In­vestor op­por­tu­nity in Por­tu­gal’s fis­cal woes

Re­cently voted one of the best places to in­vest, work and live, Por­tu­gal is of­fer­ing in­vestors res­i­dency per­mits and the chance ben­e­fit from a favourable tax regime. Michelle Funke re­ports

Business Day - Home Front - - HOME FRONT -

PROP­ERTY in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in Por­tu­gal are ex­tremely pop­u­lar among in­vestors glob­ally, as the re­gion fea­tures beau­ti­ful beaches, great golf­ing, and a very ac­tive tourism in­dus­try.

And de­spite re­cent re­ports about the con­tin­ued down­ward spi­ral of the Por­tuguese hous­ing mar­ket — banks re­port­edly sell­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of distressed properties in a reaction to the coun­try’s poor eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion — op­por­tu­nity ex­ists for savvy in­vestors.

James Bowl­ing, CEO of Monarch & Co, a com­pany that spe­cialises in in­vestor and im­mi­gra­tion pro­grammes glob­ally, says: “The South African mar­ket finds the sim­i­lar life­styles, hos­pi­tal­ity and qual­ity of life in Por­tu­gal ex­tremely at­trac­tive, added to which is the fan­tas­tic cli­mate on par with any­where in SA.”

Added to this, Bowl­ing ex­plains that Por­tu­gal launched a res­i­dence pro­gramme late last year that is linked to cer­tain prop­erty in­vest­ment re­quire­ments, in or­der to at­tract in­vestors look­ing to en­joy the ex­cel­lent qual­ity of life, great weather and safety that the coun­try has to of­fer.

“In­vest­ing in Por­tu­gal will al­low buy­ers to take ad­van­tage of be­ing a part of the Euro­pean Union (EU) with­out any obli­ga­tion to re­side per­ma­nently in the coun­try. Por­tu­gal has been a mem­ber of the EU for 26 years and uses the euro.”

Ac­cord­ing to the World Bank, Por­tu­gal is the 43rd-largest econ­omy in the world, with one of the high­est gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) growth rates for the last 40 years among Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co-op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment (OECD) coun­tries.

Prop­erty prices are at a low, and in­vestors can pur­chase mul­ti­ple properties in or­der to meet the in­vest­ment re­quire­ment for the res­i­dence pro­gramme.

Those look­ing to pur­chase in Al­garve and Sil­ver Coast can ex­pect to pay any­where from ¤250,000 for a three-bed­room, stand­alone home and from ¤150,000 for a two-bed­room apart­ment in a se­cure com­plex.

In ad­di­tion to this, the pro­gramme re­quire­ments are also clear sim­ple to un­der­stand.

The Golden Res­i­dence Per­mit has been in ef­fect since Au­gust last year as the Por­tuguese govern­ment looks to gen­er­ate cap­i­tal and real es­tate in­vest­ment and opens the Euro­pean door to its po­ten­tial in­vestors.

The Golden Res­i­dence Per­mit is avail­able to all for­eign national in­vestors who are not cit­i­zens of the EU. The cri­te­ria, is sim­ple and trans­par­ent, the Por­tuguese state is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing in­vest­ment in Por­tu­gal in or­der to at­tract cap­i­tal, pro­mote job cre­ation and in­crease in­vest­ment in real es­tate.

Bowl­ing says that hold­ers of the Golden Res­i­dence Per­mit can en­joy all the ben­e­fits that the pre­mium Schen­gen Visa has to of­fer in­clud­ing freedom of move­ment to the other 26 mem­ber states.

“The pro­gramme still al­lows for ap­pli­cants to carry on liv­ing in SA per­ma­nently should they wish to. Fam­ily and de­pen­dents will also qual­ify for res­i­dence and af­ter the fifth year a per­mit holder may ap­ply for Por­tuguese cit­i­zen­ship and thereby an EU pass­port.” Con­tact: Monarch & Co James Bowl­ing 011 883 9018

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