22 de October, 2022
If you are looking for luxury homes for sale in Lisbon, you are not alone: the Portuguese capital is the second most sought after in Europe for this type of investment, behind only Paris, according to the Europa Cities Guide 2021, published by Knight Frank Real Estate.
Much of the demand at that time could be related to the Golden Visa, a residence permit specially created by the Portuguese government for foreign investors. Whoever acquired a property within the stipulated values could live in the country and eventually even get Portuguese citizenship. Since the beginning of 2022, however, this option is no longer allowed for the capital region of the country for residential properties.
Yes, the investment is still justified.
According to the July Monthly Barometer of the real estate platform Imovirtual, rents in the Lisbon district registered in July 2022 an increase of 28.3% compared to the same month last year, while house prices grew 6.6% in the region in this same period.
This is a trend that can be observed throughout the country, even if rents, or “leases,” as the Portuguese call them, are historically higher in the region.
If the financial return is on average 3% for real estate investment in the Portuguese capital generally, for luxury real estate this percentage is even higher, reaching 4.3%, according to Knight Frank’s 2022 report.
Another advantage is that the city’s prices, if compared to other European capitals, are very competitive. While 1 million euros buys 50 m² in Paris and only 35 m² in London, the same money can buy 100 m² in Lisbon.
The reasons for living in Lisbon can be many and go beyond financial issues: the interviewees cite the lifestyle provided in the sunny region and close to nature, with paradisiacal beaches just a few minutes away, besides the mild climate and safety, a factor so dear to Brazilians.
Among the professionals who can help in the venture, there are cell phone apps, independent professionals, and even real estate agents specializing in the luxury sector. Each has its benefits, especially when it comes time to make such a large investment in an unknown country, with legislation and bureaucracy different from what we are used to.
If you don’t know the city and are looking for security when it comes time to close the deal, look for a real estate agent.
A real estate consultant can be the ideal professional when it comes to informing the regions that are in trend, the possible problems of an apartment or a luxury house for sale, and can even guarantee greater tranquility when it comes time to sign the papers. This is because realtors also have their own lawyers who take care of all the bureaucracy.
American, RE/MAX has been operating on a global level for over 50 years. Therefore, it is a reliable option to search for a luxury home in Lisbon. It also has a segment specialized in luxury real estate, the RE/MAX Collection, which has professionals who know the market and the options available for sale.
Another option in this segment is Century 21, as traditional as RE/MAX and with a sector specialized in luxury homes.
ERA, in turn, is a Portuguese real estate company, the first real estate network in the country, with more than 200 agencies. Even so, it is present today in more than 33 countries. Finally, the American KW, or Keller Williams, is a franchise based in Texas and also operates internationally. It has been in Portuguese territory since 2014.
Some real estate agents and real estate search sites offer their own cell phone applications, which can make life much easier for those looking for a good investment.
The ideal is not to finalize the purchase through the application, but this can be an interesting tool for a first search by regions with higher offer or even by the average price of the type of property sought.
To use these apps on your cell phone, however, you need to change your country setting in the online app store (Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store). Only then will they appear on your device, as many are only available for Portugal.
After this first step, it is time to look for a qualified professional who can schedule visits to the properties and assess their condition. Besides understanding the client’s needs and searching for the ideal house, he is also responsible for mediating the negotiation and the documentation process, which can be very valuable in this process.
Just like the real estate broker, the real estate agent works as a mediator between the buyer and the property. The difference is that they have specialized knowledge of the local market, and can even define commercial strategies for their clients and present different options.
He is, after all, a representative of the buyer or seller, and his main concern, therefore, is that his customer’s needs are met.
A property in Portugal is usually considered luxury from values close to 500 thousand €. Of course, this classification criteria varies according to the location of the house, since developments in Lisbon can be considerably more expensive than in the rest of the country.
According to the websites of RE/MAX Collection, RE/MAX’s segment specializing in luxury homes, and the luxury section of Century 21 real estate, a high-end home in the Portuguese capital can generally range from 730,000 euros to 3 million euros. Check out the prices in some of the city’s best regions:
|Value (in €)
|Park of Nations
|880,000 to 2.1 million
|1 million to 5.4 million
|625 thousand to 5.8 million
|650,000 to 1.1 million
Some terms can confuse those looking for a property in Portugal. One of them is related to the typology of houses and apartments – T0, T1, T2, T3… The meaning of these numbers is, however, quite simple.
