Life in the Algarve: The Video Series
Today we released the first in a series of videos looking at what life is like in the Algarve. Over the next few months, we will be releasing several more videos from cities across the region, to provide you with some insight into life in the south of Portugal. We decided to put together this series to provide those looking at coming over to the Algarve, and potentially wanting to purchase property here, with more information about each area. Hopefully, these videos will help you decide which parts of the Algarve will suit you the best if you’re not too sure where to start looking. Even if you’re not wanting to purchase property in the area, we hope that you enjoy learning more about different places in Portugal. In the video today we are taking a look around the city of Lagos. We share a little bit about the history of the city and take a wander around the old town and the city’s beaches. Lagos is a charming city with a lot to offer, so it’s well worth having a look at the video and exploring the city with us. Stay tuned for more videos in the series and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want any more information about properties here, or life in Portugal in general. Enjoy today’s video and we’d love to hear your feedback if you’d like to leave us a comment. Check out the first video here.
Thinking About Portugal for 2022?
If you’ve been feeling the pull towards Portugal recently, you’re not alone. According to the provisional results from the 2021 census, Portugal’s foreign population has increased by 40% since 2011. The Algarve and Lisbon area have the highest number of foreign residents but the number of foreign citizens in other areas of Portugal, including in more remote locations, is also on the rise. With the foreign population looking to increase further in 2022, let’s look at some of the main reasons more people are choosing to call Portugal home. Mediterranean Climate Portugal has a mild year-round climate and boasts more than 300 days of sunshine each year. Despite being a small country, the weather can vary quite significantly depending on where you are. The Algarve and Alentejo offer the warmest, driest climates with the north offering slightly cooler temperatures throughout the year. The Atlantic coastline helps moderate the weather as well, providing a nice breeze during the summer months and bringing the temperature up in the winter thanks to the heat stored over the warmer months. Over 900km of Coastline To accompany its sunny climate, Portugal is home to some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches. There are over 360 beaches that been awarded the European Blue Flag, widely considered to be the gold standard for beaches. In 2020 and 2021, the Algarve was voted as the leading beach destination in Europe. Whether you enjoy sunbathing, waterspouts or just a long walk in the sand or up on the cliffs there are a variety of beaches to enjoy in Portugal. It really is a wonderful place to be for those who love to be close to the ocean. Not only do you have the mainland of Portugal to enjoy, but the islands of the Azores and Madeira are beautiful places to explore with fantastic beaches. No matter where you are in Portugal you’ll never find yourself more than a few hours from the coast. Europe’s Historical Treasure Portugal is Europe’s oldest nation, and has a vast history. Its culture has been influenced by the array of different groups that have settled in the country, from across the globe. Portugal has 25 sites that are classified as world heritage sites including monuments and historic city centres. Whilst Portugal’s cities hold plenty of cultural sites, the smaller towns and villages are wonderful to explore and full of charm as well. As you move through Portugal, you’ll notice the significant differences in the appearance and architecture across the country. The north is Romanesque, and houses plenty of historical monuments among its varied and rugged landscape. The central region also has many historical monuments among a lush interior and home to the ancient city of Coimbra. In the south of Portugal, the influence of the Arab rule is still very evident in its architecture and the historic monuments in the region. Buying Property In comparison to other European countries, the price of property in Portugal is quite affordable, especially in Lisbon compared to other capitals across Europe. Whilst property prices have risen, and are expected to continue rising, purchasing property in Portugal is often more attainable than in other areas of Europe. There’s Something For Everyone Historically, Portugal has been a popular choice for retirees. Its climate, friendly culture and laidback way of life is a big pull for those retiring. Under the non habitual tax regime, pensions are taxed at a flat rate of 10%, which can be a big benefit for those who move over. Non habitual resident tax regime offers tax benefits to foreign citizens who come and reside in Portugal. The extent of the tax benefits depend on your individual financial situation but there are advantages to applying for the regime for just about anyone. The tax breaks of foreign pensions were one of the regimes big selling points, and even though the situation has changed, there are still many benefits both to those who are retired and those still working. It’s not just retirees that are coming over to Portugal, young families and digital nomads are also starting to make the move. The way of life, tax benefits, access to public services, education and visa free travel throughout the Schengen zone are all factors that are encouraging a growing number of foreign citizens to Portugal. Citizenship after 5 Years One of the biggest benefits to obtaining Portuguese residency is the speed at which you can obtain full citizenship if you desire. Portugal is among the EU countries that offer the fastest route to citizenship, and compared with many other countries the process is fairly simple. You have to maintain residency in Portugal for five years before you can apply for citizenship and take a test to show sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language and demonstrate active ties to the national community. Portugal also allows dual citizenship meaning you can retain citizenship in your home country, which isn’t always the case in other countries. An EU passport offers many benefits including the right to travel, live, work and study freely throughout the European Union, without restriction. Thinking about making the move in 2022? If you are one of the many thinking about taking the leap and moving to Portugal this year, then know there are plenty of others thinking the same as you. If you’d like to find out more about Portugal and what you can buy here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can have a browse through the current properties we have here.
