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Are you interested in buying a house in the Azores? Here’s what a non-national has to do to become a homeowner in Portugal.

Last Updated on January 14, 2024 by Maryam Siddiqui

There is no doubt that the Azores is a special place. This autonomous region, sitting right in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean, is a certified tourist hub. Even then, buying a house in the Azores is on the list for many expats who wish to live here. 

buying-a-house-in-the-azores

In fact, it is the first archipelago in the world that is recognized as a sustainable tourist hub. Only recently have the Azores started getting the attention it deserves. Thanks to the beautiful natural attraction and also the strategic positioning in the Atlantic Ocean. 

While nature remains the biggest attraction to the Azores region, this continental region of Portugal is also popular for its gastronomy, security, and quality standard of living. 

Having said that, what is the real estate market in the Azores like? Is it worth buying a house in the Azores? This post seeks to answer these questions and give you real estate tips on buying a house in the Azores. 

Why should I think about buying a house investment in the Azores?

Regarding real estate investment in Portugal, most foreign investors only consider Lisbon, Porto, or the Algarve

Most people fail to realize that Portugal has a lot to offer in the way of proper real estate prospects, other than the aforementioned two cities. 

If you move further into the Atlantic, the untapped treasure of the Azores will surprise you. 

Here are reasons why you should carefully consider buying a house in the Azores.

The Azores islands are a paradise on earth

The 9 islands in the Azores are home to some of the most breathtaking sceneries in the entire of Portugal. 

The huge mountains rise up into the skies, and lakes formed on craters of dormant volcanoes are all sites waiting to be discovered. 

The famous lash green scenery and the black volcanic sandy beaches are just but a few of the unique characteristics of the Azores islands. 

These Islands are home to more than 400 species of animals and plants that only exist in the Azores, for instance, the Azore bullfinch. 

If you love nature, buying a house right at the center of all these magnificent attractions might just be what you have been looking for.

There are benefits for foreign investors in Portugal

The Portuguese economy’s structure offers different elements attractive to foreign investors. 

However, the most important element is the legal framework that encourages real estate investments from foreign investors. Also, Portugal offers several tax incentive benefits to foreign investors who choose to invest in the country. 

One good example is the Non-Habitual Residence Tax Regime. This regime offers plenty of tax benefits during your first 10 years as a foreign investor in Portugal. 

The program provides a tax exemption on every single coin you earn away from Portugal. And a 20% flat rate on your additional sources of income, for example, self-employment or regular employment. 

Stay updated with current laws about the NHR Regime to qualify for tax incentives! Check out our article on NHR Regime in Portugal Updates 2024.

How to buy a house in the Portuguese islands of the Azores

For the Portuguese nationals, buying a house is quite important. In fact, according to Expatica, over 75% of the population lives in their own houses. Buying a house in Portugal is encouraged for both nationals and expats. 

Nonetheless, similar to most public services in Portugal, the process of buying a house has a lot of bottlenecks and bureaucracies that might be too much for anyone doing it for the first time, and for this reason, it is advisable for expats to seek professional guidance.

Can a foreigner buy a house in Portugal? 

Absolutely! Foreigners are able to buy a house in Portugal. In fact, Portugal is among the few countries in Europe that makes it easy for investors to get into the real estate industry. 

As an expat, you stand to benefit from the many tax incentives that are in place for foreign investors. 

Remember that Portugal is a big country. Therefore, you will need to do your due diligence and identify what region will bring you the most benefits. 

How can I buy a house in the Azores?

Now that you have narrowed it down to Europe’s wonderland, that is, the Azores, how do you buy a house and settle down as soon as possible? 

Right from the jump, you should know that the process of buying a house in the Azores is the same as anywhere across Portugal. This means there are no legal restrictions for foreigners buying a house in the Azores. 

Here’s a detailed rundown of the processes that go into buying a house right in the heart of the Atlantic.

Research and choose your investment

The best place to start with the research and investment is within yourself by understanding what exactly you are looking for. 

Is it a penthouse, or a regular family home? Do you want to settle in the Sao Miguel, or are you interested in the far western regions of Corvo and Flores? 

expats-can-buy-a-house-in-the-azores

These are some of the fundamental questions you need to ask yourself. Also, keep in mind that most properties are valued differently from one region to the other. 

It will be beneficial for you to find out the real estate market in the specific region you are interested in. Don’t rush to buy just any house you see in the many adverts on the internet. 

Prepare the Paperwork

Whether you are a foreigner or a local, you will need to present a set of documents that will kickstart your process of buying a house. The following documents are what you will need to put together.

