North Americans, First Investors In Portugal

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  • 3.229 North Americans got the residency certificate last year.
  • Lisbon and Porto are the hotspot cities to invest in housing. Cascais and Estoril are also called as the new California.
  • Tax incentives, lower cost of living, security index and health system are the main reasons why Americans choose to live in Portugal.
  • Changes in Golden Visa legislation to € 500,000 has relaunched other products such as investment funds.
  • Consulting companies as the Portuguese leader KLEYA confirm that the increased income is a result of legislative change to Golden Visas.

Lisbon, Portugal – July 11th 2022 – Portugal has tripled the number of people moving from the United States. According to the Foreigners and Borders Service, in 2021, it went from 1,609 to 3,229 the north Americans officially registered as residents. Vasco Rosa da Silva, CEO of KLEYA, leading one-stop shop advisory service in Portugal, explains the main motivations for this exponential increase: “The very interesting cost of living in the country and the public health system are the main reasons that motivate the Americans to move to Portugal together with the, security index and the possibility to use the Schengen area; being able to move around the European countries.”

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North Americans are the first in foreign real estate investment in Portugal ahead of Chinese, French, British and Brazilians. They spent 134 million euros just in Lisbon town  in 2021. Porto, Cascais and Estoril are the others favorite places to invest and live in Portugal for North Americans before and after the change in Golden Visa legislation applied since January 1, 2022.

Favorable Environment To Invest In Portugal

In 2021 The Portuguese Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade reported that foreign investment had increased by 229% compared to 2019. In euros, this percentage is a figure close to 3 trillion (2,700 million euros). António Costa e Silva, Portuguese Minister of Economy, has recently declared that "In only the first two months of 2022 we have managed to attract a net balance of 2,200 million euros". According to Costa e Silva, the exponential progression of the figures will make the Portuguese economy “more robust and dynamic”.

This global foreign investment figure includes data of all investment sectors (industrial, foreign exchange, variable income, real estate...). KLEYA reports that the technology and digital sectors are generating high search volumes. The two categories are reaching levels close to that of traditional sectors such as tourism and real estate.

“The biggest challenge for a company that bets on Portugal finding qualified labor,” said the CEO of KLEYA. “Therefore, together with foreign investment, an increasing number of expatriate workers will arrive in Portugal.” KLEYA partners with different companies to facilitate the integration of their clients into the country. The partnerships provide services that assist the client with the processes and procedures for their relocation in Portugal. These services include legal, fiscal and tax procedures, obtaining work permits, residence search and all other logistical tasks required for the move. The Non-Habitual Residents (NHR) regime also facilitates the entry of skilled workers into Portugal.

Radiography Of Investments And Golden Visa

In terms of global estate investment, there is a decrease of capital entering Portugal. In 2022 the country averaged 40 million euros per month, compared to 60 million per month in 2021. Foreign capital raised through the Golden Visa decreased due to an increase in investment requirements. The minimum investment required to attain a Golden Visa increased from 350,000 euros to 500,000. New geographical restrictions also contribute to the lack of investment capital. However as investment in real estate slows down, the demand for investment funds increases. The real estate market has calmed down after the madness in the last quarter of 2021 before the change in legislation.

“Real estate investment in residential is now directed to low-density regions; therefore Lisbon, Porto and a large part of the Algarve are outside the Golden Visa,” said Rosa da Silva. “The diversification of the investment is a very positive sign. The legislative change of the Golden Visa aims to limit the gentrification of the coast with respect to the lack of investment in the interior in real estate. Now, real estate investment has been diverted towards the commercial real estate sector, which can be done in Lisbon, Porto or the Algarve”.

According to the CEO of KLEYA, it is a great opportunity for the regions and communities farthest from the big centers. Portugal is an attractive destination for foreign companies to place their highly innovative hubs. "Digital nomads" are gaining popularity with their increasingly widespread work and lifestyle. The Portuguese country offers a wide array of opportunities as well as security, full civil rights and liberties and an unbeatable lifestyle.

About Kleya

Kleya is an independent one-stop shop offering integrated solutions tailored to the global needs of retirees, investors, expatriates, offshore workers, entrepreneurs and students, among others, who wish to live in Portugal.

Kleya is one of the companies of the Beyond Insurance part of the Ageas Portugal group. This partnership, established in 2018, positions Kleya as an international reference of the group in improving the quality of life of those who have chosen Portugal as a host country. In 2020, the Ageas Portugal group acquired the entire share capital of Kleya.