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Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal, is a hotspot for South Africans investing in property to acquire EU citizenship via Portugal’s Golden Visa Programme. Picture: 123RF/OLENA KACHMAR
Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal, is a hotspot for South Africans investing in property to acquire EU citizenship via Portugal’s Golden Visa Programme. Picture: 123RF/OLENA KACHMAR

Lisbon, the Portuguese capital; up-and-coming Porto, the country's second-largest city; and beautiful Cascais in the heart of the Portuguese Riviera are now the hotspots for South Africans investing in property to acquire EU citizenship via Portugal’s Golden Visa Programme.

A minimum investment of €500,000 (about R8.5m) affords them visa-free travel in all 26 countries in the Schengen zone and enables them to live and work in any of the EU countries.

Chris Immelman, who leads Pam Golding International, says: “It’s not surprising that Lisbon features strongly on the radar of such investors as, according to the Emerging Trends in Europe 2019 report, it is now the top-rated city in Europe for overall investment and development prospects in 2019, after leapfrogging 10 places to number one. 

“Ranked ahead of Berlin, Dublin, Madrid, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, dynamic Lisbon is considered one of the smaller newcomers to the top 10, vying with the larger, tried-and-tested markets in terms of these criteria as well as quality of life and leadership.”

The report also cites Portugal's healthy economic growth, with Lisbon now a popular international destination for companies, investors and tourists.

A view of the iconic Emporium in downtown Porto. Picture: SUPPLIED/PAM GOLDING
A view of the iconic Emporium in downtown Porto. Picture: SUPPLIED/PAM GOLDING

Says Immelman: “Because we began marketing property in Portugal just a few years ago, we have concluded real estate transactions with close to 300 South Africans who have taken up this opportunity at a total value of about €150m, with Lisbon and Porto the most popular locations.

“Over the past few months, there’s definitely been an uptick in enquiries and sales, mainly for properties in the price band between €500,000 and €1m to meet the minimum investment criteria. 

“However, in special circumstances, the entry level may be lowered to €350,000 [about R5.9m] for investment in refurbished units in renovated buildings of at least 30 years in historically significant locations earmarked as urban regeneration areas.”

Examples are Hotel Belas Artes in the historic centre of Porto, which was converted from a historic site into a boutique hotel, and The Rebello Luxury Hotel Apartments, also in Porto, where construction begins in October this year.

“Most of our SA investors in projects such as these are from the major centres, as well as the Boland region in the Western Cape. Apart from all the benefits of a Golden Visa, investors also enjoy rental returns of about 4% gross per year. This compares favourably with other European cities — with Lisbon the best-performing city in Europe over the past three years and still with about upside in the next few years, albeit with slightly lower growth.”

Interior: living space in an apartments in The Emporium, downtown Porto. Picture: SUPPLIED/PAM GOLDING
Interior: living space in an apartments in The Emporium, downtown Porto. Picture: SUPPLIED/PAM GOLDING

Pam Golding International’s latest real estate investment to qualify for a Golden Visa and potential citizenship in Portugal is The Emporium in downtown Porto, located in the beautiful tree-lined Sá Da Bandera Street, steps away from Bolhão market and within easy reach of the city centre and all amenities. 

Another appealing feature of this neighbourhood is its proximity to other popular areas such as Aliados, Santa Catarina and Clérigos, right in the heart of the downtown action. Combining modern design with classical architecture, and with exceptional views of the famous Nossa Senhora da Boa Hora Chapel, this building has 23 one- to four-bedroom apartments with outdoor areas, priced from €330,000.

Designed by architect José Porto, who embraced art deco architecture, this iconic 1940s building has been converted into a small luxury condominium of unique residences. Residents enjoy a private garage and an 800m² private garden. 

Within walking distance are shops, restaurants, a market and several hospitals. Home to several colleges and universities and well connected via subway lines A to F, this vibrant area is sought after for its modern architecture and neighbourhood feel. 

For more information visit the Pam Golding Properties Portugal page, call Theresa Fernandez on +27 21 7622617 or e-mail theresa.fernandez@pamgolding.co.za.

This article was paid for by Pam Golding International.