Housing markets in Portugal’s beachside cities are fast rebounding from the 2007-08 property crash as more wealthy people are being attracted to the beautiful coastline than ever.

The opportunity to easily obtain a residency permit through the Global Visa Program - along with the luxury living and stunning coast the nation has to offer – has led to an increasing number of wealthy buyers purchasing beachside homes in Portugal, particularly near its capital Lisbon.

A large number of residents in Lisbon are renovating their properties, encouraged by government grants, which has led to a massive tourism boom. Foreign nationals are snapping up retirement homes and vacation properties, causing real estate prices to rise steeply.

"When we started to see an increase in demand (after the financial crisis), it began with foreigners,” says Ricardo Sousa, CEO of real estate agents Century 21 Portugal. “This latest demographic wave of international investors very much wants to live in Lisbon. The French were the ones who originally used to get on the plane to spend weekends in Lisbon but now demand is becoming more and more diversified and the profile is shifting.”

Investors with half a million euros or above are looking at the city centre and its historical heart, as well as the Expo area, which is very popular with Asian investors and there is a lot of land.

Real estate agencies estimate that 25% of the property transactions involve foreigners. The Chiado, Principe Real, Baixa, Santos, Alfama and Bairro Alto districts are popular destinations among French buyers.

An increasing number of buyers from Brazil, Turkey, Britain and South Africa are also snapping up properties in Lisbon. The country’s year-round climate, the world’s best destinations for golf, and surfing, vast empty beaches and secure living are some of the major attractions for foreign nationals in Portugal.

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