Portugal: Portugal has launched a new, lower entry level property category, says Chris Immelman, managing director of Pam Golding International.
Previously, access to the country’s Gold Visa Programme, with its Schengen visa and Portuguese residency, was available only with an investment of E500 000 (about R7.3 million) in property.
The benefits of this programme have suddenly become more accessible with the introduction of a new category lowering the entry level to E350 000 in special circumstances.
Nearly 200 South Africans have acquired residence permits since the Golden Visa Programme was introduced in October 2015. Most of them invested in residential property in prime locations such as Lisbon.
In terms of the new plan, Portugal will allow developers to renovate buildings at least 30 years old in historically significant centres earmarked as urban regeneration areas.
“These refurbished units can then be sold for a minimum of E350 000 to foreign investors, who will then enjoy all the advantages of visa-free travel in all 26 countries in the Schengen area, plus the ability to apply for EU citizenship. This affords them the ability to live and work in any of the EU countries,” says Immelman.l Lisbon is catching the eye of international investors. The capital and largest city in Portugal has a low cost of living, flourishing entrepreneurial scene and improving gross domestic product.
Despite the difficulties experienced following the 2008-9 financial crisis, Lisbon is now considered by many to be the “next Berlin”.
The government offers attractive incentives for entrepreneurs and property investors – measures that helped drive house price growth of up to 30% between 2013 and 2016.
Vienna in Austria: It is home to 20 universities, ranked third for most affordable cities by QS Best Student Cities 2016 and rated number three on the innovation cities index. It boasts a 10.5% average property price increase per year over the past five years.
Over the past decade, it has experienced 10.1% population growth, with a 27% increase expected by 2060.
With a 27% housing supply deficit from 2015 to 2017, there is a demand for new housing due to the massive influx of population putting pressure on property prices.
To keep up with population growth, the Austrian city will need 11 000 homes built during this year alone.
Outside Europe: There is strong appetite for property in Chicago. America’s third-largest city is an important financial and technology hub, with 34 Fortune 500 companies based there. Chicago’s residential real estate prices – which are still at pre-crisis levels – recorded growth of 36% in the past five years, with rents rising by 10% from 2016 to 2017.
Initiatives in Portugal saw property prices in Lisbon grow by 30% between 2013 and 2016. Picture: Pixabay