According to the Portuguese Real Estate Agency Association APEMIP, French nationals bought more property in Portugal than the British or Chinese during the first three months of this year.
Foreign investment in Portugal made up 20% of overall real estate transactions during the first quarter of this year, which means a decrease of 2% compared to the same period of last year and 3% compared to 2014. However this is not cause by a decrease of foreign investment but by an increase of national transactions registered during that period.
French property investment now represents 27% of the global foreign investment, an increase of 11 percentual points compared to 2014, superseding British (18%) and Chinese (13%) market shares. According to APEMIP chairman Luís Lima this is the result of a protocol signed in 2013 between the Syndicat National de Professionnels de l’ Immobilier and APEMIP. Other notable foreign property buyers are Brazilians with 8% of the share, followed by Belgians (5%) and Swiss (4%).
Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve remain the preferred locations for foreigners to purchase property in Portugal, APEMIP said. British investment remains centered on the Algarve, Chinese on Lisbon, whilst the French is more heterogeneous, although focused on the Algarve, Lisbon and Porto.
As an estate agent I know that these stats are also being influenced by a possible withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Brexit) as many British investors are waiting for the outcome of the referendum, which will take place on 23 June 2016, before committing to any sort of investment.