Construction Costs in Portugal up by 8.5% in November 2021
The trend of construction costs accelerating remains, mainly due to the cost of materials. In November 2021 alone, the costs of building new housing rose 8.5%, compared to the same period in 2020, and accelerated by 1.2% compared to the rate observed in October. According to the New Housing Construction Cost Index (ICCHN) released by the INE, the price of materials showed an increase, of 9.4%, up from 8.9% in October, and the cost of labor in Portugal rose 7.3%, up by 5.2% from the previous month. On a quartly basis, new housing construction costs rose 1.6%. The cost of materials rose 0.8% compared to the previous month, and labour costs rose by 2.8% concluding that, for example in October 2021, labour costs contributed 2.3% to the year-on-year change in the HNCC, with the materials component contributing 5.1%. Source: Vidaimobiliaria
Christmas Traditions in Portugal
Portugal is a country with deep-rooted traditions and its Christmas traditions are no exception. If you’ve spent time in Portugal you will notice how strong the family values are here and Christmas celebrations reflect this, being mostly close-knit, family affairs. As a Catholic country, many of the Christmas traditions have their roots in the Catholic religion, and the religious importance of this period can be seen across the country. Many of the festive celebrations have been passed down over generations, but like a lot of countries, Portugal has also adopted traditions from across the world. Here are some of the ways in which Portugal celebrates the festive season and some of the things you’re likely to see over the Christmas period. Main Christmas Celebrations Christmas Eve is a particularly important event in Portugal. On the 24th of December, families gather to celebrate and share dinner together. This meal is known as the Consoada. It usually consists of bacalhau (salt cod) with potatoes, eggs, vegetables and is sometimes accompanied by boiled octopus. Many families also attend Missa do Galo, or midnight mass. Gifts are usually exchanged on Christmas eve as well, with some choosing to do so after dinner and others waiting until after midnight. Often the leftovers from the Consoada are used the next day to prepare the dish Roupa Velha, which translates to “old clothes”. The leftover bacalhau, vegetables and egg are fried in garlic and oil and served for lunch, or as a starter before the main meal. It’s a long-held tradition to abstain from meat on Christmas Eve, instead opting to eat meat dishes like turkey, pork or lamb on Christmas Day. The meat on Christmas Day is roasted and served with potatoes and vegetables. Festive Treats Something you will see pop up in stores and bakeries across the country at Christmas time is Bolo Rei or “King Cake”. It’s traditionally eaten on Christmas day and January 6th, to celebrate Dia de Reis (Three Kings Day). The recipe for Bolo Rei was derived from the French Gâteau des Rois and was brought to Portugal during the 19th century. This cake has a dough that’s similar to brioche, and it’s filled with plenty of dried fruit, with crystallized fruit cuts as toppings. It’s meant to symbolise the gifts from the three kings, with the crystallised fruits representing myrrh, the scent from spices representing frankincense and the golden crust symbolising gold. For those