Lisbon no.1 destination for digital nomads; Algarve fourth

Ranking based on research by real estate broker Savills Plc

There is “nowhere more accommodating than Lisbon for the wave of executives turning into digital nomads since the pandemic” – so says real estate broker Savills Plc, which has ranked 15 prime residential markets by their “appeal to long-term remote workers”.

The ranking has been reported by Bloomberg which says Lisbon’s “sunny climate and low cost of living has led to an influx of residents who are now able to log into work from anywhere.”

“The pandemic has been a catalyst for executives to make the jump from office life,” Paul Tostevin, director of world research at Savills, told Bloomberg. “Lisbon offers the advantages of city living, and the benefits of being in the European Union.”

Savills said speedy broadband is also among the reasons why remote workers are attracted to the city, which has become a “magnet” for international property investors. The publication cites Portugal’s National Statistics Institute (INE) to say foreigners are willing to pay more than double for a Lisbon home than domestic buyers.

Overseas buyers paid a median price of €4,283 ($4,576) per square meter of Lisbon property in the three months through December, compared with €1,858 for locals, it says, adding that surging demand lifted real estate prices in the city by 11.4% in the same period, meaning some domestic buyers are being forced to look elsewhere for a home.

Digital nomads seek Algarve too

Miami and Dubai are placed second and third on the ranking, followed closely by Portugal’s Algarve region in fourth.

“Already popular with holidaymakers, the area’s climate, beaches, and easy connections to the rest of Europe are spurring overseas buyers to purchase homes to use all year round,” Bloomberg says.

“People are making their holiday homes more permanent,” James Robinson, director of sales at QP Savills, the broker’s agency in the Algarve, told Bloomberg. “Clients are looking for office space, which wasn’t even on the agenda before, and high-speed internet, which we have here.”

Even before the pandemic, the Algarve was already seeking to attract digital nomads to the region.

“The possibility of working from Portugal became even more obvious. We carried out several campaigns during the Covid-19 pandemic to promote remote working, namely in the UK. Portugal is the only country with the same time zone as the UK, which is important when it comes to working schedules,” Algarve tourism chief João Fernandes told the Resident earlier this month, adding that tourism authorities focused on promoting the idea of combining “work and leisure.”

“Several hotels started thinking about this and catering to guests who come here for work and leisure. We saw many of them improve their Wi-Fi, create co-working areas and make common areas more user-friendly,” he added.

By Michael Bruxo
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