Popularly known for its colourful and ornate architecture, Lisbon is Europe’s only capital city that is not just on the coast but also has access to some of the continent’s best beaches in under 20 minutes, whichever direction you go. Beach culture is big in Portugal, with an open policy that ensures that there is no such thing as private beaches or VIP areas. In fact, the Portuguese version of the popular British idiom to express distaste: ‘It’s not my cup of tea’ translates directly as ‘It’s not my beach’.
With its warm climate and year-round sunshine, it’s hard not to feel as though you’re permanently on holiday in Lisbon, despite the fact it’s a bustling capital city. Famed for its beauty by artists, directors and photographers, Lisbon’s allure is undeniable, yet it remains discrete in nature, with many celebrities roaming around free of prying eyes or paparazzi.
It’s easy to understand why Lisbon might appeal to the A-list crowd. Beauty and location aside, there is something incredibly authentic and unpretentious about the culture. This is a city where simplicity reigns, with some of the most unassuming but top-notch seafood restaurants in Europe. The city is a melting pot of rich and diverse cultures, with historical ties to its past empire that spans continents and centuries.
International appeal is also helped by the reputation of the Portuguese people as being some of the most welcoming and friendly in Europe, while a myriad of languages is commonly spoken by residents in Lisbon and other major cities.
"This is a city where simplicity reigns, with some of the most unassuming but top-notch seafood restaurants in Europe."
What can you get for your money in Lisbon?
Knight Frank has listed all properties within the past 12 months.
Neighbourhoods to watch
Marvila / Beato
Marvila is becoming increasingly popular among international property buyers and now is a good time to invest. Once an industrial village, it has recently gone through a major transformation and is now one of the trendiest areas of Lisbon. Marvila is well connected: there are two train stations that serve the area, and it is easy to drive to central Lisbon. Situated in the eastern part of central Lisbon, Beato is bordered in the north by the Marvila district. Like Marvila, Beato properties are starting to catch the eye of international home buyers for their investment value and the favourable lifestyle enjoyed by residents. Access to international schools is another draw for home buyers in Beato, with a number of international schools close to the area.
This area to watch sits between the busy Cais do Sodré and Belém, where you can spot the city’s iconic Belém Tower. Thanks to its favourable location, Alcântara is becoming more popular amongst both local and international residents, and is close to some of the city’s major site – just walk along the river and you will have the beautiful 25 de Abril Bridge (the twin sister of San Francisco’s Golden Gate) directly in your sight.
Offering everything you need for a comfortable quality of life: services, parks, cafés and good connections to other parts of Lisbon – it’s also home to the urban Campo Grande park.
What’s driving demand
25 Universities / 26 international Schools Free education in local state system
Reason for buying?
Price per sq m:
Core: €5,700 Prime: €9,400 Super Prime: €10,000
60% Local 40% International
Did you know
The city’s Metro is being upgraded with two new stations, new lines and the regeneration of Cais do Sodre – the city’s main transport hub for trains, metros and ferries
Reasons to buy
First and foremost, Lisbon offers a lot better value than many of its similar European counterparts. An average apartment in Lisbon can cost €3,600 euros per m sq, while prime real estate can cost up to €8,400 per m sq.
Pre-pandemic, Lisbon was a popular choice for tourists thanks to its warm climate and city-on-the-beach variety and atmosphere, and when international travel restrictions relax it's set to see that popularity rise. For Portuguese residents, the city’s easy access to the natural world has made it even more appealing – making cash-on-cash returns very rewarding.
Lisbon has also had great sustainability credentials, with a number of initiatives placing it at the very forefront of Europe’s greenest cities, including the bike-sharing scheme introduced in 2017 with two-thirds of the fleet being electric, the world’s largest electric car network, and 39% of municipal vehicles being electric. It’s perhaps unsurprising that Lisbon won the Green capital of Europe award in 2020.
Lisbon market in numbers
Whether it is for lifestyle or investment purposes, there can be extra costs that need to be considered in addition to the purchase of the property itself. While the cost of the property is by far the most significant expense, additional costs you may need to cover can include local fees, taxes, running costs and possible charges that will need to be factored in.
The total percentage of purchasers costs involved in buying a property in Lisbon, which includes:
Stamp duty maximum is 7.5% for property purchases above a million. Average of €400 for the notary & € 250 for the registration fee. Most lawyers will charge between 1% and 1.5% on the property purchase price.
Rental yields: Based on gross income. Average rental: Based on prices per month. Prime market: The most desirable and most expensive property in a given location, defined as the top 5% of each market by value. Super prime market: The most desirable and most expensive property in a given location, defined as homes priced at more than US $10 million.
Rental yield: 4.3% Expected running costs: €1 sq m Average rental: €14.5 sq m
Rental yield: 3.0% Expected running costs: €1.5 sq m Average rental: €22 sq m
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Sources: 1. Quintela + Penalva, 2.Confidencial Imobiliario, 3.Knight Frank. This city guide is provided for general information only. It is not definitive, nor is it intended to amount to advice on which you should solely rely upon. As far as applicable laws allow, we do not accept responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions, nor for loss or damage that may result directly or indirectly from reliance on or use of its contents.