Porto in Portugal, recently rated first among the top 25 best small cities in the world to relocate to in Monocle magazine’s inaugural Small Cities Index, is the latest hotspot of choice for South Africans entering Portugal’s Golden Visa Programme.
Chris Immelman, who heads up Pam Golding International, said: “Portugal is among the top three in the 2020 Global Peace Index, and with English widely spoken, great weather, an affordable cost of living and healthcare, excellent education facilities and no wealth or inheritance tax or tax on overseas pensions, is increasingly popular among South Africans seeking residency by investment or easy access to EU countries.
“With interest and uptake ongoing through the Covid-19 lockdown, most of our investors are looking to acquire a Golden Visa in order to afford them and their immediate families visa-free access to EU countries in all 26 countries in the Schengen zone to study, work or live – with some seeking to relocate or retire permanently to Portugal.
Pam Golding said that over the past three-and-a-half years, it has assisted 380 families to enter the Golden Visa Programme, which offers residency via investment in property, with an entry level of only €350,000 (R6.4 million).
A number of early investors have already been granted citizenship, it said.
Immelman said it’s not surprising that Porto is stealing the limelight as a highly desirable location for investment, tourism or to live. “As we have seen in South Africa, many people are reassessing their lifestyles and accommodation requirements, and some are finding that with work-from-home gaining preference, they are able to live and work from anywhere in the world.
“Many are also looking to achieve their goal of living outside major metros but still within second-tier cities or peripheral areas for a better way of life, while still with easy access to all amenities. The same applies in Portugal, and as a smaller city, Porto has much to offer for tourists, residents and investors alike.
“Factors taken into account in the Small Cities Index include quality of life, room to breathe, welcoming culture, career and business opportunities and access to nature. Porto has all these qualities in spades and more, including a vibey, cosmopolitan feel and sense of community.”
Situated within the historical areas of the city, the latest Golden-Visa approved investment opportunity in Porto is the Lapa Porto Hotel, which operates under Marriott’s Renaissance brand.
With investment available at €350,000 per investor, which includes full EU residency and seven days free stay in the hotel per year, there are 163 rooms, a convention centre capable of hosting 1,000 pax, restaurant and roof top swimming pool. The hotel is expected to commence operating in Q1 in 2023.
This will be one of Porto’s flagship developments for 2011 with the Mayor indicating that he will be attending the ground-breaking ceremony next month (December 2020). In addition, the developers will be constructing a large open park, directly adjacent to the hotel, which will be donated to the city for the use of its residents.
The developers are also offering a net return of 3% to all investors from the time that the hotel will be in operation. Furthermore, they are offering a compulsory buy back to all investors, which means that they will repurchase each investor’s share at the original purchase price of €350,000 at the end of the Golden Visa programme.
Integrated into an urban context, the hotel represents an exclusive piece of architecture, well balanced with the city landscape and with plenty of glass, wood and other natural materials as well as open spaces.