From 2014 on, Portugal started to recover from the not so good phase that it went through. In fact, following the 2008 international financial crisis, the Portuguese economy further contracted and the intervention of the International Monetary Fund was necessary in order to stabilize the country’s finances.
The economic recovery effort was marked by the imposition of strict austerity measures, along with the adoption of important procedures by the government to attract foreign investment, such as the new designation of ‘non-habitual resident’ and the issuance of ‘golden visas’. While the first measure covers fiscal benefits extending over a ten-year period, during which retirement pensions are tax exempt, the second one, the ‘golden visas’ system, requires the application of a determined, established by law, investment value, that allows international investors not belonging to the European Union to obtain a permanent resident authorization to live in Portugal and the possibility of unrestricted travelling throughout the Schengen Area.
The adopted measures played an important leverage role in increasing both foreign investment and the number of new construction projects, as well as generating a noticeable boom in the number of tourists visiting Portugal. Data from the Portuguese Statistics Institute reveal that in 2018, 8.2% of all real estate sales completed in Portugal were to non-residents, corresponding to 13% of the total transacted value. The increase in sales of properties to non-residents was around 14.5% in terms of total numbers, corresponding to 22.2% of its total value. It is also estimated that just in 2018, the Gross Value Added generated by tourism grew 8% in nominal terms, following an increase of 17.3% in 2017, accounting for an 8% margin of the Portuguese economy Gross Value Added.
Article in a Bestguide and Porta da Frente partnership