Looking to invest in property overseas? With Porto's tourism numbers about to skyrocket, the Porto property market is soon expected to be as hot as a Portuguese summer
Made famous as the birthplace of port – that deliciously sweet fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley – Porto is a coastal city in northwest Portugal known for its stately bridges, cobbled alleys and stunningly ornate historical buildings. A great holiday spot, you might be interested to know that the average price per square meter of a city centre apartment is just €1,680, which means investors can still find a studio apartment in the city for about €80,000 (£71,000) or a two-bed renovated apartment for €210,000 (£187,000). Not bad, eh?
The British have long been the biggest population of expats since they arrived for the port trade more than three centuries ago, and their influence is felt across the city. There are currently 66,720 foreign residents in the Porto area, and these numbers are growing every day due to the city’s natural beauty, cosmopolitan environment and open-minded atmosphere.
An additional attraction is the fact that Portugal has one of the most competitive tax regimes aimed at attracting non-resident qualified professionals and high value-added activities worldwide. In addition to the foreign interest, the local government is spearheading over 1,000 redevelopment projects and there are new coffee shops, restaurants and areas of interest all over the city and its outlying suburbs.
Located by the sea, the climate in Porto is mild and pleasant, with an average minimum winter temperature of 5ºC and average maximum summer temperature of 26ºC. There are 220 sunny days a year and 7.7 daily hours of blissful hours of sunshine on average. Being the birthplace of port and the gateway to the beautiful Douro Valley, Porto also attracts a lot of wine tourism, with visitors often combining a city break to experience the cultural and historical sites with a trip into the valley for wine and port tasting. There are also many outdoor activities – such as jogging, canoeing and surfing – all year round in beautiful parks and on the ocean. White sandy beaches are only 7km away from the city centre, many with the EU Blue Flag, while Porto and the north of Portugal have numerous golf courses designed mostly by renowned international architects.
And if that's not enough to convince you, there's also the fact that the European Medicines Agency (the EMA, which is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines in the EU) is planning to relocate from the UK after Brexit, with Porto bidding along with 18 other cities to be its new home. With 301 foreign multinational companies already based in Porto and 872 in the Porto Metropolitan Area, it's clear the city is already an appealing prospect for international business, and with the potential arrival of the EMA, about to elevate its world standing in infrastructural and economical improvement yet again.