Golden Visas hit 3 Billion Euros

April 25th, 2017   •   Portugal Golden Visa, Schengen Travel   •   Comments Off on Golden Visas hit 3 Billion Euros   

SEF Statistics- March17The Portuguese Golden Visa programme has always been a firm favourite since it was released back in 2012 and the latest figures from SEF, the immigration authorities, confirm this. A record breaking 3 billion euros has now been generated from investment via the Golden Visa scheme and there has been a total of 7,896 family residency visa’s granted so far.

2016 saw the busiest year to date with a total of 2,344 golden visa’s issued. But 2017 is set to see significantly higher figures with an impressive 1,259 visas being issued in just the first quarter alone.

The Golden Visa programme in Portugal has always been a popular choice for investors looking to secure EU residency rights via real estate investment. A major draw of this programme is the opportunity to apply for citizenship after 6 years, without the need to reside in the country for long periods on time. Like any EU residency visa scheme, the benefit of visa free travel throughout the Schengen zone is a huge advantage to many.

We urge anybody who is considering this visa programme to contact one of our expert consultants today. La Vida can assist with the whole process from A to Z, from providing initial advice, sourcing a property and processing the application itself through one of our specialist legal partners.

Golden Visa Property Surge in Portugal

February 15th, 2017   •   Economy, Portugal Golden Visa, Property, Real Estate   •   Comments Off on Golden Visa Property Surge in Portugal   

Portugal-House-Price-Index-ChartAccording to Portugal’s National Institution of Statistics, a recent report shows that in the third quarter of 2016, house prices had risen by 7.6% compared to the previous year, with a growth of  1.3%  just from Q2- Q3 of 2016 alone.

In the period of July- September 2016, Portugal saw an impressive 31,535 property transactions; a 15.8% increase compared to the same period in the previous year. These sales generated a total value of €3.6 billion! The area responsible for the largest proportion of sales was Lisbon, accounting for 34% of the whole country’s property purchases.

The market has been steadily growing since the economic crisis back in 2012/13, and property prices have shown significant signs of growth in the past few years. Since Q1 of 2013 we are now looking a total property price increase close to 14%. There does not seem to be any sign of these rises slowing down either, with an average appreciation rate of around 4-5% per annum.

The Golden Visa Scheme is certainly one of the major contributing factors for these price increases, as Portugal has seen a great boost in their economy since the introduction of residency visa programme back in Oct 2012. The visa programme remains strong, and is still one of our most popular schemes for those looking for a flexible residency scheme in Europe with the opportunity to apply for citizenship after just 6 years. For more details on this programme please contact our experts.

 

Portugal Golden Visa Numbers Exceed 2015

July 12th, 2016   •   Portugal Golden Visa   •   Comments Off on Portugal Golden Visa Numbers Exceed 2015   
portugal-golden-visa-statistics-2016

Portugal Golden Visa Statistics

The number of Portuguese Golden Visas granted this year has already exceeded the total issued in the whole of 2015.

That’s according to official figures issued by the immigration authorities in Portugal, SEF.

In total 821 Golden Visas have been approved so far in the six month period up to 30th June 2016. That’s more than the total for 2015 as a whole.

Golden Visa Delays 2015

The 2015 figures took a hit when the government temporarily postponed the programme in mid 2015 while they put new procedures and rules in place to avoid a repeat of the visa issuing fraud that saw the resignation of the then Minister of Internal Affairs, Miguel Macedo. New rules were introduced by September 2015 and visa application processing started again. Investments and visits made by applicants never stopped throughout this period. It was just that the processing of subsequent applications was delayed while new procedures were introduced.

New Fastrack Processing in 2016

By early 2016 a new fast-track procedure was introduced whereby clients submitting their full documentation could be processed for a golden visa in under 3 months. La Vida clients who have invested this year have already benefited from this accelerated golden visa application process.

Record Year for Golden Visas

This year, 2016, looks set to break the previous record of 2014 when a total of 1526 golden visas were issued by SEF. To date 94% of all golden residence permit investments have been into real estate, the remaining 6% into venture capital funded investments or job creation. The programme has so far introduced 2.2 billion Euros in inward investment for Portugal since its launch in 2012.

Most Popular Golden Visa Programme in Europe

Portugal remains the most popular programme for residency investment in Europe. A combination of low cost investment (€500,000), certainty regarding real estate ownership with 100% retained by the investor and no government donation along with a minimum stake of just two weeks every two years and the possibility of citizenship make it Europe’s most successful golden visa programme. Read more on the benefits.

International Buyers see Golden Visa Gains

April 15th, 2016   •   Economy, Portugal Golden Visa, Real Estate   •   Comments Off on International Buyers see Golden Visa Gains   
View of Avenida de Liberdade

Avenida de Liberdade, Lisbon.

International investors who moved early for the golden visa in Portugal are now looking at real estate gains of over 10%. Those who bought early in the programme in 2012 will have seen average price rises of 10.2% in the last 3 years according to house price data released by the government.

While this no doubt is great news for our existing investors, those still considering Portugal for the residency visa offered through real estate investment are advised to act quickly.

