Is the Algarve Sun Starting to Shine on Golden Visas?

The Golden Visa scheme was introduced in 2012 and was seen by many as a fast track way not only to sell property to foreigners who wanted a European Visa but also as a get rich quick scheme for many would-be agents.

At B&P we looked at this scheme with great interest as our background had been property investment consultants and many of our partner agents from those days had jumped onto the band wagon and were looking for properties to sell. At that time we chose to back away from the scheme for two primary reasons:

1. We felt the way the agents were finding the clients was too lax and lacked integrity.
2. We felt that the Algarve did not offer what many of the clients wanted.

We are after all a holiday destination. If people were moving half way across the world, we felt they would expect the facilities offered by the major cities of Lisbon & Porto.

The legislation for the Golden Visa was also a concern. The vetting of clients appeared to be onerous and this came true in 2015 when the scheme was suspended following a really successful 2014 where around 1400 visas were applied for. The scheme was suspended while the authorities introduced further legislation to tighten the prospect of fraudulent applications and this led to the resignation of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Miguel Macedo. Following the lifting of the suspension, 2016 saw a rejuvenated scheme start to move forward with an estimated 2000 applications in the year. The total investment in this scheme since its launch totaled around 2.5€ billion.

In fact, SEF, the controlling body that manages this issue of the Golden Visa claim they can approve most applications in under 3 months!

Having said all of this and even with B&P achieving record year after record year since 2012, we had only closed around 3 Golden Visa sales.

Until the last few months!!! It appears although many of the Chinese clients prefer to buy real Gucci handbags rather than the choice section available on Lagos avenida; they are starting to realize what the Algarve does have in its favour. In addition to the Chinese, we have also sold to a number of Russian clients looking to relocate to a calmer environment.

That being said, there does need to be a minimum of €500,000 invested to gain the visa, not just for the investor but also for direct family members. In 2016 approximately 2000 investors made a purchase under the golden visa scheme resulting in around 3000 visa applications for their direct family members.

Because of this, and after another record year, we are now in need of high quality villas and apartments over the €500,000 price threshold.

If you have a property to sell email me at mail@bpaproperty.com or call in to the office for a free consultation.

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