The Recent Transformation of the Lisbon Housing Market

The Recent Transformation of the Lisbon Housing Market

 Do you have a property for sale in Lisbon, Portugal? In Lisbon, property prices are on the rise. This represents a stark contrast with what’s been happening in London, where home prices are actually declining. So why not take a look back the history of the housing market in Lisbon before deciding where to buy or sell property in Lisbon Portugal online?

Lisbon is a very good city for families and a safe one – it has the lowest crime rate among all capital cities in the world. Lisbon is also a lot different from how it was 20 years ago. 20 years ago, Lisbon was an old city, with many parts that were dilapidated and crumbling. It has been completely transformed since then.

 Back then what hurt property development in Lisbon were the strict rent control laws of the government, which did not give anyone any incentive to build new properties or renovate existing properties. As a result there were many apartment complexes in Lisbon that were run down.

Fortunately, things changed in the 2000s with the election of a progressive, business friendly Mayor António Costa, who deregulated the housing market here and completely transformed the city economy.

Rent controls were taken away and there was no need for builders to ask for an extensive list of permissions for building property. Mayor Costa cut taxes such as sales taxes which hit property sales, as well as VAT which was levied on new property developments.

Portugal was hit by an economic crisis in 2012, and the housing market in Lisbon was deeply affected. That was possibly the worst period in Portugal’s recent history, and the country found itself saddled with harsh austerity measures which were the preconditions for the £65bn bailout package from their lenders such as the EU and the IMF.

It was during this time that the Portuguese government came up with the ‘golden visa’ programme. According to this program, foreign investors were given a residence permit for staying Portugal in return for buying properties in the country worth 500,000 EUR.

Many foreigners, especially those from non-EU nations such as China, Turkey and Brazil took advantage of the Portuguese Golden Visa. So far, as per the data put out by the Portuguese government, over 4,500 such golden visas have been given to foreign nationals since the scheme was introduced in 2012.

The Chinese have been the biggest takers of the Golden Visa. Investors from Turkey have not been far behind either. Over $2.5 billion has been invested in Portuguese property through the golden visa scheme since the scheme was launched, including $1 billion last year.  

There is no question that the Golden Visa has worked. The average property prices in Lisbon have gone up by 16% over the last 3 years and by 6% in the last financial year.

 Indeed, there has never been a better time to buy property in Lisbon Portugal online because of the tremendous rental income that can be generated from real estate here, especially with services such as AirBnb.


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