that aren’t fond of ultra-sweet cakes, Bolo Rainha, or “Queen Cake”, is also a popular choice. Bolo Rainha is made using the same recipe but without the crystallised fruit and with more almonds and walnuts. Other popular festive treats include Rabanadas, which are similar to French toast, and are sometimes made with Port wine. Sonhos and Filhós are also seen a lot over the Christmas period. These are small doughnuts covered in sugar and cinnamon and can also be made with pumpkin. Filhós are larger and flatter versions of Sonhos. Nativity Scenes or Presépios Nativity scenes are displayed in so many different places in Portugal in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Some are small and understated, and others are huge scenes set up in the street for passersby to enjoy. There are also live nativity scenes in many parts of the country. In fact, Europe’s largest live nativity scene is held in the village of Priscos in Braga. The stage covers 30,000 square meters, and there are more than 90 sets and 600 extras. Christmas Lights Each year, Lisbon lights up its streets with more than two million bulbs across 210 kilometres. One of the most famous displays is in Praça do Comércio, where there is a large Christmas tree put up each year. In Porto, more than 80 locations around the city are lit up at Christmas, including Porto’s Botanical Garden. Whilst the bigger cities put on some incredible Christmas displays, many smaller towns put a tremendous amount of effort into their Christmas lights and decorations, so you can see towns and cities all over the country light up from the end of November. During the festive season, Christmas markets pop up across the country where you can find stalls selling jewellery, clothing, crafts and ornaments. Madeiros In the north and centre of Portugal there are many towns and villages that light bonfires at midnight on Christmas Eve, or in the days before. These fires burn throughout the night, sometimes even into the New Year. This is part of an old tradition, where wood used to be cut on December 7th and transported the following day into the centre of the village. This tradition symbolises the triumph of light over darkness and the thought is that the longer the fire burns, the better the New Year will be. Bananeiro One of the more unusual Christmas traditions is held in the city of Braga. Three decades ago, the owner of the “Casa das Bananas”, Manuel Rio, wanted to attract more customers to the banana warehouse. He set up a small stall where he would offer glasses of Muscat and when customers wanted something to eat alongside their drinks, they'd be offered a banana. The owner’s son, Jorge Rio, then began his own tradition where on Christmas eve, he’d organise a small gathering where friends and customers would drink Muscat wine and eat bananas before the Christmas Eve meal. This tradition grew and grew over the years until people from all over the town would come to “Bananeiro” to meet with friends and family on Christmas Eve. This tradition is still strong in Braga today. Are you Spending Christmas in Portugal? The festive season is a wonderful time to be in Portugal, and even though the weather might be milder than many of those reading this might be used to, the country is still brimming with Christmas spirit.
Lisbon is one of the 20 best cities in the world to reside as a foreigner!
