Popular streets sit quiet in Lisbon

Foreign buyers from 31 countries buy homes in Lisbon during ‘confinement’

Foreign buyers have not been put off buying homes in Portugal, in spite of the pandemic. It’s the message from agents in various parts of the country, not least the Algarve which has seen a surge in interest for rural properties with their own water and good wi-fi connections.

In Lisbon – which during the first three months of the year saw investors from 49 countries purchasing property to the tune of €238.8 million – business may have ‘fallen’ but it has remained eminently respectable.

Figures just released for the second trimester show buyers from 31 nationalities still managed to get through all the bureaucratic red tape of confinements, travel restrictions etc., to sign the deeds on 233 properties with a combined value of €112.3 million.

Says Expresso the majority of buyers were Chinese (33%), followed by French (13%), Brazilians (7%), North Americans (6%) and Britons (5%).

The most popular areas within the capital’s ‘historic’ centre have been Estrela (where €25.4 million was spent), Santa Maria Maior (with transactions worth €23.5 million), and the parish of Santo António (where €17.8 million was invested).

All the other city parishes accounted for roughly another €10 million in purchases.

Expresso was not forthcoming on all the nationalities buying their own slice of Portugal, but it is one area of the economy that has managed this far to keep its head well above the rising ‘floodwaters’ of economic depression.

The reason, says the paper, is a combination of historically low interest rates and government policies to ‘preserve incomes’ and concede subsidies.

In any ‘normal depression’ families in trouble would be more likely to put homes on the market in order to sell before defaulting on mortgage payments. But with bank moratoria in place, this hasn’t happened – and hopefully won’t in the near future.

[email protected]