Property in Portugal

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In some areas of Portugal property prices have yet to catch up with the rest of Europe and, as other countries reach saturation point with foreign buyers snapping up all the best properties, buyers are increasingly looking to purchase property in Portugal. This section is about buying into the Portuguese market and aims to give you some pointers on how to find somewhere to buy, but is by no means a comprehensive guide to buying property in Portugal.

The aim of the page on estate agents in Portugal is to help you identify a reputable agent when you see one, someone who will guide you through the process of locating your perfect property and the initial stages of buying. The page on houses for sale in Portugal aims to outline the characteristics of the main property types available, including apartments, villas, town houses and urbanização developments.

It goes without saying that the process of buying Portuguese property differs from that of any other country, but there are some familiar terms and concepts that can mislead the foreign buyer. To ensure that you are not duped you have to accept the fact that Portugal’s property law, buying process and vocabulary are different to your home system and, even though some aspects seem similar, you should not assume that you understand something unless you have had it explained by a professional advisor who is familiar with both systems. You want to avoid difficult and sometimes costly mistakes from the outset and so approach the process as if you had no prior knowledge of it whatsoever.

Areas in Portugal that are popular with foreign buyers are of course the Algarve, which has a high percentage of ex pats and foreigners with holiday homes, and along the coast near Lisbon. Property prices are thus higher in these areas than in the little explored parts of the Alentejo or Trás os Montes, where an individual farmhouse can cost as much as an apartment on the south coast. The variety of property available in Portugal is another reason why it is so popular with foreign buyers. You can invest in an apartment in a lively city centre, a remote farmhouse, a purpose built townhouse next to a scenic golf course, or an older style property in a small fishing village to name but a few of the most common property types.

Remember that the Portuguese property law applies to all property transactions in Portugal, even exchanges between two foreigners, and you must use a notary when buying a property. Taxation will also need to be considered and your professional advisors will be able to talk you through, in layman’s terms, the extremely complex and ever changing world of taxation.