In 2020, international investors were responsible for 11% of all house purchases made in Portugal, representing a growth of 200% since 2012, in the residential segment of the national market.
In Lisbon, this increase was even more notable and homes purchased by foreigners tripled during this period, this was also seen in Porto.
These figures, regarding the acquisition of property by foreigners, have been taken from the most recent statistical data from the National Statistics Institute (INE). Portugal has once again been honoured with several of the most important International Tourism Awards, and as such is in the international news for its quality of life, its people and its climate. These factors too will have contributed to this increased demand.
Throughout this period, i.e. the decade after the 2010 financial crisis, the main nationalities that have invested, and continue to invest, in Portugal have changed. In 2012, the British led foreign investments, accounting for 23% of all purchases, followed by the French, Germans, Swiss and Angolans.
In 2019, the French became the leading international investors in the Portuguese housing market, accounting for 18% of purchases made by foreigners, followed by the British, Brazilians, Germans and Chinese. This is also partly due to the large participation of the second and third-generation French Luso-descendants, with French nationality, who contributed to this shift in published statistics.
This trend will certainly continue, especially due to the insecurity that exists in markets that compete with Portugal in this segment.
In regards to politics and governance, this situation is presented in the opposite light. Foreigners who read newspapers and watch the news and are confronted with a lot of uncertainty, and a left-wing political game, which doesn’t favour investment and capital.
In Portugal, there are changes in fiscal and labour policies every year, which can send a bad signal to capital and investment. It’s an issue that is already showing signs of influencing the decisions of some investors in segments parallel to housing, such as retail, logistics, offices and industry.
It is of the utmost importance for a country such as Portugal, which relies on tourism and exports, that labour laws and fiscal policy be maintained for a minimum period of one legislature, and not constantly changed to benefit past political ideologies.
This is the only way to guarantee a better future and interest for international and national investment in our country.