Lisbon is in the 20 best cities in the world to reside as a foreigner! Lisbon stands out for its climate, the friendliness of the Portuguese, the ease of adaptation to the local culture and its cost of living. Lisbon is thus part of the list of the 20 best city in the world for expatriate foreigners, occupying the 18th place of this elite list according to the ranking "Expat City Ranking 2021", internations. In this analysis, thousands of expatriates were interviewed who answered 12,400 questions about various factors such as quality and cost of living, housing, finances, ease of making friends or welcoming them in the country in which they decided to live. The list is led by Kuala Lumpur, Malaga and Dubai, followed by Sydney, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh, Prague, Mexico City, Basel or Madrid in 10th place. At the end of the list comes Rome, in 57th place, Milan and Johannesburg, with poor scores in the rates of life at work or quality of life. Lisbon was the leader of this list in 2020, and has now fallen to 18th place. The main factors were the fall in the safety and policy indicator to 15th place and the quality of life to 12th place, but the biggest factor was the fall to 26th place in housing and 29th in health and environmental issues. All these factors have been getting worse in the last 12 months which is easily explained by the lack of will ingness and capacity for firm policies in these areas, both at the municipal level and at the government level. However, we are still above average when it comes to the people Portuguese with 84% of respondents saying it is easy to adapt to Portuguese culture and its people with 69% to highlight the friendliness of the locals. Source: "Expat City Ranking 2021"
Capital gains from the sale of non-residents will be taxed at 50% and no longer 100% as usual
Capital gains from the sale of non-residents will be taxed at 50% and no longer 100% as usual This guidance will apply to pending legal proceedings until the law is amended. The Tax and Customs Authority (AT) decided to tax the real estate capital gains of non-residents by 50% and not 100%, as provided for in the IRS Code. This will be the rule to follow in pending legal proceedings until the law is amended. The guidance comes to mitigate the problems that have arisen between taxpayers and tA on the differences in taxation of real estate capital gains between residents and non-residents. A non-resident citizen who sells a property in Portugal currently has the capital gains taxed at 100% and an autonomous IRS rate of 28%, while residents have the capital gains taxed at 50% and the amount is included in the remaining income, to which the progressive tax rates are applied. The Supreme Administrative Court held that this is a restriction on the movement of capital, prohibited by the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU [European Union], to which the Portuguese has been obliged. Source: Tax Authority and Real Estate Life
Covid-19: Seven rules and twelve details that have changed in our everyday lives from 1 December 2021
The Portuguese Government has imposed a set of new measures to contain the pandemic, which came into force at midnight on Wednesday 1 December. Here's what you need to know - including all the rules and details for those staying in Portugal, and also for those leaving the country (or returning to it) in this period. 7 NEW MEASURES IN FORCE 1. GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS Regular testing Teleworking 2. CALAMITY Calamity situation declared (as of 1 December) 3. MASKS Compulsory in closed spaces (in bars and discos only compulsory for employees) and all enclosures, unless exempt, by the Directorate General of Health. 4. DIGITAL CERTIFICATE Compulsory in the access to: Restaurants Tourist establishments and accommodation Events with marked seats Gymnasiums 5. TESTING Compulsory negative test (even for those who are vaccinated) for: Visits to nursing homes Visits to patients in health care establishments Large events without assigned seats or in improvised venues and sports grounds Clubs and bars 6. BORDERS Negative test compulsory for all flights arriving in Portugal Strongly increased penalties for airlines 7. CONTACT WEEK FROM 2 TO 9 JANUARY 2022 Teleworking compulsory Classes start again on 10 January Nightclub closures 12 MEASURES THAT WERE NOT KNOWN UNTIL RECENTLY BUT ARE PART OF THE MEASURES UNTIL 21 MARCH 2022 The rules of the restrictions to curb the fifth wave of the pandemic are in Council of Ministers Resolution No. 157/2021, and are in place until 11.59pm on 20 March 2022. 1. RESTRICTIONS UNTIL MARCH 20 The Portuguese Government thus regains the state of calamity the power to determine mandatory confinement for patients with Covid-19, those infected with SARS-CoV-2 and close contacts of those infected with SARS-CoV-2. 2. TELEWORK "RECOMMENDED" AND MANDATORY IN JANUARY Telework is recommended, throughout the national territory, whenever it is possible to work remotely, and is mandatory in the first week of January 2022. 3. TERRACES (AND TRIPS TO THE TOILET OR FOR PAYMENT) EXEMPT FROM TEST OR CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENTS The resolution exempts the presentation of a certificate or proof of having taken a test, in restaurants and similar establishments, when in open terraces as well as for the mere entry of these citizens inside the establishment for the purpose of access to common services, namely access to toilet facilities and payment systems. 