Portugal revamped its Golden Visa Program on Jan. 1, 2022, as part of property-cooling measures in popular urban areas.

As a result, some applicants can no longer buy residential properties in Lisbon and Porto. The minimum residential property investment in qualified areas still costs EUR 500,000 (US $545,490).

If you plan to buy a luxury home in Portugal for a Golden Visa, you must choose from government-mandated interior areas. Most of the eligible places are outside Faro, Lisbon and Porto.

portugal palace peeking out from a wine vineyard

The minimum residential property investment in qualified areas in Portugal costs EUR 500,000 (US $545,490). (Inmobiliaria Rimontgo)

The Eligible Places In Portugal For A Golden Visa

Golden Visa applicants should focus on central and eastern Portugal to determine if they’re buying luxury homes in interior areas. Many of these places border the sovereign territory of Spain in the west.

Global Citizen Solutions (GCS) listed 165 counties and 19 cities/municipalities among the eligible places for Golden Visa applications. Review the full list to know where you could invest in a residential property.

Some of the popular alternative places for a Golden Visa application in Portugal include Aljezur, Douro Valley, Peneda Geres, Odeceixe and Sagres.

Aljezur, Douro Valley and Peneda Gerês have a low rate of price fluctuations, according to GCS. UHNWI investors, however, should consider Aljezur if they intend to resell properties.

blue portugal palace

This palace within a winery in Braga, Portugal, dates to the 20th century.

GCS pegged “high reselling chances” for properties in the municipality, although prices per square meter are the most expensive among the three places.

In Peneda Gerês, the price per square meter costs less than in Aljezur and Douro Valley with “medium reselling chances.”

Among the three areas, Douro Valley remains in the middle based on resale prospects and price per square meter.

Only Aljezur has a medium rate of rental returns, as opposed to the low rates in Douro Valley and Peneda Gerês.

A substantial discount also applies for residential property investments in interior and low-density areas.

Portugal palace and winery from the mid-17th century

Portugal grants a 20% discount for residential property investors in interior and low-density areas. (Inmobiliaria Rimontgo)

Discounts For Property Investments In Portugal

Portugal grants a 20% discount for residential property investors in interior and low-density areas. The government defines low-density areas as places with fewer than 100 residents per square meter.

If you’d rather invest in commercial real estate, you can also take advantage of the 20% discount for a Golden Visa application. Like residential properties, the discount only applies for commercial investments in interior and low-density areas.

For example, an eligible property in Vila Flor may cost almost EUR 1.9 million (US $2 million+) after a 20% discount.

You could buy a quinta (country estate) with a 25-hectare olive grove and a 10-hectare vineyard, which would originally cost EUR 2.35 million (US $2.5 million+).

Alvarinho in Portugal

Listed for EUR 12 million, Alvarinho in Portugal is producing winery of great wines. (Inmobiliaria Rimontgo)

Braga is another eligible investment destination. Among the best luxury properties include a 20th-century palace with a 30-hectare winery for EUR 7.8 million (US $8.6 million+).

The region is a high-density area, so you can’t claim a 20% discount. Another way to save money on new Golden Visa applications involves rehabilitation projects.

Applicants might obtain a Golden Visa if they invest in residential rehabilitation projects in interior and low-density areas. The minimum investment costs EUR 280,000 (US $305,000+) after a 20% discount.

Golden Visa applicants can still invest in Lisbon, Porto and elsewhere in Portugal through commercial real estate. The minimum investment amount remains the same, but it won’t qualify for a 20% discount.

Whether it’s a commercial or residential property, only an elite broker could make it easier to comply with Portugal’s new Golden Visa rules.

Quinta with 10 ha of vineyards and 25 ha of olive grove

Producing properties aren’t limited to wine. This estate also produces olive oil.

Hire An Elite Luxury Property Broker

Inmobiliaria Rimontgó, an elite luxury property broker, holds the distinction of obtaining the first-ever Golden Visa issued in Spain.

For this reason, a broker’s experience in navigating the Golden Visa process boosts the chances of approval. An experienced broker ensures that your application in Portugal meets every requirement, especially if you prefer to invest in rehabilitation projects.

In 2020, Golden Visa applications via rehabilitation projects represented 26% of investors, according to GCS.

Rehabilitation projects have become more popular because of the lower minimum investment amount (i.e. EUR 350,000 or US $381,000+).

The required investment amount becomes smaller when applicants invest in interior and low-density areas, due to the 20% discount. Certain areas fall in between the classification of interior and low-density areas.

If you’re after the discount, the diverse classification makes it more difficult to identify eligible areas. One such example is Algarve.

The government defines the region as a low-density area, but not all of it belongs to Portugal’s designated interior areas.

In other words, Golden Visa applicants are restricted from buying residential properties in some communities in Algarve.

Increase your chances for a Golden Visa approval by consulting an elite property broker. Click here to find out more about Inmobiliaria Rimontgó, a leading broker with over 60 years of experience.


Randolf Santos has covered different segments of the real estate industry since 2014. He worked at S&P Global Market Intelligence before joining Forbes Global Properties as a contributor. You can reach him at randolf.santos@gmail.com.
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