Whether you’re looking for a rural property in the countryside, a villa close to the beach or a chic city apartment, there are properties in Portugal for every budget. Compared to other popular expat destinations, Portugal offers some of the best prices in Europe.
Many people frequently ask the question: “Is property cheap in Portugal?”, and in comparison to other countries, yes it is. According to the most recent figures from the National Statistics Institute in Portugal (INE), the average price for a house in Portugal is 1,187/m2. That compares to the equivalent of 2,649 euros in the United Kingdom, and 2,300 euros in France, for example. House prices do however vary greatly throughout the different areas of the country, the most expensive areas such as Lisbon reaching prices of over 3,000 euros/m2. Let’s have a look at the cheapest areas to live and buy property in Portugal for expats in search of a bargain.
Have house prices in Portugal been affected by the coronavirus?
House prices in Portugal have been on the rise since 2019, and according to the idealista price index, this trend continued at the start of 2020 before the pandemic. In the second quarter of 2020 during the height of the pandemic, house prices in Portugal continued to rise a further 0.5% compared to the previous quarter, standing at 2,070/m2 on the idealista price index. In annual terms, i.e. compared to the first three months of last year, the increase was 7.1%. In the two main cities of the country and in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak, prices fell, namely by 1.2% in Lisbon and 0.6% in Porto, but Coimbra stood out in the opposite direction: it was the city where values rose the most during the pandemic with price rises of 3.9%.
Which is the cheapest place to live in Portugal?
Unsurprisingly, popular locations in Portugal such as Lisbon mentioned above, and a favourite with expats, the Algarve, are the areas with the highest average property sales prices. On the cheaper end of the scale, the areas of Castelo Branco and Beja are the areas of Portugal with the lowest property prices in 2020, with average sales prices of 119,947 and 130,719 euros respectively. Following closely behind are other provinces located in Portugal’s interior and central regions, such as Portalegre, Santarém, Guarda and Vila Real.
Buying affordable property in the Algarve
Although the Portuguese countryside is beautiful and has its own charm, the Algarve remains the destination of choice for many expats wanting to move to Portugal. Despite being home to some of Portugal’s highest property prices, certain areas of the Algarve are cheaper than others and there are some affordable option. First and foremost, property prices are often cheaper inland, away from the touristy coastal towns and on the outskirts. The same goes for properties further from the airport in Faro, the capital of the region, where average prices are much lower: the small village of Alcoutim (657 euros/m2) in the east of the Algarve is where property prices are cheapest, while other options include Monchique at 1,559 euros/m2, Castro Marim at 1,705 euros/m2 and Olhão with prices around 1,743 euros/m2.