4. CASINOS AND BINGO HALLS FOLLOW THE RULE The requirement of a negative test or the presentation of a digital certificate of vaccination is also applied in casinos, bingo halls or similar establishments. 5. EXCLUDED MASSES AND PLACES OF WORSHIP They are exempted from the requirement of negative certificate or test. 6. EVENTS EXCLUDED? DGS WILL SAY WHICH ONES In the future, the DGS (general health department) will define the number of participants that constitute "large events" - which will require a test or certificate, "as well as the number of participants up to which, in events of the nature referred to earlier, the presentation of a Digital Certificate will not be required". 7. DGS WILL CARRY OUT "RISK ASSESSMENTS" OF VARIOUS EVENTS "The events, including sports events, whether held indoors, outdoors or outside fixed venues, may be held in accordance with the specific guidelines of the DGS as long as they are preceded by a risk assessment by the same. 8. CONGRESSES, WEDDINGS AND CORPORATE EVENTS WITHOUT RISK ASSESSMENT In the same sentiment, there is a rule excluding the need for a reduction of capacity, without the need for prior risk assessment. This applies to several types of events. Thus, events of a family nature are excluded, including weddings and christenings, religious celebrations, events of a corporate nature held in spaces suitable for that purpose, including conference halls, tourist establishments, venues suitable for trade fairs, and cultural events in venues of a fixed nature. 9. NURSING HOMES AND HEALTH SERVICES WITH REDOUBLED CARE The Government recovers, in this state of calamity, several cares to be applied for the protection of residents in residential structures for the elderly, continued care units and other structures and residential responses dedicated to children, young people and people with disabilities". These are: Visits can only be made to users upon negative test or the presentation of Covid Digital Certificate, in the modalities of test or recovery certificates - beware, the vaccination certificate by itself is not enough. 10. GYMS (YES, ONLY WITH A COVID TEST OR CERTIFICATE) The Government also enforces mandatory negative test or vaccination certificate for access to gyms and fitness centres at the time of check-in or entry to the establishments. 11. UNDER-12S EXEMPT FROM TESTING Under 12 year olds are exempt from the obligation to present a Covid Digital Certificate and to present proof of a negative test result or a test carried out. 12. TESTS, CERTIFICATE AND HIGH VIGILANCE AT AIRPORTS (WITH ONE EXCEPTION) Until 9 January 2022 passengers will be required to present a test or EU Digital Certificate in the form of a test or recovery certificate. Therefore, the vaccination certificate alone is not enough. But there are more details to note: National citizens and foreign citizens with legal residence in mainland territory without proof of test will have to perform upon arrival from national territory and before entering mainland territory, at their own cost rapid antigen test (TRAg); Minors under 12 years of age are excluded from these norms; Passengers coming from the Azores and Madeira to the Portuguese mainland are exempt from presenting a negative test for covid-19 before boarding; Third country nationals without legal residence in national territory who board without the test will be refused entry into national territory"; The Government has the power to determine, by order, that passengers on flights from countries considered to be at risk, will comply with a prophylactic isolation period of 14 days, at home or at a place indicated by the health authorities. IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING BY PLANE AS OF 1ST DECEMBER, KEEP THESE INDICATIONS IN MIND A guide with questions and answers for those making quick trips (return trip within 24 hours), for business, tourism or any other reason. To whom does the obligation to present the covid test to enter Portugal apply? All passengers, regardless of nationality - including Portuguese - and where they come from, are obliged from 1 December to submit a negative covid test to enter Portugal. This applies even to people who are already vaccinated or recovered. Are children also covered by this rule? Only children under 12 years of age are excluded from the requirement to have a negative covid test to travel. If they are over 12 years old, the same rule applies as for adults. Who does this control? The airlines are obliged to control the negative test of all passengers travelling to Portugal, which must be done at check-in - under penalty of a fine of 20 thousand euros per passenger in case of infraction. In the limit can be suspended the flight license to operate in Portugal. Does the obligation to present covid tests also apply to those entering Madeira and the Azores? No, the measures announced by the Government apply to the entire territory of mainland Portugal. The autonomous regions are responsible for their own rules. But all passengers travelling from Madeira or the Azores to mainland Portugal, Portuguese or foreigners, must present a negative test when checking in in order to board (in the