Post-Brexit, European Cities Show Promise in 2019, With Lisbon Leading the Way
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Multiple real estate experts point to Lisbon as one of the most promising cities for investment in 2019. Buyers and tourists alike are flooding the Portuguese city, drawn by its unique historic character and its affordability when compared to other European metropolises.
Portugal’s “Golden Visa” program is another major factor in the country’s real estate boom. The program, launched in 2012, grants residency permits to investors who spend €500,000 (US$587,570) or more on real estate, and also offers them a fast track to EU citizenship.
“The Golden Visa program worked incredibly for them,” said Michael Valdes, global vice president of Sotheby’s International Realty. “The majority of investors in that program have been the Chinese. We’ve already seen prices start to increase, but certainly, we expect a lot of upcoming growth.”
Having recovered from the eurozone crisis, Portugal saw a 12% rise in home prices during the first quarter of 2018; the average cost of purchasing property in Lisbon city center increased by 60% during the last five years. And the S&P has predicted that Portugal will be among the countries with the highest real estate price increases until 2021.
“Lisbon has had success through the Golden Visa scheme—there are regeneration stories and job growth stories there,” said Paul Tostevin, associate director of world research at the London office of Savills.
This doesn’t mean that Lisbon’s real estate market has peaked, however. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Emerging Trends in Real Estate: Europe 2019 report pegs Lisbon as the top choice for investment and development prospects for 2019.