Updated: August 17, 2023
A European tiled-roof seaside locale isn’t exactly a difficult sell. Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city, is finally getting a little more (long deserved) attention.
Winner of European Best Destination in 2012, 2014, and 2017, Porto ranked 2nd in Time Out City Life Index 2018 and achieved first place in Monocle’s Small Cities Index 2021. The election of Porto as European City of the Year by the 2020 Urbanism Awards further strengthens the city’s prestige and attracts luxury real estate investors.
What is luxury real estate?
A luxury real estate property should be unique and as exclusive as possible. Buyers prefer proximity to luxury activities and being near other luxury properties. A popular street creates added value. Many interested parties prefer a certain location or at least an exclusive view.
Why buy luxury real estate in Porto?
Everything that already seems difficult to achieve in most medium-sized European cities is still possible in Porto: living in the center, investing in luxury real estate properties with large areas and quality finishes, and enjoying river or sea views in a safe and quiet environment.
It’s also important to note that, in Porto:
- Property prices are below the average
- High-quality design and materials are a priority
- Investing in Porto’s luxury real estate scene is profitable
- Portugal offers tax incentives for newcomers, especially retirees
- There are no restrictions on foreign property ownership in Portugal
- Transaction costs are generally low
What are the most luxurious areas in Porto to buy real estate?
Some of the best areas to invest in luxury real estate in Porto are:
New developments in the heart of Baixa
The number of new developments that have emerged, favoring both indoor and outdoor areas, shows that living in Baixa means having an enormous quality of life. It should be noted that the best restaurants in the city have all moved here, or opened a second space.
The traditional neighborhoods of Foz do Douro
Since the 19th century, Foz do Douro has been the preferred place for the Porto bourgeoisie to buy a holiday home – and this is still evident today. There, the best houses and palaces persist by the coast. Some of the best schools in the city are also located in Foz. Everything in the area is at hand within a kilometer, including leisure areas such as tennis courts, paddle courts, and gyms.
Luxury condos in Boavista
It is here that you find houses of enviable architecture, with huge secret gardens at the rear, façades with typical Porto tiles, stained glass and skylights inside, spacious kitchens, lounges with dream floors, and swimming pools in the middle of wide lawned spaces.
A crucial area of Porto, it is served by commerce, schools, services, transport, and cultural offerings.
Investment opportunities in Campanhã
With a huge and growing concentration of spaces dedicated to the arts, Campanhã is the new place for culture, the arts, and, currently, one of the best places to invest in luxury real estate in Porto. With excellent accessibility and close to the Metro, it is one of the parishes where it is possible to buy the largest properties at smaller prices.
What are luxury real estate prices like in Porto?
The luxury real estate prices remain solid, traditionally a field with a certain immunity to crises.
For around €1.000.000 (350 square meters), you can own a villa in the central area around Avenida Marechal Gomes da Costa, next to Serralves Museum. For around €2.250.000 it is possible to buy an 870 sq.m. palace, 24 bedrooms, in the Paranhos area. For €3.500.000 you can purchase a 548 s.qm. building in one of the noblest and oldest streets of the city center.
How to pick the perfect luxury property in Porto
There is no ready-made checklist by which you can tell whether the property belongs to the luxury category. Still, some features characterize an upscale property.
Typical features of a luxury property
These include a first-class location, high-quality interior fittings, professional kitchen appliances, and tailor-made furniture as well as hotel-like services such as concierge and wellness centers. Often it is the unique characteristics that separate luxury properties from general ones. This includes, for example, buildings designed by a renowned architect.
Enlisting the help of a buyer’s agent vs realtor
The biggest difference between a buyer’s agent and a realtor comes down to the certifications. While they have similar jobs, they are held to different standards as established by the National Association of Realtors.
How to ensure you’re paying a fair price for your luxury real estate in Porto
Luxury real estate buyers can ensure their purchase of a luxury home is a hitch-free decision by using the following tips below.
- Look at the comps. Look over a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). An agent can help you with the process.
- Work with a great realtor who specializes in luxury home purchases and sales. They can help you find a luxury home. Realtors know the local areas where luxury homes are. They are familiar with the features, services, and tax rates of those communities. They can be your guide to find homes and provide information about the process of buying a luxury home.
