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Buying a house: the Algarve and Porto in the sights of the French

Buying a house: the Algarve and Porto in the sights of the French

Specialists assure that Portugal is the best country to live in. French invest in the Algarve, attracted by the sun, and in Porto, seduced by the technological hub.

In the prelude to what many specialists anticipate could be a severe international economic shock, there is a country that once again stands out as the safest and most inviting place to live and buy a house: Portugal. This was confirmed recently in an interview with "Expresso" by Tuomas Malinen, an economist from a macroeconomics consultancy based in Helsinki, after expressing some concern over the future of the European Union. "Portugal is a good country to be in at this time," he stressed, referring to the privileged geographical and political position the country occupies in the current world situation. At a time when the world faces several challenges, from war to the energy crisis, this position is a kind of immunity card that allows those who live in Portugal to continue having a high standard of living.

"Portugal is not very dependent on Russian energy. Therefore, it will not go badly. Besides, it has sun and sea," praised the Nordic professor, analyst and economist. The French realized this a long time ago, so they continue to channel their investments into Portuguese real estate, preferably located in the Algarve, due to the sun and golf, in Porto and in the North of Portugal. In Vila do Conde, a coastal town located at the mouth of the River Ave, the demand for villas and apartments located on the waterfront, whose terraces and balconies offer tranquillity and sea views, has also increased in recent years. The British, Brazilians, Germans and Chinese are following suit, as proven by the experience of LUXIMOS Christie's International Real Estate, here in a testimonial given by Ricardo Costa, CEO of the premium market company.


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Tuomas Malinen's speciality is not even real estate, but from his continual study of the crises that have shaken economies around the world, something is very obvious: "If you look at the geography of Europe, the Portuguese are in the right corner of the continent. They are quite far from Russia and they are close to Africa and they can get energy from African countries that will not cut off their supply. The Portuguese don't feel militarily threatened by anyone. It's a good country to be in at the moment", he insisted. In the opposite direction, he continued, "the worst place is Italy. Germany is not in a good situation either, and the Nordic countries should unite", he advised.

Portugal's location and its natural virtues contribute to the country being repeatedly elected as the best place in the world to live (this was also the case during the covid-19 pandemic). In this sense, certainly nobody is surprised when Portugal insists on "giving cards" in the Tourism Oscars, as it happened again for the fifth time in six years. The country of sun and sea, safety and hospitality was once again elected Best Tourist Destination in Europe, in the edition of the World Travel Awards 2022. In fact, it was not the only award; it picked up more than 30 awards in various categories, including Best City Destination (Porto), Best Beach Destination (Algarve) and Best Tourist Attraction (Passadiços do Paiva).


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Investment continues to grow in Portugal

If it is true that no one is surprised anymore, it is equally true that the distinctions successively attributed to the country do not bypass foreign citizens who continue to want to invest in Portuguese real estate or change their residence, namely through the Residence Permit for Investment Activities programme (Gold Visas), or great national businessmen. In an interview granted to Francisco Pinto Balsemão for the podcast "Leaving the World a Better Place", the businesswoman Paula Amorim could not resist also sharing her optimism: "Portugal is, without a doubt, on the radar of tourism and investors". However, Galp's president argues that the country is not suited to mass tourism: "Due to its geographical, cultural and architectural characteristics, there is no room in Portugal for mass tourism. That's not the way forward for a country that should be preserved."

Regardless of the opinion on which segment the country should focus on, Portugal is constantly growing abroad. It is no longer only the country of the sun and the sea, of the retired and of those who want to rest. It is also the country of those who want to work and invest seriously in the future. For this very reason, the cities of Porto, Gaia and Matosinhos have united to create a brand - Greater Porto - with which they will make themselves known to international markets, namely the American, European and Middle Eastern markets. "The country is well seen from the point of view of investment," acknowledged Ricardo Valente, councillor for the Economy, Employment and Entrepreneurship of the Porto City Council, also speaking to the "Expresso". And he went further: "Porto will probably close with its best year ever in terms of investment. Fortunately we have already attracted large companies from the USA or Denmark, and for the first time we have an Austrian technology company setting up its technology centre in Porto (Parkside). This means the recognition of the city as a technological hub, which goes beyond the initial logic of French and German companies. We have extended the attraction of companies to other geographies, such as Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom."


Related Article: What does Portugal have that the Americans want?

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