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Lisbon taken by storm by the French

More than any other capital in Europe, it's probably the most popular spot for the French. Just a 2-hour flight from Paris, Lisbon has been absorbing continuous flows of our compatriots in search of a new life or juicy investments over the past two years. Of the 25,000 French people - retirees, expats, investors - who bought in Portugal between 2013 and 2016, the overwhelming majority set their sights on Lisbon apartments.

It has to be said that the Portuguese capital - which many locals already dare to compare to a new Barcelona without blushing - is in full swing. And let's not forget that the sun shines almost all year round. Above all, the city has taken on a whole new look in recent years. Once in total disrepair, its historic center has been undergoing a complete overhaul since the lifting in 2013 of a law that had frozen rents for decades... forcing landlords to abandon the upkeep of their buildings.

In agreement with the municipality, developers are now working to reclaim entire sections of the city. Just stroll down the streets of Baixia or Lapa and you'll see the scale of the work underway. And that's just for starters: according to local developer Stone, which together with marketer Athena Advisers specializes in the renovation of high-end apartments, 4,000 to 5,000 buildings still need to be renovated in the heart of Lisbon.

For the French, who since 2013 have been able to take advantage of fantastic tax gifts offered by the Portuguese government, investment opportunities are legion. All the more so as, despite their rise over the past two years, prices remain attractive in the hyper-centre: expect to pay an average of 3,500 euros per square metre for old, unrenovated property, and between 4,500 and 7,500 euros for renovated property, depending on the district.


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