Report slams Golden Visa regime
Portugal’s Golden Visa programme did make it difficult for Portuguese nationals to have access to housing at affordable rates because it inflated house prices.
This is according to a report ordered by the Prime Minister, António Costa before it was decided to scrap the programme. It showed the programme also reduced the number of properties available and inflated the price of properties in areas facing the greatest pressure.
“There is not sufficient information to permit a grounded recommendation for the continuity or reworking of the ARI (Golden Visas)”, states the report which was produced between January and February, 2023 by a cross-ministerial working group that involved the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Internal Administration, Housing, Justice, Economy, Culture, and the Presidency.
The report found that the programme created in 2012 “made access to housing for the Portuguese difficult” and questioned to what extent the ARI regime reduced access to housing for national citizens, over the reduction in the number of properties available in the residential market for nationals and/or inflated the price of properties in areas under the greatest pressure”.
The Golden Visas were not just aimed at investors in real estate, but in Portugal represented 90% of the beneficiaries.
“In the existing literature on the topic, it is often mentioned that the purchase of properties by the ARI applicant, among other factors, encourages the increase in property prices, making them beyond the financial reach of national families” states the report, stressing that that the pressure caused by demand has led to an increase in prices and has made access to housing difficult”.
The report also highlighted a boom in demand in the real estate market and is associated with a phenomena of evictions and Portuguese nationals forced to look for properties on the periphery of cities because they cannot keep up with the increase in property prices.