The Algarve is set for a Golden Visa boom. This is the belief of real estate agencies following the government’s decision to take the already-saturated areas of Greater Lisbon and Porto ‘out of the equation’.
Socialist parliamentary bench leader Ana Catarina Mendes told a press conference on Friday that the regime that has seen foreign investment pour into the country since 2012 will now be limited to areas of the ‘interior and autonomous regions of Madeira and Azores’.
There was no mention of the Algarve in her statement, but the real estate sector is certain it remains open to golden visa investors.
“This is great news for the Algarve and Madeira,” said one of the market leaders. “Remember, the vast majority of Golden Visa buyers do not intend to actually live in Portugal. They just spend the minimum required time here and rent out for max investment return.
“These buyers will now turn to the Algarve and Madeira – the only other two places in the country that can offer yields at a similar level to Lisbon and Porto.
“What’s more, here in the Algarve this will benefit mostly resort properties, so it will not have a negative impact causing overdemand for residential property like it did in Lisbon.
The government’s decision to start limiting the scope of the regime – which has been slammed as an open door to corrupt money – has been long in coming but is likely to be accepted when a vote is taken next month in parliament.
Criticism of the way the regime has pushed up property prices – to the extent that Lisbon and Porto are effectively ‘no go areas’ to Portuguese nationals – has been every bit as vociferous as warnings over the risk that it can be used for money-laundering.
Ms Mendes said the way forwards now is to dynamise ‘poorer regions’ and so “contribute to greater territorial cohesion”.