Portugal – International Property Investment Destination of Choice for Singaporeans


Living up to its name as the world’s most expensive city, the property market of Singapore does its best job to live up to that undesirable mantle and housing nightmare for cash-strapped Singaporeans.

Although the recent state of cooling measures put forth by the government have projected a 6-8% drop in private property prices in 2014, life is not a basket of roses for the property owners that will have to endure this negative capital growth despite shelling out egregious sums of money on their investment. Secondly, the profit margins for several private properties are slim and may not be worth the capital one pumps into them.

However, a wily property investor does not merely limit his portfolio to the confines of his own economy when the real estate playground has no borders. Yes, international real estate is a criminally underrated investment prospect that more Singaporeans must look into. Europe has no shortage of hotspots for property investors as numerous markets located there are showing promising signs of recovery in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, especially Portugal.

 What You Need to Know About the Portugal Property Market

Portugal’s property market witnessed an impressive upswing of 1.22% in 2013-14, translating to an average of &#8364 993 (SGD 1,666)per square metre. It was reported to be the first year-on-year hike in rates since Q3 2010.

According to the Fitch Ratings report released in January 2014, Portugal ranks among the top 3 most improved property markets along with UK and Ireland. This economic resurgence can be credited to a combination of government and central bank policy shifts that have made the process of property acquisition easier for foreign investors and resulted in a healthy growth in supply and demand for residential housing.

Finding the Prime Locations to Invest In

Although a majority of Portugal’s districts and municipalities are experiencing a steady resurgence in the property market, there are a few prime locations that are speculated to outshine the rest of the market in terms of price growth. Here are the ones to keep an eye out for:


Scope of Growth

Marinha Grande, Leiria


Figueira da Foz, Coimbra






Penafiel, Porto


Portimão, Faro





  • 9.2%

Castelo Branco


Portalegre, Portalegre


Guimarães, Braga




Aside from the above hotspots, Algarve is another fantastic tourist-frequented destination that offers attractive yields ranging from 3.84% to 4.32%. On the other hand, Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, has steeper property rates, but guarantees steady rental yields ranging from 5.29% to 6.31%.

Portugal as a Residential Prospect

Apart from its obvious potential as an investment destination, Portugal is also a highly attractive place to shift bases to. It holds a modest expenditure price index of 67.4 as per the 2012 UBS Prices and Earnings report that is ranked above cities like Singapore and New York in terms of affordability.

Portugal’s universities and business schools like Nova de Lisboa, Porto and Católica attract top tier talent from across the world and are highly regarded for their elite standards of education across Europe.

Portugal’s transparent and accommodating tax laws for foreign investors make it a hot favourite amongst property market players. The Golden Residence Permit program (GRP) is just the cherry on top for investors outside the European Union (EU) seeking residency in Portugal through acquisition of property under their name.

Under this scheme, the investor must purchase any type of real estate priced at &#8364 500,000 (SGD 838,805) and above. Once a foreign investor qualifies for the five-year visa to Portugal and the Schengen area, and fulfils the necessary stipulations, he can eventually apply for a Portuguese citizenship. Once the residency permit has been issued, investors are required to spend at least seven days in the country in the first year and a minimum of 14 days in subsequent years.

Developed by PGCCI, this scheme is backed by Price Waterhouse Coopers and numerous high profile real estate agents, which means that its credibility is far from suspicious and the applicants will be guided through the GRP programme with utmost professionalism.

Just like stock trading, real estate investment is all about nailing the timing. When you find the right place at the right time, you need to seal the deal before the market prices skyrocket out of your budget.


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