Why are French people flocking to Portugal?

6th August 2015

Portugal is currently ‘à la mode’ for the French, especially for those who are retired and are looking for a sweeter life. The country is a bridge between three continents, has great weather, tax advantages and breathtaking landscapes, all of which are tempting French buyers to head southwest.

What’s the biggest attraction?

One of the biggest disparities is in the cost of living. Every day costs from travel to food are 35% lower in Portugal, yet it is just a two hours flight from Paris. House prices are the other big factor. Between 2011 and 2013 prices dropped on average 30% across the country. The market started strengthening again towards late 2014, which came as a signal to French buyers that now was the time to invest.

The figures back this up too. By the end of 2014 7,000 French people had settled in Portugal, of which 80% were retired. By 2016, this annual wave of is expected to reach 20,000 people.

But is it just the French?

No. Due to the increasing demand from the other continents, Emirates has doubled its daily flights to Portugal. Recent comments by a Emirates executive say it all. “The additional service will provide customers in Africa, the Far East and Australasia, the Middle East and West Asia with even easier access to Lisbon, supporting the burgeoning business and leisure traffic between these markets and Portugal.”

Portugal is now the 4th most popular destination for Chinese investments in Europe. Between October 2012 and June 2015 €1.47 billion was invested in the country’s Golden Visa scheme, of which almost 90% came from Chinese based investors.

Where in Portugal?

Lisbon has unsurprisingly the city of choice for many relocating, but traditional locations such as the Algarve and the Silver Coast, north of Lisbon, have also been popular. Lisbon is the closest European capital to the basket of countries on the other side of the Atlantic and Lisbon’s main airport is located only fifteen minutes from the city centre. It is ranked Europe’s safest capital – with low homicide rates and low criminal activity.

The city centre of Lisbon is undergoing a extensive regeneration, giving life to areas which became redundant as people and business left after the recession. It is getting back its original beauty.

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