Portuguese Pull


Real estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal has reported a growing trend of buyers from the US and Canada investing in property in Portugal. In 2019, 17% of those who bought through the company were from the US/Canada. That proportion rose to 31% in 2020 and jumped higher – to 68% – in 2021.

The increase in buyers is mirrored by an increase in holidaymakers from the US. The strong dollar has combined with a growing appreciation of all things Portuguese, resulting in a record number of Americans visiting the Iberian country this summer. In July 2022, US tourists accounted for 7.6% of all those visiting Portugal, according to the country’s National Statistics Institute (INE). The 183,000 US visitors that month represented a rise of 35.9% compared to July 2019.

For those looking to purchase a home, Ideal Homes Portugal can help in obtaining 1.8 percent and fixed 3.3 percent mortgage rates for Americans on its real estate properties. It’s a tempting offer, given the dramatic reduction in the cost of property for American buyers. According to Ideal Homes Portugal’s CEO, Chris White, a property costing €500,000 is now around $90,000 cheaper than it was a year ago, due to the growth in strength of the dollar.

The €500,000 mark is the threshold for Portugal’s Golden Visa scheme, which grants residency in return for investment. According to Ideal Homes Portugal’s figures for the first half of 2022, the average sold price for its properties stood at €556,516 – comfortably above the Golden Visa threshold.

Chris White, Chairman & Founder, Ideal Homes Portugal commented: “Buying a property that delivers eligibility for residency is an attractive proposition. It becomes even more so when you factor in low mortgage rates and exceptional value for money given exchange rate movements over the past year. Add in the flexibility to work from home that many families are now enjoying and the case for owning and enjoying a home in Portugal is certainly a compelling one.”

Many of the Americans and Canadians buying homes in Portugal are doing so in order to use their properties as primary or secondary residences. Others are buying homes with the intention of renting them out. Properties in the Algarve, in particular, can command significant rental income during the peak tourist season and even during the shoulder season.

This one-bedroom apartment with communal pool near the beach in Lagos, for example, has a rental simulation of €1,500 per week during the peak summer season (01 July - 15 September) and of €1,250 per week from 1-30 June and 16-30 September. Rental income throughout the rest of the year is projected to be between €800 and €1,000 per week.

Demand from US and Canadian buyers for Ideal Homes Portugal’s properties remains strong in 2022. To date this year, 44% of buyers are from the US and/or Canada. The company expects that proportion to increase before the end of the year, as buyers seek to take advantage of the current 1.8% and 3.3% mortgage rates.


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