- Pricing wise, think about how much you want the property in question
- Get an appraisal
Is it a good idea to buy luxury real estate in Porto?
“Porto is increasingly the destination of choice for investment in Portugal”, says Patrícia Barão, head of the JLL consultancy. “Proof of this is the relocation of promoters who are looking for an alternative to Lisbon and who, despite having started their investments in the capital, are currently more active in Porto”, explains the specialist. The figures from the National Statistics Institute show the trend.
Is there a real estate bubble in Porto?
Porto is small for the growing demand and the lower supply is starting to push prices to speculative values in some areas of the city. This is the opinion of David Pinto, a local prosecutor interviewed by Forbes. Despite the fears generated by the rapid increase in prices, it is consensual among promoters that the market remains attractive and with potential.
Tips to consider when buying luxury property in Porto
Porto is not only a good place to invest, but also a good city to live, work, and enjoy a unique quality of life.
Buying real estate in Porto to relocate
Safe, sunny, with a rich culture and heritage and with a high quality of health services, international schools, and vibrant cultural life, Porto offers many benefits for expatriates. Porto is home to prestigious international schools, open to foreign cultures, and known for its capacity to welcome, integrate, and make anyone feel at home.
Buying real estate in Porto to invest
- The Financial Times considered Porto the 3rd Best City to Invest in Southern Europe (2014-2015) and the 5th best medium-sized European city in FDI Strategy (2020-2021)
- According to the World Economic Forum, Portugal is the 34th best country among 141 economies in terms of Global Competitiveness (2019)
- Portugal ranks 39th out of 190 world economies in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 ranking
- In 2019, the rating agency Fitch raised the rating of Porto to BBB
- Data from Confidencial Imobiliário indicate that around 10,900 dwellings are under licensing in the AMP, of which 5650 are in the municipality – an opportunity for investors who want to bet on the rental market.
Where to search for the best real estate deals
Some of the best websites to find luxury real estate deals in Portugal include Idealista, Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Engels&Volkers, and Imovirtual. Yet, since buying a luxury property requires expertise, we suggest that you use an independent buyers agency.
Due diligence checks
You should consider a variety of factors when performing due diligence, including company capitalization, revenue, valuations, competitors, management, and risks. By taking the time to perform due diligence before making a purchase, you’ll be better equipped to make a decision that aligns with your overall investment strategy.
Negotiating the perfect contract
Once you have found your perfect property and your offer has been accepted, your first step is to inform your agent. They will obtain all the necessary documentation for divulgence including checking the classification of the property at the land registry to ensure it has been correctly registered. They will also check the legal title to the property and carry out the searches to ensure that the land is registered both at the land registry and the tax office and that there are no liabilities registered or no restrictions on title.
Your agent will send you a title report, setting out the legal characteristics of the property and once you have agreed with this you are in a position to exchange contracts and pay a 10% deposit.
Get in touch
If you have found your dream property in Portugal, seek help from a specialized property investment firm such as Goldcrest. As an independent local’s buyers agent, Goldcrest helps international families get sound property investments in their desired locations in Portugal.
Frequently asked questions about luxury real estate in Porto
What are luxury real estate prices like in Porto?
Porto‘s luxury property is still very inexpensive, in comparison with European prime locations. Even more if we take into account its various benefits: security, sun in abundance, history, heritage, culture, high quality health and education, international schools, excellent transport network, gastronomy and leisure, friendly population, proximity to work, cost affordable living and more.
- Urban development projects in Porto may apply for REURB 2020 – Special Regime for Urban Management, developed in response to the Covid-19 crisis, which provides fiscal benefits at the level of urban fees and accelerates all urbanistic processes.
- Porto com Sentido program supports the inclusion of existing local accommodation (AL) units in the residential rental market in Porto
- Other municipal incentives are available which increase the city's attractiveness for luxury real estate investments
- IFRRU 2020 is a financial instrument backed by the Portuguese Government and co-financed by EU funds, which provides loans and guarantees for urban rehabilitation and revitalization projects.