Visit the Property in the Azores

By now, you have identified several potential houses that you would choose from. At this point, it is best for you to make your way to Portugal to assess the properties and make an informed choice on the right one to buy. 

While you can send representatives to do the assessments on your behalf, also keep in mind that only you know what’s best for you. 

In addition, what better time to meet with the house’s current owner and talk your way into a better deal for the house? 

We recommend a physical visit to the property to ensure that it is not a scam and in good condition. 

Get your documents settled in Portugal

No one likes a lot of paperwork, so this is the last bit of paperwork you must handle and is also quite important. 

These documents are meant to provide specific details about the property you are interested in, legitimizing the process.

  • Certificate of Land Registry (Certidão do Registo Predial): This document serves as evidence of the legitimacy of both the buyer and the previous owner. It also confirms the contents of the property in question.
  • The license of Use (Licença de Utilização): You have to get this document from the particular parish of the house. It highlights the purpose of the property that is up for sale.
  • Building Book (Caderneta Predial): This document shows the property is tax-compliant. Get it from the finance office.
  • Housing Technical File (Ficha Técnica de Habitação): This is essentially a technical description of the house. 

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Transfer the payment and sign the deed

Today, there are several ways of getting your payments to Portugal without a bank account

For anyone outside the Eurozone, we recommend the reliable channels for sending money to Portugal: Spartan FX, World Remit, Xoom (A PayPal Service), and Wise (better known as TransferWise). 

When it comes to money transfers, there are specific times that are ideal for converting your money to Euros. This is an important factor to put into consideration. 

We recommend that you only send money to the seller once both parties fully sign the contract. Signing the deed is the last step to getting your first home in the Azores.

How much does it cost to buy property in the Azores Islands?

Property valuation depends on factors like the Island, the island’s topology, and the property’s specific location. 

For that reason, we have compiled a table breaking down property prices in the different Islands in the Azores.

IslandPrice of sale of rustic propertyPrice of sale of urban property
Flores€5,227€44,882
Graciosa€1,791€40,674
Santa Maria€4,736€57,522
São Jorge€6,108€40,882
Faial€2,679€75,969
Pico€7,727€58,944
Terceira€26,162€94,481
São Miguel€44,882€110,387

All estimates are from Pordata (as of January 2024).

How much can you make renting out a property in the Azores?

While the cost of living is generally cheaper in Portugal, it is even cheaper in the Azores. This is evident from the average amount of rent charged in this part of Portugal. 

During regular months, the average price for a 1 bedroom apartment in the largest municipality in the Azores (Ponta Delgada) is €500 monthly. 

This amount is usually higher during summer because of the influx of tourists. And for short-term rentals, tourists are ready to pay extra for the views and convenience. Some people rent out their property for $30 a night to $150 a night, depending on the property. There’s definitely a huge market for rentals in Portugal, no matter where you are.

Can I apply for a Portugal Golden Visa to invest in a property in the Azores?

Since the introduction of the Golden Visa program, real estate has been a reasonable investment objective for most foreign investors. 

After the rules changed in 2022, the Azores were a great place to buy property to qualify for the Golden Visa.

Since these changes took place, qualifying if you chose to buy property in densely populated cities was no longer possible. This made rural cities and the Azores among the remaining regions that still qualified for the Golden Visa Program. 

As of January 2024, real estate investments are no longer an option if you’d like to apply for the Golden Visa. However, there are many other ways to do so! Investing in investment funds is one way to go about it. Check out more information in our article on Portugal Golden Visa Through Investment Funds Guide.

Is making a real estate investment in the Azores worth it?

There is no one true way of answering this question. Any financial decision is subjective and requires proper research to make an informed decision. 

However, it is also worth recognizing that Portugal’s real estate has been steadily growing since the year 2014. 

What’s even more appealing is the fact that the new changes in the Golden Visa program are meant to promote investments in the rural regions of Portugal. 

Because of that, demand is already increasing in these regions, including the Azores. It is safe to say that the Azores are quite good prospects for real estate in the near future.

Do you need help buying a house in the Azores?

It goes without saying that the Azores is among the most beautiful places you can live. There are plenty of real estate prospects for the near future, so buying a house in the Azores will be worth it.

To get more information about our services and how we can help you get settled in the Azores, get in touch with our team of experts. Viv Europe has helped numerous expats just like you, and would love to work on your dream!

If you’re looking for more information about the immigration process without doing much research, join our Facebook Group – All About Portugal For Expats. Ask questions, read stories, and learn more! 

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