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The French rush to Portugal is confirmed

We know the artists or sportsmen who go into exile in Belgium or Switzerland. From now on, Portugal must be added to the list.

The French are now the leading foreign investors in Portuguese stone, downgrading for the second year in a row, the British and the Chinese. Thus nearly 30 % of properties purchased by non-Portuguese were acquired by French people in 2017, according to the association of Portuguese real estate professionals Apemip. They are especially attracted to Lisbon and the Algarve region in the south of the country.

In four years, the number of French people living in Portugal has more than quintupled to 50,000 (up from a few thousand in 2013), including 80% retirees, according to the Franco-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFP). "There are about a quarter of foreign buyers in Portuguese real estate today, says Cécile Goncalves, director of the real estate agency Maison au Portugal, which is certainly an important but not insane share. But it is true that prices have started to rise since the implementation of this tax measure and the arrival of new residents. However, they are still measured, as Portugal did not experience a speculative bubble in the 2000s like France."

Climate, safety and quality of life

In addition to the climate, safety and quality of life, it is in particular the tax measures passed in Portugal in January 2013 that continue to attract foreign buyers. For example, thanks to the RNH (non-habitual resident) status, retired expatriates are exempt from taxes for ten years, provided they spend at least 183 days per year there and have not been a tax resident for the past five years.

On average, French people invest between 200,000 and 250,000 euros in the purchase of a home. At this price, you can get a nice house of 100 to 150 m², close to the sea and the city center. Homes costing between 300 and 350,000 euros are also in high demand. And for a budget between 750,000 and one million euros, you can acquire a luxurious residence of 300 m² on a plot of 600 to 1200 m², with a swimming pool, close to the sea and a golf course.

Retirees are wanted...

This is a very attractive measure that is aimed at both wealthy retirees - the country has no IFI (tax on real estate wealth) or inheritance tax - and the most modest, whose purchasing power is multiplied by about 35 % compared to France. This includes 80 % of private sector retirees, but also liberal professions (entrepreneurs, technicians, architects, engineers, artists, health professionals, etc.), whose RNH status allows them to be taxed at only 20 % on their income generated and received in Portugal.

Regarding the taxation of inheritance, free transfers made within the framework of a death or a donation are exempt from stamp duty. This applies to descendants or ascendants and married persons. However, this exemption does not apply to real estate located in Portugal.

And that's not all! For the richest, and for 500,000 euros of investment in real estate - or 1 million euros in a company with the promise of creating 10 jobs - Lisbon issues a residence permit that opens the right to nationality five years later.


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