Prices in Portugal and the capital Lisbon are not just rising but accelerating. The average rise in property prices over the last 3 years has been 3.4%. However prices in the last 12 months have risen 5.1% and are expected to at least continue this trend in the coming year.

That means anyone considering a property purchase is likely to pay at least €25,000 more for their investment in a year’s time if they invest at the minimum requirement of €500,000.

The trend in prices is backed up by our own practical experience as real estate agents. We are seeing rising construction in prime areas such as Chiado and Avenida de Liberdade in central Lisbon. Developers however are starting to hold back on releasing projects, preferring to complete developments before marketing them, safe in the knowledge that prices are likely to be higher.

The demand at €500,000 and above is fueling faster price growth for prime residential property. Over 2,000 international investors each year are entering Portugal for residential real estate on the back of the golden visa programme.

La Vida has seen strong demand for recent projects in Lisbon.  Centrally located close to Avenida de Liberdade we have a brand new renovation of 90 apartments that have just been released off plan offering arguably one of the best real estate investments in Lisbon currently. Contact for brochure. Likewise in the prestigious area of  Chiado where we have a development of 37 apartments with views over the city and Targus river.

Outside the capital we have a new resort development in Cascais, 30 minutes from the city, released April 2016. This is built to the same quality and standards as the luxury development we offer on the Algarve which has proven popular with investors attracted to its 5% rental guarantee.

For advice and further information on our projects please call or email our real estate consultants or complete your details here.

Clarification on Portugal Golden Visa Limit

October 30th, 2015   •   Investment, Investor Visa, Portugal, Portugal Golden Visa, Real Estate   •   Comments Off on Clarification on Portugal Golden Visa Limit   

A revision of rules for the golden visa in Portugal has left many potential applicants confused as to the rules and a great deal of misleading literature posted on the web suggesting the Portuguese golden visa limit has been reduced.

The qualifying real estate investment level for the golden visa in Portugal is €500,000. Earlier this summer the Portuguese government introduced a new investment level of €350,000 for certain categories of real estate.

The law states the following: “Acquisition of immovable assets, the construction of which has been completed, at least, 30 years ago or located in an area of urban regeneration and execution of refurbishment works in the acquired immovable assets…equal to or above 350 thousand euros;”

The point here is that even though this new option applies, it only applies to property that is over 30 years old or located in an urban regeneration area. It involves the execution of refurbishment works. This is an important aspect.

To qualify for the golden visa under such an investment requires the necessary permissions for renovation work on the building. Such permissions and payments to contractors all need to be done legally and of course within the tax structure so the necessary paperwork, proofs and payments are fully in order. To undertake such a project would mean employing project managers and the necessary architects. The applicant would have to have all the licences in place prior to any application being submitted which will of course delay any application for the visa. To mitigate any risk it is vital to ensure that any such property would qualify within this category. Clients would need to ensure they build sufficient time into their schedule to take care of all these additional aspects.

Clients visiting to invest €500,000 in a location such as Lisbon can usually complete the necessary tasks within a few days, accompanied by ourselves and our lawyers in a methodical, established and time proven manner. The alternative investment of €350,000 will require far more time and hands on management. Golden Visa applicants should be wary of companies offering such management for a fee and in particular remain conscious of the scope for overpaying for assets requiring reconstruction without the necessary independent professional advice from architects and surveyors. For any international client not residing in Portugal and trying to manage from a distance it can be problematic, time consuming and expensive.

The €350,000 is reduced by a further 20% to €280,000 for renovation in low density, less developed areas of the country. This naturally does not apply to the cities or the more populated coastal regions creating issues for any future rental income potential.

Changes to Golden Visa Program in Portugal

April 15th, 2015   •   Portugal Golden Visa   •   no comments   

The Portuguese government has introduced some changes to the application procedure for the golden visa.

The changes follow the scandal that erupted in November 2014 when police detained 11 officials suspected of corruption in administering the golden visa program.

The new rules imply that the biometrics will have to be done only after the initial residency permit is approved. This means that clients coming to Portugal to view real estate first may need to make a second trip to do the biometrics. However we are able to agree with the Immigration Services that clients provide the biometrics beforehand if they submit a request explaining that their stay in Portugal is short or that it will be very difficult for them to return to Portugal a second time.

As before and in accordance with the terms of the law, it is possible to extend the residency to parents that are dependent. In this respect, it should be noted that it is necessary to provide evidence of the financial dependency of the parents. However, it has been now clarified that the evidence of the financial dependency is only required for those parents that are under 66 years of age. As a result, for parents with 66 years or more it is not mandatory to provide evidence of financial dependency.

The Portuguese Immigration services have reversed their initial decision regarding the residency for dependent family members over 18 year of age. Children over 18 will continue to qualify if they are dependent and studying.

New rules were also implemented in relation to the documentation to be presented and all documentation submitted must be either in Portuguese or translated into Portuguese (documents in English are no longer accepted). This will imply that whenever the clients send documents for attestation in one of the Portuguese Embassies/Consulates, they should also request for the consular services to undertake a certified translation of the documents into Portuguese.

This new requirement applies to any type of documents presented for example insurance policies, letters from universities and bank statements.

Please contact our office for more details.