opposite direction of the journey, the rules decreed by the autonomous regions are followed). Do those travelling to Portugal, and checking in at a Portuguese airport have to present a negative test according to the new rules? No, this depends on the rules adopted by the countries you are travelling too. The scope of the announced measures is limited to passengers arriving in Portugal and that is why the control of the test must be done during check-in process at the destination from where you are departing. Which tests are valid in order to travel? The tests for these purposes can be PCR type (performed in a laboratory) or antigen type (performed in a pharmacy). The PCR tests can be done up to 72 hours before departure and the antigen tests up to 48 hours. Where can people do the tests in order to travel? The tests have to be done at the destination from where you are leaving (unless the test done on departure from Portugal is still valid). Does the testing requirement apply only to those entering by air? No, it applies to all people entering the national territory, whether by air, sea or land. Do cruise passengers, disembarking or on stopovers, also have to present a test? Yes, the rule applies to all those who enter the national territory. In the case of those coming from Spain by car, do they also have to have a valid test? Yes, although in this case, as the land borders are open, this control is already random. But at any moment the security authorities can ask for the document. Because of the new rules, will there be more checkpoints at airports for those who arrive from abroad? According to what the Portuguese Government has announced, the controls at airports will be reinforced, even resorting to private security companies to ensure that the test control is done on all passengers and not randomly. NOTE 1 People who have recovered from covid in the past six months are exempted from testing negative for covid-19 to enter Portugal, under restrictions in place since Wednesday. Those recovered from covid in a period of less than six months usually show false positives in tests, hence this measure. In these cases, and according to the new Portuguese travel rule, it is sufficient for recovered persons to present the respective digital certificate of recovery when checking in, provided that the period in the document is not more than six months. Another exception contemplated in this rule of mandatory tests to enter Portugal is cross-border workers, taking into account that there are many Portuguese who on a base cross the border with Spain to go to work (or vice versa). They also do not need to test negative. NOTE 2 If you are traveling on TAP, check this address - it has up-to-date information on restrictions and conditions: https://www.flytap.com/pt-pt/alertas-e-informacoes . Source: Article from the Expresso Semanário newspaper of 1 December
The Residential Sector will Lead Global Real Estate Investment
According to results from several studies published worldwide in recent weeks, by 2030, one-third of all global direct investment in real estate will occur within the residential sector, rising from 25% in 2020 and 14% in 2010. Growth in the residential sector is based on capital flows, as well as favourable market conditions as a result of the current demographic situation, economic situation and the low-interest rate policy, or even negative, as for example in Germany. These are all factors that will drive expansion in established markets and will also accelerate growth in emerging or secondary markets, such as Portugal. Residential investment will rival traditional commercial real estate asset classes, including offices, over the next decade as capital allocations change and portfolios become more diversified. This increase in capital flows is mainly concentrated in the conventional multifamily or build-to-rent segments, as investors increasingly recognise the favourable return profile, growth opportunities and rental fundamentals offered by these specific residential assets. In 2020 alone, the "Pandemic year", approximately $200 billion was invested globally in the residential sector by international investors, and it is anticipated that investor appetite will increase significantly. The cash-flow stability and operational resilience of the residential sector, particularly through cycles and periods of economic uncertainty, are recognised by investors and developers and as such, investors and developers will stay and expand beyond the established institutional markets. Investors are watching the consistency of their investment returns in the residential sector, and this performance may well challenge the office sector's investment position. In the previous economic cycle, annual growth in investment volumes reached 17%, significantly higher than in office and retail. It is of utmost importance for all players in this segment to keep the following considerations in mind: there is a housing shortage in every country, supply does not cover demand and thus it is a monumental challenge for many markets. On the other hand, it is a simple rule of the market: where there is demand and lack of supply, the product will always have a buyer and prices will not go down, but up. New challenges such as migration and changing ways of living and population movement are a key consideration