The shortage of prime real estate in and around Lisbon has been well documented and is being accentuated by a significant increase in demand. Most properties in this range are acquired with equity, with little leverage being used. While prices are high by Portuguese standards, they remain relatively accessible for international buyers, especially when coupled with the high quality of life Portugal offers at a relatively affordable cost. A "modest" home or apartment in prime San Francisco, for example, when sold, can cover the acquisition of a higher quality property in Portugal and leave significant change in one's pocket for lifestyle or savings.
In the last three months, we have received a record number of enquiries for properties in areas between Belém and Cascais due to their proximity to the beaches and international schools. These are not Golden Visa buyers, but rather families moving here, establishing roots, businesses, employing locals and truly calling Portugal home. This is positive as the multiple revenue streams these families create for the state are significant. American buyers are, of course, common, but it is the general English-speaking world where demand seems to be growing, and it is becoming increasingly uncommon to deal with investors from Australia, Canada, and even New Zealand. With the high number of French, British, South African, Australian, and New Zealand families moving here, perhaps Portugal could field a solid rugby team in a few years' time?
The same chronic undersupply in relation to demand is evident in the rental market. According to Idealista, at the moment, between Carcavelos and Cascais, there are about 300 properties for rent, and we consider that less than 25% of them to be of a high standard. It is not uncommon to see properties fetching up to 30% more than their initial asking rent as potential tenants try to outbid one another. This applies to prime properties in prime locations. The lack of quality inventory once again plays as significant a role as the undeniable demand.
Therefore, any investor or fund targeting high-end prime real estate assets would be well placed as market conditions are unlikely to change any time soon. Portugal is often seen as a safe harbour in a storm, and should turbulent times arrive, the attractiveness of Portugal really stands out.
Maia International focuses on high-end real estate sales and rentals. We serve international investors as well as national investors across the country.
Luiz Felipe Maia
Founder of Maia International Properties