These refer to the number of rooms in a property. A T0, therefore, is a studio, that apartment where the bedroom and living room are in the same room. A one-bedroom apartment is a house or apartment with only one bedroom; a two-bedroom apartment with two bedrooms, and so on.
The term “sosoalhada” is also present and refers to the number of rooms inside the property, excluding spaces such as pantries, bathrooms, kitchen and entrance hall. It is therefore related to the number of rooms in the property: 1 room, 2 rooms, 3 rooms…
The Portuguese do not deal with the concept of “neighborhood” as they do in Brazil. They organize their territory in “freguesias”, broader spaces in the city.
For those looking for a more secluded and quiet area, but still with tourist and cultural attractions, Belém fulfills this role. Near the Jeronimos Monastery and the famous Torre de Belém, the most touristic parish in the city has tree-lined and quiet streets, good options of luxury houses for sale and the original and very delicious Pastéis de Belém.
Lisbon is not only made up of historical centers. Those who like modernity can opt for houses and apartments in Parque das Nações, a neighborhood built in the late 1990s to host Expo98. It is a region that still has several cultural activities and international shows, even though it is far from the city center.
Near the traditional University of Lisbon and the José Alvalade stadium, the region from Campo Grande to Alvalade is less obvious, with more attractive prices and well located and integrated to the city.
There is no lack of shopping options, subway stations and university institutes, which makes high standard real estate in the region a good option for those who want to invest. A tip is to also look in nearby neighborhoods, such as Campo de Ourique, Amoreiras or even Campolide.
There is no need to be restricted to the city of Lisbon, since the Metropolitan Region offers several good options for those seeking luxury real estate and more tranquility.
Among the cities with more options for high standard houses are Cascais with its stunning houses; Oeiras, just 20 minutes from the Portuguese capital; Sintra and its colorful palaces; or even the south bank, close to paradisiacal beaches.
Lisbon does not live on sunshine alone, and in winter temperatures can reach 0ºC. Heaters will be needed, and electricity can rise substantially at this time of year. That is why it is important to always check the energy certificate, a document that every property for sale in Portugal must have by law since 2019. It evaluates the energy efficiency of the house on a scale from A + (very efficient) to F (not very efficient).
Valid for ten years, it is issued by ADENE, the Energy Agency, which sends an expert to the homes that request it. It takes into consideration several characteristics, such as the year in which the property was built, its location, the thermal behavior of walls and windows, and the heating, ventilation, and sanitary water heating systems.
The document also has a set of suggestions for measures to reduce energy consumption at the site.
It is essential to request energy certification when buying luxury homes in Lisbon. Besides the energy category collaborating to its valuation or depreciation, the document is mandatory in this type of transaction and its absence can result in a fine of up to 3,740 €.
Lisbon can have a high temperature range compared to Brazil, with minimum temperatures that hover around 0°C in the winter and can pass 40°C in the height of summer. What’s more, these temperatures are usually maintained during the three months of the season.
Not all homes, however, are prepared for both extremes. Unlike in other European countries, most Portuguese homes do not have internal heating systems, especially older properties. When you are looking for a property, therefore, make sure that the materials used in the construction of the property collaborate in this sense.
Another factor to pay attention to is the house’s acoustic insulation, especially in busy downtown areas. It is quite common in European houses to use double windows, which provide total sound insulation and guarantee good nights’ sleep, even in places with a lot of foot traffic.
Especially in the central part of the city, there are several old buildings that have been rehabilitated, that is, they remain in historic buildings, with their original facade, but have a completely renovated interior.
In these cases, it is also important to note the presence of an elevator in the building. It is true that this type of construction generally has few floors, which makes it easier to move around on a daily basis. In terms of investment, however, the presence of an elevator is positive and adds value to the property, besides facilitating the resale process in the future.
