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Portugal ‘the California of Europe’

The Lisbon market is ‘very hot’, as a perfect storm of economic growth, positive prospects, good prices and great location attract international investors to Portugal, delegates heard at Real Asset Media’s European Residential Investment Briefing, which took place in London last week. 

Residential is a particularly buoyant sector because of fast rising demand from locals as well as foreigners. The market is undersupplied, with 70,000 new homes a year needed just to meet demand.

Lisbon Investment Keynote: Marcos Drummond, Sales Director, VIC Properties

Many foreigners have chosen to live in Portugal  to take advantage of special tax regimes for EU citizens and golden visas for non-Europeans and to enjoy a high quality of life at affordable prices.

Others have moved there to work in one of the several multinationals like Google, Microsoft and Zalando that have opened offices there to take advantage of local talent and lower labour costs.

‘Portugal is becoming the California of Europe, the tech-friendly vibrant West Coast of the Continent,’ said Marcos Drummond, Sales Director, VIC Properties. 

After a double-dip recession in 2008 and 2011, in the last few years the economy has picked up significantly. Tourism is playing a strategic role in the economic recovery, with visitor numbers up to 10 million a year.

‘Wealth is being generated and people have higher disposable incomes, which is fuelling the demand for housing,’ said Drummond. 

VIC Properties is a developer focused on new-build in Portugal, an undersupplied sector. Of the 175,000 property transactions recorded last year, only 11,000 were new builds.

Their latest project is Prata Riverside Village, a residential complex on the last riverfront plot in Lisbon, close to the historic centre and the CBD. The project, designed by the celebrated Italian architect Renzo Piano, will include 600 apartments that vary in size from studio flats to duplex penthouses. 

‘The location is unique and there will be ten hectares of riverside gardens as well as shops, cafes and restaurants,’ Drummond said. ‘It is important for us to create a sense of community. We have learnt from the mistakes of the past, so there will be no more cathedrals in the desert but real neighbourhoods’.