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Want to buy a house in Portugal? Follow our guide

It's most people's dream to buy a house in Portugal. Find out what you need to do to make it happen.

There are more and more foreigners wanting to buy a house in Portugal because of the quality of life, the proximity to the center of Europe, the business opportunities and the tax advantages.

However, there are a number of steps that you have to take before becoming a home-owner. Let us tell you about some of the requirements in this guide which shows you how to buy a house in Portugal.

Get someone to represent and advise you

If you are abroad or don’t live in Portugal, it is best to find a lawyer to represent and advise you during the purchasing process. They will know about all of the legal details you need to follow to save time and money.

After, make sure you register with the tax authority (Finanças) to be given a tax identification number (NIF).

Find your dream house

The next step is to choose the house of your dreams. Think about the features that are most important to you and your family. Do you want to be by the sea or in the city or do you prefer an apartment or a house? Do you need a garage or can’t you live without a terrace?

If you plan on buying a house with a floor area of 80 square meters, look instead for a house with a gross area of 100 square meters. In Portugal, house descriptions always work in terms of the gross area, which is the total area of housing as measured by the outer perimeter.


Make a note of all the listings that match what you want and visit them. A real estate agency can handle everything for you. Choose an agency with an active license.

Want to buy a house in Portugal? Enter a market that’s heating up

In 2017, the Portuguese real estate market grew 10% and the most expensive homes were the most sought after. Within the city of Lisbon, prices went up between 10% and 20% in one year, with the average value of premium homes hitting €630,000. This dynamism is due to investment from non-Portuguese people. Did you know that in 2017, people from more than 50 different nationalities bought houses in Lisbon?

Median prices for houses with 100 square meters

Municipality Value
Lisboa €287,700
Porto €152,500
Cascais €216,700
Caldas da Rainha €85,000
Lagos €175,500

Source: INE 3rd quarter 2018.

The moment has come to buy a house in Portugal

If you have found the ideal place, don’t waste time on deciding whether or not to buy a house in Portugal. It is natural for there to be some negotiations around the final price. It requires a little caution and patience to get a good deal.

Sign a promise of purchase and sale agreement, and put down a deposit. This guarantees that the seller can’t back out, even if they find a better offer.

Collect the necessary documentations

  • First, you will need a Certidão do Registo Predial (Land Registration Certificate). This document holds all the pertinent information of the property, the identity of the legal owner and reveals whether the property had an existing mortgage. You can ask for the land registry certificate and the informação predial simplificada (simplified property information) in a digital format from the Registo Predial online (online land registry), without having to waste time in queues.
  • The Caderneta Predial (legal building status) can also be requested in a tax office or through the tax authority online service (Portal das Finanças). With this document you can see the tax status of the property.
  • Finally, go see the municipal master plan (PDM) from the corresponding authority to make sure that there are no public works projects that could undermine the value of the property.
    Confirm the license of use of the property to make sure that it is legal for housing. This document is also available at the municipal city council in the area where the house you want to buy is located. Request and read the Ficha Téchnia de Habitação (technical housing file) which has the main technical characteristics of the property.

Finally… do the deed

After completing these steps, signing the deed marks the final step in your quest to buy a house in Portugal. This document legalizes the deal between the buyer and the seller.

Don’t forget to pay the municipal tax on the sale of real estate (IMT), whose value depends on the final sale price detailed in the deed.

Remember to register the deed to the property at the land registry office. Then all you need to do is move in to your new house.

Now that you know everything about buying a home in Portugal, it’s time to find the right partner to finance it and to protect it. Good house moving.

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