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Buying a Home in Portugal: Foreign Investors

4 MAI 2022
Destaque Notícia Homepage Compra de Imóveis Comprar Casa em Portugal Investidores Estrangeiros Investimento Imobiliário Portugal Crédito Habitação
Acquiring a house in Portugal being a foreigner is not complicated, however, there are some components one must consider, such as the indispensable number to buy a house in Portugal without having Portuguese nationality, documents, among others.
Buying a Home in Portugal: Foreign Investors
To buy a house in Portugal as a foreigner, it is necessary to understand the documents you must evaluate before finalizing the purchase, how to sign a promissory contract for the property, how to get a bank loan, among other relevant factors.

Who can buy a house in Portugal?
Anyone can buy a property in Portugal, regardless of their nationality.

The only requirement is to have a valid taxpayer number (NIF) in Portugal. The process is slightly easier for European Union citizens, due to the free movement of people and capital.

Applying for the NIF is free of charge in Portugal and can be done by residents and non-residents. For such, foreign citizens only need to present a valid passport. 

In case they are EU citizens, they may also show a civil identification document from the respective European Union country.

If you are a non-EU citizen and do not reside in Portugal, you may appoint a local tax representative to represent you before the Portuguese tax authorities. 

This process is similar to the one available to foreign citizens who want to open a company in Portugal.

Completing the acquisition process
The acquisition of a property can involve a lot of documentation and bureaucracy, which is why the process often goes through specialized intermediaries. In this sense, learn which documents and information to consider.

Important documents before buying the property
Before buying a property in Portugal, whether it's a foreign property or not, there are certain documents that you should evaluate to make sure you don't have any unpleasant surprises after finalizing the acquisition:
  • Housing Technical File;
  • Certificate of Title;
  • Caderneta Predial do Imóvel;
  • Energy certification.

Housing technical file
The housing technical file includes the technical and functional characteristics of a building for habitation purposes. A copy can be requested from the local town hall, if the property was built after 1951.

Certidão de Teor
The Certidão de Teor of a building can be obtained at a Land Registry and makes it possible to validate the name of the real owners of a property, its composition and any associated liens.

Caderneta Predial
The Caderneta Predial makes it possible to understand the fiscal context of the property, such as whether the municipal tax on real estate is up to date. It can be requested at a tax office, either physically or digitally.

Energy certificate
The energy certificate analyzes the performance of a building, on a scale of A+ (very efficient) to F (very inefficient), and is issued by technicians certified by the Agency for Energy. 

This certificate is mandatory for any property placed on the real estate market, for sale or rent, and it is the owner's responsibility to obtain it.

Information that must be included in the promissory contract
The promissory contract is made prior to the final deed, usually when there is a bank loan involved, or other outstanding component that needs to be completed. In this contract both parties agree to sign the contract if certain requirements are met.

The contract should contain the following information:
  • Amount agreed upon for the purchase of the property and method of payment;
  • Detailed identification of the buyer and seller;
  • Data on the property, namely its typology, location and land description, among others;
  • Value of the agreed down payment or down payment (if any);
  • Deadline for the signing of the definitive contract and any consequences of this not happening as stipulated;
  • Alinea that states that the property is transacted free of any charges not discriminated;
  • Housing or building permit.

Prices in the different regions
Lisbon is, by a wide margin, the most expensive area in Portugal for buying a home, with an average price for a property in this area of 455,885 euros, or 2,787.11 euros / m². It is followed by Oporto, the Algarve and Funchal, with 299,328 € (1,527.88 € / m²), 421,255 € (2,081.24 € / m²) and 417,588 € (2,114.84 € / m²) average cost, respectively.

At the other extreme, Portalegre, Guarda and Castelo Branco are the district capitals with the cheapest properties, where the square meter is below 700 €.

Housing loans for foreigners
Foreign citizens can get a bank loan to buy property in Portugal.

However, the percentage of the purchase that most banks are willing to finance is usually around 70%, when the operation is made by foreign citizens.

The debt cannot exceed 30 or 35% of the foreign citizen's income, in most cases. The credit term is usually between 5 and 40 years.

How the purchase of real estate can entitle the foreigner to a visa
Foreigners who buy high value homes in Portugal are entitled to a special residence permit.

Buying a property worth €500,000 or more in Portugal grants non-EU citizens a Residence Permit for Investment Activity (ARI), also known as a "gold visa".

This ARI also makes it possible to move within the Schengen area without a visa and to benefit from family reunification.
Destaque Notícia Homepage Compra de Imóveis Comprar Casa em Portugal Investidores Estrangeiros Investimento Imobiliário Portugal Crédito Habitação
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