Porto’s picturesque, colourful waterfront houses lining the Douro river estuary are easily recognisable, painting the backdrop to the city’s lively and vibrant atmosphere for which it is best known today. As one of the oldest European centres, its core was awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 1996. Today, the medieval architecture and mysticism are enjoyed by tourists year-round as well as the growing population of around 1.7 million residents.
Porto is the capital of the North and the industrial hub of Portugal. It lies at the heart of the Costa Verde, a rugged coastline of dramatic scenery and golden beaches – all within easy reach of the city centre. The Douro river from where the term ‘viewpoint’ in Portuguese – ‘miradouro’ derives from, also gives the city a sense of openness, while beautiful regions of wine-making land cover the surrounding areas, creating the city’s namesake and perhaps best known export – Port wine.
When it comes to day-to-day living in Porto, most residents would probably agree that the best thing about living in the city is that has all the perks of a small town – a nice community atmosphere, easy to navigate and lots of friendly cafes and eateries – while retaining the excitement, opportunities and excellent facilities that come with living in a big metropolis. Porto was voted the best small city to live and work according to The Monocle Small Cities Index 2021.
Porto is poised for exponential growth between the people, the rehabilitation of the city following the pandemic and urban planning, overseen by the widely respected and determined current Mayor Rui Moreira.
"Porto was voted the best small city to live and work according to The Monocle Small Cities Index 2021, and poised for exponential growth"
Neighbourhoods to watch
Vilanova de Gaia
Known for its cellars where the world-famous port wine is aged and stored, as well as access to great beaches, Vilanova de Gaia has becoming increasingly popular with the surfing crowd. Sereias Beach is known for being a great surf spot and is located only 19 km away from Gaia.
Having recently launched fiscal benefits for developers to help rehabilitate this neighbourhood, it’s promising to become popular with families thanks to its close proximity to well-regarded public and private schools such as the Colégio da Paz, the Colégio das Escravas do Sagrado Coração de Jesus, the Soares dos Reis Artistic school and the Aurélia de Sousa Secondary school.
Home to many student-friendly coffee shops and several buildings of the University of Porto, this area is known for its gourmet cafes, wine bars and produce stalls. Green spaces include the beautifully landscaped Jardins do Palácio de Cristal.
What’s driving demand
21 Universities / 4 international Schools Free education in local state schools
Reason for buying?
Price per sq m:
Core: €2,050 Prime: €4,017
60% Local 40% International
Did you know
There is no inheritance tax, gift tax or wealth tax in Portugal
Reasons to buy
With its coastal location, year-round sunshine and great quality of life, Porto has long attracted international and domestic residents looking to put down roots in a city that offers them the best of both worlds. Since the pandemic, there has been an uptick in interest in Portugal, especially from international families. As the second largest city in Portugal, property prices offer better value for money in Porto compared to Lisbon, with many domestic buyers investing heavily in the north. Average rental yields in Porto were 5.7% for Q4 2020, up 0.7% from the same period in 2019. Porto also has its finger on the pulse when it comes to green initiatives and is taking great strides to protect and improve the city’s green spaces. They are currently part of an ongoing green roof project, promoting urban rehabilitation in the form of creating rooftop gardens throughout the city, while in February 2021, a law was passed to promote the classification and protection of the city’s urban tree population.
Porto 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 Porto, which includes:
Stamp duty maximum is 7.5% for property purchases above a million. Average of €400 for the notary and €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: 6.0% Expected running costs: €1 sq m Average rental: €9.8 sq m
Rental yield: 5.4% Expected running costs: €2.5 sq m Average rental: €15.8 sq m
What can you get for your money in Porto?
Knight Frank has listed all properties within the past 12 months. The price per square meter shown for all sold property is representative of their appraised pricing and not their final sale price.
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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.