Residential tourism and resorts from Portugal presented real estate investment opportunities during a two-day event in Brussels, organised by the Belgian-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and the Portuguese Association of Residential Tourism and Resorts (APR).
1. Investing in Portuguese real estate
The Belgian Portuguese Chamber of Commerce was established in 1938 to facilitate business endeavours between the two countries that had already been historically collaborating since at least the 15th century. They have been organising the annual event to help promote investing in Portuguese real estate for several years, but this year the “2022 Portugal Live it!” marked the first edition after a pandemic enforced break.
This is a great opportunity for you to be in direct contact with some promoters of developments for a unique new lifestyle in a country that is renowned for its diversity, safety, natural wonders and highly hospitable locals.Pedro Fontainhas, Executive Director of the APR
On the first day, Sunday 29 May, participants spent the afternoon at the National Golf Course in Brussels where they took part in a tournament that ended in 17 golf prizes and 2 lucky draw prizes. Since Portugal is the best destination in Europe for golfing, kicking off the event with a golf tournament is only fitting, especially since the two members of the APR who presented their offers each have their own golf courses.
The only Portuguese bank that has an office in Belgium, Caixa General de Depósitos (CGD), was also present at the event. With representation in 19 countries, over 4 continents, CGD is a bridge between foreign people looking to invest in Portugal and local banks. While they do not have the commercial side of a bank, they facilitate the relation between clients abroad and banks in Portugal.
I believe Portugal is the perfect country to live and have a house in. For this reason, we are here to help interested people with all the information and preparation they need to buy a property in Portugal.Sofia Fernandes Carvalho, Director of CGD office in Brussels
2. High demand and limited supply
There is an increasing demand for holiday homes, or second residencies in Portugal and, while on the one hand it is great to attract people from all over the world who enjoy spending time in the country, part of the demand is due to the country’s “golden visa”. There are a few options, but the easiest one is investing as from 280 thousand euros in real estate, depending on the region. This ensures a residence permit which brings the advantage of being able to choose Portugal as a fiscal residency, benefiting a lot of people.
Besides the obvious problem of risking to harbour dangerous people who need a small tax haven, the increasing demand in buying property has led to very high prices, especially in Lisbon, to the point where locals cannot afford to buy a house anymore. Along with the second residence seekers, there are wealthy Portuguese who buy property in Lisbon and transform them into short term rental options like Airbnb.
The dark side of Lisbon’s property boom is that prices have risen so much that it is difficult for a young couple today to afford to buy a house in the city and have to move 20-30km away and face the traffic jams to commute. Despite the prices, everything indicates that it is still an excellent investment to buy a property in Lisbon, as the increase in prices does not seem to slow down.Rui Faria da Cunha, President of the Belgian-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce
To tackle the problem, as of this year, no more Golden Visa’s are awarded for buying a property in Lisbon and Porto and no licenses for short term rentals will be given in some historical neighborhoods of Lisbon.
3. Luxury villas and apartments
On the second day of the event, Monday 30 May, two members of the Portuguese Association of Residential Tourism and Resorts presented the investment opportunities available at their resorts.
You will fall in love. You will fall in love with your new quality of life in Portugal, (…) you will fall in love with living safely, (…) you will fall in love with our climate (…) and, of course, you will fall in love with the Portuguese people.Pedro Fontainhas, Executive Director of the Portuguese Association of Residential Tourism and Resorts
3.1. Royal Óbidos
Built in 2010, the Royal Óbidos Spa & Golf Resort is located in the Óbidos region, on the east coast of Portugal, just one hour north of Lisbon. The area is sometimes called “de belgas” by locals because of the big community of Belgians living there.
The resort encompasses the Evolutee Hotel, which has 36 rooms and 3 suites and 600 real estate product fractions split between isolated houses, villas, residential apartments and tourist apartments, all of which enjoy an ocean view. They offer a few options when it comes to investing.
In 2021 they finished building a series of apartments for investment purposes only, which were all sold out by September. People choosing to buy these, starting at half a million euros, can live in the apartments up to 6 weeks a year, while the hotel manages them the rest of the time. The return investors receive is 5%.
On the other hand, there is also the possibility of buying for living. Currently, 46 villas are under construction and investors can choose to use either the above detailed scheme or live on the property full time. The good thing about them still being in the development phase is that interested buyers can talk with the architects and make adjustments to their own style and taste.
Do not wait until you retire to enjoy your life, enjoy your life from now, for every moment, do not wait any longer to go to Portugal.Carolina Trejo Berber, Royal Óbidos Spa & Golf Resort
To encourage more people living full time on the premise and young families moving in, the resort is also building a school, which will open in January, offering classes in English, French and, of course, Portuguese, for children from 12 to 18 years old.
3.2. Quinta do Lago
The Quinta do Lago Resort is situated in the south of Portugal, in the Algarve region, only 15 minutes away from the airport.
We used to be very popular with retired people, but with the pandemic, young people realised they can still be close to work, but in a more enjoyable environment.Danielle Mota, Quinta do Lago Resort
The resort has 3 main golf courses, two of which were recently renovated and received awards for sustainability. They also have 2 tennis courts and a certified rugby field which teams use for training. There are 13 restaurants in the resort featuring cuisines from all over the world, including a Michelin star restaurant and, of course, a beach bar.
They offer a large variety of options, from houses, townhouses, villas to apartments or even just plots where people can build their own property. Their latest development, One Green Way, which is to be finished in 2024, is a gated community offering superior privacy and exclusivity within the resort especially designed with young families in mind.
For people interesting solely in investing rather than living on the premises, the Wyndham Grand Algarve residences feature contemporary apartments and penthouses located within the grounds of Wyndham Grand Algarve Hotel from which investors receive a 4% return.