in housing demand. Influenced by the pandemic, many residents have moved from small units in the urban core to spacious accommodation in the suburbs. Long-term trends, however, continue to favour urban conglomerates within cities. In the past, it was mostly the younger generations who looked for rental housing. Today this is no longer the case due to lack of purchasing power among other factors, meaning renting is the principal option for an increasing number of people. Millennials will be complemented by the comparatively large z-generation, underlining sustained medium and long term growth opportunities. Access to housing is increasingly difficult as it is not matched by the evolution of wages and productivity, rising raw material costs and skilled labour. This makes it increasingly unaffordable for a majority of the world's population to buy their own homes and therefore to rent. National laws, taxes and regulations have a brutal impact on the real estate market and in particular on the residential segment. If there is no profit, you can't buy or rent, if there is no security in the collection of the rent, there will be no investment or purchase of the property, if there is no legal security for landlords, they will rather sell than rent. Creating housing is therefore an issue that should be treated with the utmost political sensitivity, and there are very good examples of this worldwide and in Europe. Take, for example, the case of Germany, where private individuals who create housing space for third parties do not pay rent tax and thus manage to maintain rental pri
Web Summit Returned to Lisbon Last Week and Portugal is Back on the Global Stage
On November 1st, Web Summit opened its doors for its 2021 conference in Lisbon. After being held online in 2020, this year’s in-person event was highly anticipated both by its attendees and speakers and the city of Lisbon. Over 42 000 attendees participated in this year’s Web Summit, coming from 128 different countries. There were over 1333 talks across several different stages by 748 speakers, which covered topics such as sustainability, technological advancements, artificial intelligence, healthcare, human rights, and increasing access to technology and education. The event welcomed 1519 startups from various industries, and 872 investors looking to connect with relevant start-ups. After much uncertainty surrounding the event, it was a relief when opening night finally commenced on the 1st of November. Health and safety measures were strictly followed throughout the event, with masks being mandatory inside the venue and negative covid tests or vaccine certificates being required for entry. Women in Tech For the first time in the event’s history, the number of tickets assigned to women was higher than the number assigned to men. There has been significant effort from the event to get more women participating in the event and helping more women entrepreneurs and developers to be represented at the highest levels of tech remains one of the primary goals of the conference’s organisers. The Main Themes of Web Summit 2021 Whilst this year's two main talking points were cryptocurrency and climate change, there was a strong emphasis placed upon the increasing use of artificial intelligence and advances in virtual and augmented reality technology. The role of advancements in virtual reality will have a direct impact on the real estate sector, especially in the area of marketing, remote viewings and renovations. The increasing digitisation of real estate investments and of all aspects of real estate transactions was also evident at the event, where several companies present were focused on helping investors digitise their real estate assets and real estate companies bring their business online, in a more seamless fashion. Web Summit and Portugal’s Startup Scene Web Summit is a hugely important event for the Portuguese economy and each event is thought to generate €300 million through increased income from hotels, restaurants, local accommodation, investment in startups, and 250 Web Summit jobs. It also helps place Portugal and Portuguese companies on a global stage, and encourages investment in Portuguese startups. The startup scene in Portugal has been growing in recent years, particularly the tech startup scene. There is a growing number of startup communities across the country, especially in Porto and Lisbon. Portugal has a high number of science and technology graduates, the majority of which speak English fluently. Property prices are competitive in Lisbon, compared to other European capitals, meaning that it’s often a more affordable option for both residential and office property. The growing startup scene in Portugal is still in its infancy but is unlikely to slow down in the coming years. Portugal consistently ranks highly in terms of innovation, startup culture, as well as for the lifestyle it offers those that make the move here. The number of digital nomads and startup companies making the move to Portugal is also on the rise. It will be interesting to see how things develop over the next few years, and what the stages of Web Summit will hold in 2022.
Foreign Purchases Double in the Housing Sector in Less Than Ten Years
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.
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