Portuguese authorities have announced that the country’s residence by investment programme will no longer be available. The decision has been pushed by the ongoing housing crisis in the country, as housing prices have soared while Portuguese wages have remained the same.
More specifically, the rental prices have increased by 37 per cent in 2022 alone, making it almost impossible for many citizens to afford to house, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
This situation has pushed the authorities to bring the golden visa to an end and also introduce measures like banning short-term rental licenses in Portugal’s city centres, which aims at increasing Airbnb rentals that have reduced housing stock available to city residents, while also pushing up rents on existing units of residence.
In addition, the government plans on enabling commercial properties to be used for living, without having to obtain a permit. The state also wants to make land available for the development of affordable housing projects.
The authorities have also been discussing a measure that reduces the tax on rental income to 25 per cent, down by three percentage points. At the same time, the idea is to speed up the lengthy licensing processes, which often can take years, by penalizing councils that take too long to grant such licenses.
Among these measures that the Portuguese authorities have introduced, is also the opportunity to pay rent after three months of non-payment, which is expected to strengthen the rental market. The Government will offer an amount of €200 in a bid to support families that spend 35 per cent of their income on housing.
“As for the golden visas already granted, there will only be room for renewal if the houses they have bought are intended for their or their children’s primary residence, or if the property is placed permanently on the rental market,” the Prime Minister has noted.
According to Knight Frank, €1 million in 2018 could get you an apartment of 125 square metres in Lisbon, which made this city the most affordable among top European capitals such as Vienna (51 squares metres), Paris (52.2 square metres), Rome (81.4 square metres), Berlin (90.9 square metres) and Madrid (124.6 square metres).
Data by SEF, the Portuguese Service for Foreigners, reveals that since October 2012, when the golden visa programme was launched, over €6 billion were invested in Portugal through this residence by investment initiative while the total number of people that have benefited from this programme is 11,535 investors and an additional 18,809 family members.
In addition, 920 golden visas were granted for Capital Transfer investors, while 92 per cent of applications, accounting for 10,593, were done through a real estate investment.