The Rising Star of the Portugal Golden Visa Program: 350k Property Investment Option

Updated: February 17, 2020

  • Portugal’s Golden Visa Program still generates most through 500k property investment option.
  • An alternative option is ascending recently, 350k property investment option.

Real Estate Investment Options are the Most Popular among Applicants

Although there are numerous choices for all types of interests from applicants, since the program’s inception, the most popular option has always been the 500k real estate investment option. This option requires a minimum investment of 500,000 euros which can be divided into multiple properties as long as the total amount of investment reaches the 500k limit. No types of real estate are excluded from this process and the investors have the right to do whatever they please with the acquired property. They may choose to rent it out, lease it or use it as their main residence. One extension to this option is that the minimum investment requirement decrease 20 per cent (400,000 euros) if the property is in a low density area designated by the government.

Another real estate investment option, which is recently on the rise, is the 350k option which entitles investors as residents who invest a minimum of 350,000 euros in Portuguese property that is 30 years or older. These properties can be residential or commercial provided that they are in areas of urban renovation. Investors can realize the transaction in multiple properties as long as they exceed the minimum limit of investment. It is expected to have additional 10-12 per cent costs during the purchasing process including legal consultancy costs, notary costs and taxes. In this option, investors may choose to rent out the property. To be able to sell, however, investors are required to complete their 5 year residency and achieve permanent residency.

Comparing the 500K and 350K Options

At first glance, it easily seems more advantageous to purchase a risk-free real estate from the central parts of a large city for more than 500,000 euros. It is true that these investments often promise high returns and great opportunities of profit. In central areas, real estate owners can turn their investments into profit more easily. Moreover, if the property is commercial, larger business activity in city centres is a great benefit of obtaining real estate through the 500k option. Yet, choosing the 350k option immediately cuts 150,000 euros of costs, and this amount can be used for improving the property bought. This difference is mainly due to the risk assessment of the investments. Real estate older than 30 years in an urban renovation area often needs restoration, refurbishment and as the name suggests, renovation. It is often the case that investors make other expenditures on the property bought to be able to turn it into a functional residential or commercial property. However, Portugal has more than enough opportunities within this investment option, too. Through an extensive market research, it is very likely that investors can find profitable real estate options that are in good condition. This is one of the reasons why 350k option is on a sharp rise for the last 3-4 years.

350k Option is on the Rise

In 2016 (and until 2016), more than 90 per cent of the total investor number of Portugal Golden Visa Program have chosen to take advantage of the 500k real estate investment option. However, for the last 3 years, 350k property investment option has been increasingly ascending the ladder in the charts. According to the latest SEF (Portugal Borders and Immigration Service) report which includes the whole calendar year of 2019, the percentage of investors who chose the 500k option has descended from 93 per cent in 2016 all the way down to 76 per cent in 2019. The biggest reason behind this sharp decline is the growing popularity of the 350k option within the same program. While only 1 of every 100 investors chose to take advantage of the 350k option in 2016, last year painted a very different picture where 1 of every 6 investors preferred the 350k option. The statistics of the program’s recent years show that the increasing popularity of the 350k option will continue its trend for a while.

What is Portugal Golden Visa?

Portugal’s Golden Visa Program that started in late 2012 and often named as one of the best residence by investment schemes around the world has several investment options the applicants can take advantage. The program offers applicants who make a substantial investment in the country the chance to obtain permanent residency or Portuguese citizenship. Initially, successful applicants receive a residence permit that is valid for 1 year. After two renewals at the end of the first and the third year, residents can apply for naturalization following their 5 year period of temporary residency in Portugal. During this period, residents must spend a minimum of 7 days per year in Portugal.

Obtaining a Portuguese Golden Visa allows investors to visit Portugal and other EU and Schengen Area countries as they wish. For business people, visa-free travel to and from major business hubs in Europe is essential. Also, Portugal’s advantageous tax schemes are another reason as to why investors prefer Portugal as their second residence. Portugal’s Golden Visa Program allows main applicants to include their families into the application process as dependents. Furthermore, being a resident in Portugal gives the right to live, study, and work in any other EU member state.

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