Just like in every big city, every day there are new options for those looking for luxury homes for sale in Lisbon. Investors should always be on the lookout for new opportunities, attractive neighborhoods, and the market conditions at that time.
Here we suggest some options of luxury condominiums in the Portuguese capital that can help you understand the profile of this type of property and what is possible to find in the region.
One minute away from Avenida da Liberdade, admittedly one of the most luxurious avenues in Lisbon, Grand Loft Avenida presents spacious duplex apartments, with dimensions ranging from 105 to 207 m².
Near central points of the city, such as Marquês de Pombal Square and Rossio, the condominium offers the experience of living in a traditional neighborhood of the city with lots of luxury and comfort.
Living overlooking the Tagus River, in a modern neighborhood in the middle of Lisbon: all this is feasible in Prata Riverside Village, located near Parque das Nações and 15 minutes from the tourist center of the city.
It is a mistake to think that there are no cultural options in the region, where the Oceanarium, the Altice Arena concert hall, and the Vasco da Gama Tower are located. The condominium offers options ranging from studios T0 to T4s with more than 200 m².
Located outside the limits of Lisbon, Cedros Hill should not be overlooked, as it is connected to the city center by a short 10-minute drive.
It is a quieter place, with wide and tree-lined streets and more competitive prices, if compared to the central region. Connected by public transportation (Odivelas station, on the Yellow Line subway), it has leisure options such as swimming pool and gardens.
The answer is no. The rule has changed since 2022, when the Residence Permit for Investment Activity (ARI), as this residence visa is officially called, is now only allowed for buying houses in some regions of the country.
In force since 2012, the Golden Visa guarantees a residence visa, which includes the right to live, work, and study in Portugal, in addition to free movement through the countries of the Schengen area, which includes much of the European Union. There is even the possibility of applying for Portuguese citizenship.
To do so, the investor must have lived in the country for at least five years and, if he chooses real estate investment, acquire property worth at least 500,000 euros, or even older property worth 350,000 euros that is located in urban rehabilitation areas. In the case of territories with low demographic density, this value can be reduced by 20%, reaching 280 thousand Euros.
With the change, these properties must be located in less inhabited regions of the European country, which disqualifies the purchase of luxury homes for sale in Lisbon, Porto, some regions of the Algarve and much of the Portuguese coast.
Check out the regions that still allow Golden Visa applications and learn more about this type of residence visa, which includes real estate investment, job opening, investment in cultural and scientific production, and other financial activities.
With the change in the Golden Visa rules, the demand for residential real estate in Lisbon fell by about 10%, according to an estimate by RE/MAX real estate consultant Miguel Pinhal. Even so, he goes in line with the numbers recorded in Europa Cities, Knight Frank brokerage firm’s annual report that point to returns of about 3% a year for properties purchased in the city.
The professional, who specializes in luxury homes for sale in Lisbon, says that rents have risen in the same proportion as the price of real estate, which makes the investment still more profitable than certain investments in the financial market.
It is also because of the high rents that many foreigners, which account for about 70% of his clients, choose to invest in Lisbon. He tells that there is a movement to go and live in Portugal, rent an apartment to live, and then choose to buy the property.
He advises that the search be around new or lightly used real estate, since the War in Ukraine, which started in February this year, has caused widespread inflation around the world, and Portugal is no different. The country showed a rise in inflation by 8% in the month of May 2022. The cost of construction, meanwhile, has been on the rise since the incident in Eastern Europe, with a 3.3% rise in the ICCHN (New Housing Construction Cost Index) in April.
The data is produced by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), which highlights steel and ceramics as materials driving this rise, with year-on-year increases of more than 60%. For this reason, small renovations, such as painting walls, can pay off when it comes to adding value to a property. A complete transformation, on the other hand, can be quite costly.
His main tip, however, is fundamental for anyone who wants to close a good deal: “don’t look alone.
A specialized broker can help with the legislative and bureaucratic issues, and save you a lot of trouble, as well as providing adequate assistance regarding the best locations and properties in the region, assisting with the bank loan processes and the contract, for example.
A different country involves different rules, and therefore an investment in luxury homes for sale in Lisbon should be made with care and information.
Article originally published by our partner site Euro Dicas.