Changes are soon to be implemented to Portugal’s successful Golden Visa (GV) programme, which has fuelled major investment in historic and urban revitalisation projects, created jobs and stimulated tourism, while simultaneously providing foreigners — including South Africans — with easy access to EU countries and residency in Portugal.

Says Chris Immelman, who heads up Pam Golding International: “These changes are seen in a positive light, as they are expected to open up more accessible investment opportunities for South Africans, the bulk of whom are seeking travel rights in Schengen Europe. Ultimately Portuguese and European citizenship will enable them and their immediate family to live, work and study in these countries.

“Expected to take effect from the end of 2020, the Portuguese government is set to promote investment in low-density regions by most likely excluding the main cities of Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve from the Golden Visa programme.

“This means that those whose applications are currently already in the system won’t be affected, while those who still wish to invest in these areas are encouraged to get their application process in motion as soon as possible as there is a limited window of opportunity. However, Lisbon still offers some very attractive options, but time is of the essence.” 

Computer-generated images of Martinhal Residences in Lisbon, Portugal. Picture: SUPPLIED/PAM GOLDING
Computer-generated images of Martinhal Residences in Lisbon, Portugal. Picture: SUPPLIED/PAM GOLDING

For example, Martinhal Residences, brought to market by the award-winning Elegant Group, sees new contemporary apartments in Lisbon’s family-friendly neighbourhood, Park of Nations, offering a range of attractive options priced €290,000.

Martinhal Residences offers multigenerational living over 14 floors, from studios to five-bedroom residences, and a select number of penthouse apartments and duplexes. They are designed to the highest standards, with access to numerous facilities and services including an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, restaurant, children’s club, babysitting services, business centre with meeting rooms and offices, event services, laundry and dry-cleaning, and parking for cars and bicycles.

Says Immelman: “Notably, the highly successful and experienced developers of Martinhal Residences are offering an unprecedented guaranteed rental of 4% per annum for the first six years, coupled with the fact that this project is being built on the last piece of land available for development in the Park of Nations area.

“The first four floors will be sold under the Martinhal investment option, which means they will be used as part of the Martinhal hotel operation. In addition, owners have 14 days’ free usage between September 20 and March 31, or they can use some of their owner weeks in other Martinhal units, while full property management services are free of charge.”

Martinhal Residences. Picture: SUPPLIED/PAM GOLDING
Martinhal Residences. Picture: SUPPLIED/PAM GOLDING

From the fifth floor upwards, branded serviced apartments are available for short- or long-term stays, providing a five-star home in an ideal family location with a hassle-free lifestyle.

Immelman says with this development being Golden Visa-ready, meaning investors will be able to submit their GV application immediately, thereby ensuring that they easily meet the end of year changes, this promises to be one of the best opportunities currently available in Portugal.

Portugal remains high on the global radar as a prime global destination, recently ranked the best country to retire in by InternationalLiving.com, and judged the best tourist destination in the world in 2019 for the third consecutive year by the World Travel Awards.

And yet, says Immelman, it is still one of the lower-priced locations to obtain a Golden Visa for EU citizenship. “Having said that, property in Portugal has gone from strength to strength with prices increasing by about 15% in 2019, and with Lisbon performing exceptionally well with growth of 9.7% in the third quarter.”

Apart from its ideal climate, quality of life, excellent health care, investment potential, good governance, security and relatively low cost of living, Portugal offers sound education opportunities and is home to the renowned Nova School of Business and Economics, one of the leading business schools in Europe.

Adds Immelman: “A further option for Golden Visa applicants is the Royal Sao Paulo luxury resort in Vila Vicosa, Alentejo, colloquially referred to as the Tuscany of Portugal. This resort comprises a luxury hotel with 70 suites and four villas, which form part of an iconic old monastery now transformed into a luxury resort and spa just 90 minutes’ drive from Lisbon Airport. It includes an outdoor and indoor pool, restaurants and bars, landscaped gardens and a 3.25% guaranteed rental return. This development qualifies for the Golden Visa programme, with the total investment amount divided into 75 fractions of €280,000 each.

“Once the new legislation takes effect, I believe we will see leisure developments, eco-hotels, spas and the like being developed in areas such as the Alentejo region, as well as the Duoro Valley — Portugal’s premier wine region, and Comporta.”

For further information contact Theresa Fernandez of Pam Golding Properties on (+27) 21-762-2617 or theresa.fernandez@pamgolding.co.za.

This article was paid for by Pam Golding International.

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