On February 16, 2023, the Portuguese government announced that it would be ending the Golden Visa program, which has been a popular route for foreign investors to obtain residency in the country. The program had been in place since 2012 and had generated over 10 billion euros in investment during that time. However, concerns about rising housing prices and the impact of the program on the local housing market have led the government to make this decision.
The Golden Visa program allowed non-EU citizens to invest in Portuguese real estate or other approved investments and receive residency permits in return. The program was seen as a way to attract foreign investment to the country and boost the local economy. However, it also led to a surge in property prices, particularly in Lisbon and Porto, which made it more difficult for locals to afford housing.
In addition to ending the Golden Visa program, the Portuguese government also announced measures to address the country’s housing crisis, including restrictions on short-term rentals through platforms such as Airbnb. Under the new regulations, properties in Lisbon and Porto can only be rented out for a maximum of 90 days per year, while properties in other areas can be rented out for up to 120 days per year.
These measures are intended to encourage more long-term rentals and make it easier for locals to find affordable housing. The government has also announced plans to build more social housing and to introduce tax incentives for landlords who offer long-term rental contracts.
While the end of the Golden Visa program may be disappointing for foreign investors, it is important to note that Portugal remains an attractive destination for investment. The country has a stable political and economic environment, a high standard of living, and a favorable tax regime for foreign investors. The government’s efforts to address the housing crisis may also make it a more attractive destination for those who are looking to live and work in the country long-term.
In conclusion, the end of the Golden Visa program and the government’s efforts to address the housing crisis in Portugal are significant developments that are likely to have an impact on the country’s economy and property market. While there may be some uncertainty in the short-term, these measures are intended to create a more sustainable and affordable housing market, which may ultimately make the country a more attractive destination for foreign investment and long-term residency.