Colorful houses in the Lisbon sunshine

Read This If You’re Thinking Of Buying Or Renting In Portugal

Portugal, Then And Now

As one of the most unassuming countries of Europe today, it’s easy to forget the power trip that Portugal enjoyed for centuries…

I’ve spent so much time in Spanish colonial cities in my life, but I’ve still not been to Brazil. I didn’t make it to Goa while in India either. And, until two weeks ago, I’d never visited the motherland herself.

So, I return from this first trip with a smattering of trivia on the country, her culture, and history. Turns out, modest little Portugal made some pretty astounding impacts that persist to this day…

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to stumble on Japan and the first to establish trade with it. Many Japanese words derive from Portuguese, though some of the most popular stories are questionable…

You might hear that obrigado, Portuguese for “thank you,” gave the Japanese their arigato. That’s nothing more than a fun legend.

But tempura-style cooking? Tempura comes from the Portuguese temporada—seasoned meat. That one’s true.

It was a Portuguese explorer who was the first European to reach China by sea and to “discover” Hong Kong. Yet another Portuguese sailor—this one a pirate—soured relations with the Chinese, leading to an edict that banned men with Caucasian features from Canton, modern-day Guangzhou.

The name Canton stuck for centuries and comes from the Portuguese cantão, which was simply how the Portuguese mispronounced the city’s original Chinese name. This flub—still honored by much of the English-speaking world today—ended up in the annals of history, printed on maps and in atlases used far and wide.

That’s just a taste of Portugal’s colorful history. But what’s going on in the country today?

On the first morning of our Live and Invest in Portugal Conference, Luis da Silva gave us the lowdown on the changes that have happened over the past five years (since our first event here) that are relevant to anyone thinking of buying or renting in the country.

Here are just a few of the updates Luis shared with our audience:

  • A more cosmopolitan market. The U.K. market has tumbled, but more Swiss, French, and American expats are moving in. You’ll now see as many as 20 nationalities in one neighborhood.
  • More new builds. Many of today’s buyers don’t want to have to deal with renovations. So, as you drive around the area, you’ll see brand-new “square-build properties” intermingled with traditional homes. In fact, there are often not enough of these to meet demand.
  • Prices have climbed as much as 60% to 100% in Lisbon over the last few years… so much so that buyers in Lisbon today need to be able to move fast—the best deals are often snapped up in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
  • Algarve prices are on the rise, too. While it was possible to buy a two-bedroom apartment for 130,000 euros a few years ago, today a two-bedroom apartment with sea views will cost 150,000 to 200,000 euros.
  • Regulations are changing in the big cities to handle over-tourism.HOA rules in apartment buildings, for example, can impose extra costs for those operating Airbnb units. Something to be aware of if you’re thinking about renting out your property. Again, this only applies to the main cities. If you’re in the Algarve, it’s not an issue.

And, what hasn’t changed? Luis went on to remind us why we were here…

  • Portugal is still a safe haven—currently the fourth-safest country in the world.
  • It’s a friendly country. Plus, in the Algarve, at least, English is widely spoken… allowing you to make connections more easily.
  • Ease of travel and connectivity. Faro—the Algarve’s airport—is well connected to Northern Europe. And, from Lisbon, you can connect to almost anywhere in the world.
  • Low cost of living. The cost of living in Portugal is one of the cheapest in Europe… especially for Old Europe.
  • The Golden Visa program is still alive… and has changed little in the last few years (plus, you only have to stay in the country seven days a year to maintain your residency status).

Luis also reminded us that Portugal is no longer a best-kept secret. We’ve been writing about this country for more than a decade. Now everybody is singing her praises—bloggers, vloggers, the lot…

Sadly, it will be a full year before our Live and Invest Overseas team gets to convene in Portugal again. If you missed this 2019 event, I wouldn’t leave it another year before you act. Not after what Luis tells us about this market…

If you’re at all interested in what this little sunny corner of Europe has to offer, I urge you to pick up your copy of our 2019 Live and Invest in Portugal Home Conference Kit—available to you, dear LIOS Confidential reader, at an exclusive 60% discount.

With this collection of 33 recordings and bonus reports, you’ll learn:

  • How to get the best deal on a rental or purchase
  • Your best options for health insurance in this country…
  • How to open a bank account, for yourself or your business…
  • The top residency visa options… and how to obtain them…
  • Several itemized budgets for day-to-day living, for those with budgets big and small…
  • Terms for borrowing locally for the purchase of real estate…
  • Real-life tales of success from expats already living and doing business in this top emerging retirement and investment haven…
  • And much, much more…

We’ve already closed our pre-release offer on this top Portugal resource to the rest of the readership. But, I’m allowed to keep it open for you…  today only… and with an extra US$20 off (for a total savings of 60%).

Kat Kalashian

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