Navigating Portugal’s fast-paced commercial property market is daunting for investors unfamiliar with the market, especially given that many of the best investment opportunities are not promoted on the open market.
But the opportunity to invest should not be missed - buying commercial property in Portugal can be a lucrative route to diversify investment portfolios and generate consistent long-term yields, as well as provide a secure real estate asset in a volatile international market.
At Athena Advisers, we pair potential investors with an experienced, well-connected adviser to provide guidance throughout the entire journey. With an intimate understanding of the Portuguese commercial property market, David Moura-George, our commercial real estate expert based in Lisbon, takes a bespoke approach to help clients find a commercial property for sale.
Portugal Golden Visa & commercial property
Whilst access to the Portugal Golden Visa programme changed in January 2022, the benefits still remain the same, including visa-free travel throughout the Schengen Area in Europe and the opportunity for you and your family to qualify for permanent Portuguese residency and citizenship.
Though residential properties in major coastal areas no longer qualify for the Golden Visa, commercial properties with a minimum investment of €500,000 remain eligible, offering investors the opportunity to invest in cities and coastal areas with the continued dual benefits of wealth creation and access to the Golden Visa.
Why invest in commercial property in Portugal?
As well as diversifying an investment portfolio, commercial real estate is great for generating consistent long-term yield and is a secure asset during both high and low cycles.
Buying a commercial property for sale in Portugal enables investors to generate long-term, stable and consistent revenue streams which can be paid monthly, quarterly or annually.
Many of our Portuguese commercial properties for sale come with AAA-rated tenants - the best score available - already in place, not to mention locked in for up to 20 years. There is also an excellent bank guarantee system in place, so if your tenant leaves or is removed for not paying their rent, the bank will support you whilst you source a new tenant for a period of up to 12 months.
Portuguese commercial property investment yields range from 4.5% to 6.5% gross, though the average yield will vary according to the type of commercial asset. Commercial yields often outperform residential yields and are a lucrative investment option compared to traditional alternative investments in bonds or stocks. What’s more, it is also possible to get financing for commercial properties with LTVs of up to 50%, allowing you to generate boost your ROI.
At the end of each year, the Portuguese government releases the latest inflation figures and it is then possible to adjust the property lease in order to account for any increases, so commercial real estate is widely considered as an asset class that can help offset the impact of inflation.
As well as generating reliable rental yields which are in line with inflation, the value of a commercial property will usually increase over time and you can also benefit from leverage.
Commercial real estate is usually a very hands-off investment as it is the responsibility of the tenant to maintain and manage the property. This means that you can generate rental yields without having to worry about the day-to-day running of the asset - this makes it ideal for international investors.
Types of commercial property for sale in Portugal
One of the most popular types of commercial properties, offices in Lisbon are particularly attractive for international investors, and last year office sales represented 37% of all commercial property transactions in Lisbon. Though Covid caused some uncertainty within the office sector with many businesses adopting home working during the height of the pandemic, halfway through 2021, demand for office space began to take, largely due to businesses relocating, and it is expected that 2022 will see even more office space purchased in Lisbon. What’s more, whilst there are several new large office projects on construction, such as Hub Criativo do Beato, around 70% of the 70,000 sqm office space expected to be delivered this year has already been let.
With limited supply and huge demand from blue-chip corporates and VC-backed tech start-ups looking to establish a presence in Portugal, especially in Lisbon, buying office properties can be an ideal investment opportunity. During 2021, those who rented out offices in prime locations could expect a yield of around 4%.
A dynamic sector with a limited supply of suitable properties, retail property investment can be anything from a hands-off long-term secure asset with blue-chip, AAA tenants like Pingo Doce or Continente to something riskier which allows for lease regearing or is vacant with the opportunity to change its use. The retail sector also encompasses food and beverage outlets that could be leased to major international brands such as Starbucks, Burger King or Pizza Hut.
The retail property market is particularly interesting in Portugal, partially due to the continued preference of the Portuguese to shop in person as opposed to online. As such, the e-commerce industry is growing at a slower rate compared to the UK and other markets.
Prime retail yields vary slightly depending on the type of retail property. In 2021, shopping centres saw the best yields with 5.25% on average, closely followed by food stores which had an average yield of 5%. In the same year, prime high street retail units generated, on average, yields of 4.25%.
Industrial & logistics
One of the hottest markets to invest in at the moment, this sector comprises mainly assets used for storage, distribution or assembly but may also include properties that can also be a mix of office and industrial space. Logistic properties in Portugal normally benefit from long leases of up to 25 years and in 2021 the average rental yield for this type of commercial property was 5.75%.
With a warm climate, a diverse landscape and a unique culture, Portugal is a popular destination for tourists, especially those from the UK, Germany and Spain. From small boutique hotels to global-branded properties, buying a hotel in Portugal can be a lucrative investment opportunity. What’s more, with increased restrictions on short-term rental licences throughout the capital, hotels are set to benefit from major growth and capital appreciation. In 2021, hotels in prime locations - like Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve - and rented on a long-term basis to renowned hospitality brands saw yields from 5-6.5%.
As well as regular multi-family properties, this exciting sector also encompasses student housing and nursing homes. With many people now working remotely or taking a hybrid approach to office life, it is a really exciting time to invest in residential property. Portugal has a very robust local market and property here is increasingly sought after by international buyers looking to savour Portugal's amazing quality of life and tap into its thriving tech hub. 2021 saw more than 190,000 homes sold, an 18% increase compared to the previous year.
A selection of commercial properties for sale.
Commercial Retail -
What are the costs associated with investing in commercial property?
If you are interested in buying a commercial property in Portugal, there are a number of additional fees and taxes you will need to take into account. We have outlined the key costs below. Please note, IMT, IMI and financing expenses will be worked out for you on a case-by-case basis.
- IMT: Up to 6% of the sale price
- Stamp duty: 0.8% of the sale price
- Office / registry / lawyers: approx. 1% of the property value
Company running costs
- Tax: 21.5% of the company's earning
- Accounting: €200/month (average)
- Additional fees: 1% annual management fee for funds only
- IMI: 0.3-0.45% of the Veneral value
- Insurance: Depend on the property size and type
- Financing (varies case by case)
- Up to 50% LTV
- Up to 10 years
Financing (varies case by case)
- Up to 50% LTV
- Up to 10 years
Commercial property market update in 2022
“Two of the most exciting commercial sectors to invest in are supermarkets and logistics. Both of these resilient sectors strengthened throughout the pandemic. With a very limited supply of high-quality logistics or supermarket units on the market, these properties have grown in value whilst the rental income has remained the same, resulting in what is known as yield compression.” explains David Moura-George, our in-house commercial property expert.
How we help investors find the right commercial property
With a dynamic and diverse property market, it can be hard to know where to begin if you are looking to invest in commercial properties for sale in Portugal. By sharing your aspirations, motivations and investment objectives, we use our local knowledge and extensive network to conduct a property search of the whole market. Acting on your behalf, not the property sellers’, we will provide you with a bespoke, tailor-made service, and will carefully curate a selection of commercial properties for sale in Portugal that closely align with your specific goals. From property search to the future resale, we are here to guide you every step of the way by advising you to make the right investment decision and ensuring your purchase is as hassle-free as possible.
Contact our commercial property advisers
Complete the form below to get in touch with David Moura-George, our highly experienced commercial property expert.
Managing Director, Portugal