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Americans Moving to Europe: Portugal Still Top Place for Expatriates

21 de September, 2022

Americans Moving to Europe: Portugal Still Top Place for Expatriates

Housing prices, political divisions, cost of living, increased remote work, and a strong dollar are some of the reasons for the wave of Americans moving to Europe.
Reading: 4 min

Housing prices, political divisions, high cost of living, increased remote working, crime rates in some US cities, a strong dollar now at parity with the euro for the first time in more than 20 years – these are some of the reasons experts cite to explain the wave of Americans moving to Europeor planning to do so in the near future.

Some have other more personal reasons, such as love for the European lifestyle, food, wine, work, or accompanying family members who have already moved to the old continent.

In a recent article titled “Americans Who Can’t Afford Homes Are Moving to Europe Instead,” Bloomberg writes that the traditional trends of retirees and the wealthy as the top American home buyers in Europe have changed: “Relatively inexpensive housing – particularly in smaller cities and towns – and the rise of remote work have made the continent attractive to a wider range of people, including those who are younger and find themselves excluded from the housing market at home.”

10 Good and Cheap Cities to Live Well in Portugal in 2022!

High demand from Americans for homes in Europe

International real estate deals release data every day showing a growing interest from American buyers, particularly with regard to Portugal, Greece, Italy and Spain, among others, which offer special deals for gold visas, digital nomad visas, green visas and low-cost housing.

In recent years, Portugal appears at the top of most lists of recommended places for expats and retirees to enjoy the good life, and its golden visa program is one of the most popular in the world. The number of Americans living in Portugal increased by 45% in 2021 over the previous year, according to government data.

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Golden Visas and Low Cost Housing

Handsome man, buying groceries in a market

The average cost of property in the U.S., according to Nasdaq, is $428,700, “although prices vary widely from city to city and state to state.” While the average price in Hawaii is over $1 million, in West Virginia the figure drops to under $150,000.

The average cost of property in Portugal – “a popular destination for Americans now” – is about $365,000 in the third quarter of last year. “Properties in some parts of the country cost less than $125,000.”

Portugal without top

happy couple relaxes on the balcony terrace

Although Portugal has received in response to pressure from the EU, it is still the main destination for families who have residence in the European Union.

A ‘one residence visa’ that gives the foreigner the right to live a 5-year investment. With the new changes in effect in January, the minimum investment requirement for a Golden Visa has increased from €350,000 to €500,000.

The golden visa also allows free movement within the 27 EU countries,

So far this year, Portugal has collected €397.7 million through its golden visa program, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com . This represents a 34% increase over the same period last year.

The country offers “eight types of investments in the Portuguese Golden Visa program, including the ‘green visa’ that allows foreigners Portuguese residency if they invest a minimum of 500,000 euros in organic agriculture, ecotourism, renewable and other environmental projects,” reports the publication.

Restrictions or not…

Such abundant results were not obtained without controversies and updates to government regulations.

EU officials have strongly urged member governments operating these special visa schemes to rescind them, alluding to the fact that “Golden Visa schemes are a gateway to Europe for corrupt people and money laundering.”

Since the beginning of this year, Portugal has also been placing limits and conditions on the locations eligible for real estate investment. Cities like Lisbon and Porto, very popular with gold visa investors, as well as the more developed coastal areas, are now out of reach in an attempt to push foreign investors into low-residency regions.

Properties eligible for Golden Visa must be located in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira or in inland territories.

Still, the Portuguese investment visa program continues to grow, especially among American investors. “The US has overtaken China as the main source of applicants for Portugal’s Golden Visa,” explains Portugal News.

“With rental yields of around 5% per year and capital appreciation of up to 4% per year, residential units in Portugal’s interior remain an attractive proposition,” reports World Finance.

Original text authored by Cecilia Rodriguez and published at Forbes.
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Atlantic Bridge

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