as in the origin and profile of buyers. Indeed, this sector presented the greatest growth in volume and diversification.

If two decades ago Portugal was an international residential destination chosen above all by Europeans – British, Irish and German -, particularly to enjoy their retirement and concentrated mostly in the Algarve region, today it is a truly worldly country. In recent years, foreigners who purchased a home in Portugal expanded their horizons to Lisbon and Porto, and are today looking towards many of the country’s secondary cities. In the Algarve, the focus is no longer entirely on the central axis. There is eastern and western Algarve, still relatively unexplored. And there is also the Alentejo Coast, with major emphasis on Comporta, which is a national calling card abroad.

These new regions emerge on the tails of new reasons to purchase. Viewing the country as a destination for retirement and to enjoy the sun and the beach are still on the list of preferences but, today, buying a home here is also motivated by settling in this country to work, accompany children in their academic life or invest in a solid real estate asset.

Therefore, we are also seeing buyers from more age groups and an increasing variety of nationalities. Today, the average age of foreign residents in Portugal is 37[ii] and there are between 70 and 80 nationalities actively purchasing homes in Lisbon alone (per year)[iii]. Altogether, Brazilians, French, North Americans, Chinese and British are the biggest buyers, but there are buyers from all over the world. In 2022, foreigners purchased almost 11.000 homes in Portugal, 22% more than four years ago, with a profound shift in the market structure. If before Europeans guaranteed 72% of sales, today they are balanced with non-EU buyers. This subsegment doubled the number of homes purchased in the last four years!

But what do we have to offer?

A mild climate with 3.000 hours of sunshine per year, 943 km of coastline lapped by the Atlantic, premium cuisine and wines. Experiences for every taste and age, stunning natural landscapes and surprising cities, history, authentic heritage and culture. The country’s natural charms are heightened by hospitality, safety, excellent quality of life and an extremely attractive quality-price ratio compared with other European countries, also offering quality and increasingly high standards in education and health. The real estate supply has been an important driver of this country’s attractiveness, with homes of great quality and diversity, and which are highly competitive compared with other European markets, without forgetting the resilience of our real estate as an investment asset. The pandemic and, more recently, the new macroeconomic and monetary conditions have challenged housing sales, but prices remain steadfast. This is an investment with great return and appreciation potential! It pays to invest in housing in our country!

[i] According to Census 2021, do Instituto Nacional de Estatística

[ii] Data from Census 2021

[iii] Data from Confidencial Imolbiliário.

Article publish on Iberian Property Magazine from Setember/october