With Portugal expected to be included in the UK government’s ‘green’ list for travel from 17th May, (meaning visitors will not need to quarantine on their return to the UK) the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK is predicting a flood of British visitors who are more interested in living there permanently, rather than just taking a holiday.
Noting the pent-up demand created by the many months of Covid-19 travel restrictions, the Chamber’s General Manager Christina Hippisley says:
“Every day we are receiving calls and emails from British residents just waiting to get on a plane to Portugal. The most common enquiries are about what residency options there are in Portugal for Brits now we are no longer part of Europe, followed by questions about how to move their businesses there and work remotely. Portugal appeals to a relatively wealthy demographic. On top of its existing fan base of older, more established retirees and second homeowners, the country’s growing reputation as a tech investment and manufacturing hub is attracting a new breed of younger, working families keen to live there permanently.”
Working and living in Portugal
The annual June 2020 report from Portugal’s immigration authorities revealed that British residents are the single largest group of foreign residents in Portugal. Portugal’s 2021 census, currently underway, looks likely to show a large increase in this number, given the twin pressures of Brexit and the pandemic.
To deal with the increasing interest in Portugal from new audiences, the Chamber is ramping up its series of live and virtual Moving to Portugal webinars and events over the coming weeks, culminating in the next live event, the Moving to Portugal Show and Seminars, which will take place in October 2021 in London, (circumstances permitting).
Over 6,000 people have attended the Chamber’s Moving to Portugal events in the UK and Ireland in the recent past.
To assess how the pandemic and the impact of Brexit has changed expectations, the Chamber has just surveyed its database of visitors, identifying the following trends:
• 59% of respondents are looking to move permanently to Portugal, seeking a healthier, less stressful lifestyle as the pandemic hopefully recedes
• 63% want information on tax planning, pensions, and Portugal’s healthcare system before leaving the UK
• 57% are planning to move within 12-24 months
• 37% of respondents are interested in moving their business to Portugal or starting a new business there
Second homes in Portugal
While a new breed of business mover is keen on Portugal, the traditional second home-owner market has not disappeared, if anything, this demand is also growing. 28% of those surveyed were considering buying a second home in Portugal, with 37% already being frequent visitors to Portugal, and 69% looking to spend between Euros 250-1m on a property. The Algarve still tops the list of preferred areas, followed closely by Lisbon and, more surprising, the more rural centre of Portugal.
This demand is echoed by recent data from Rightmove Overseas which revealed a 28% year on year increase in searches for property in Portugal.
Why is Portugal still so popular?
Portugal’s appeal is well known to the Brits – even more so now so many are seeking a healthy wellness-filled lifestyle in the sunshine, away from the twin pressures of Brexit and the pandemic – with the additional benefit of working remotely from home.
Specific to the Algarve, vibrant and multi-use destinations are increasingly popular from British buyers who wish to live active outdoor lifestyles. Recently the region maintained all its 91 Blue Flag beaches for 2021. The region is proudly flying 87 Blue Flags on its beaches and four on its marinas, including the two beaches and marina in Vilamoura. Situated in the Algarve’s Golden Triangle, 20 minutes’ drive west of Faro airport, Vilamoura is one of Portugal’s most popular destinations. Against the backdrop of the spectacular Algarve coastline, Vilamoura delivers a wide range of lifestyle choices and leisure opportunities – including an international award-winning marina, five renowned championship golf courses, two beaches and world-class equestrian facilities that complement the high-quality education and health facilities in the destination.
“Each of these areas are essential when moving overseas, so there are plenty of decisions to make. Thankfully, if you are planning on moving to Portugal, you are following a well-trodden path, which means that there are clear processes in place for how to achieve what you need to.”
Christina Hippisley, General Manager of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK
About the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK
The Chamber runs regular online and live events in the UK all year round to advise Brits who want to move to Portugal or buy a second home there on how they can sort out their tax, residency, property, insurance and lifestyle issues. Over 6,000 Brits have attended our events so far and the demand is growing exponentially now Brexit is finally done.