Are you interested in buying a house in the Azores? Here is what it takes for you as a non-national to become a homeowner in Portugal.

Last Updated on May 4, 2022 by Letícia Melo

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. 

In fact, it is the first archipelago in the world that is recognized as a sustainable tourist hub. It’s only recently that the Azores has started getting the attention it deserves thanks to the beautiful natural attraction and also the strategic positioning in the Atlantic ocean. 

While nature remains to be the biggest attraction to the Azores region, it is also worth mentioning that 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 also give you real estate tips on how to buy a house in the Azores. 

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

As far as real estate investment in Portugal is concerned, most foreign investors only think of Lisbon, Porto, or the Algarve

What a majority of people fail to realize is 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, you will be surprised by the untapped treasure that is the Azores. 

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 breathe taking 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. 

Buying a house in the Azores

What’s more, 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 are a lover of nature, then 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 structure of the Portuguese economy offers different elements that are so 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, which offers plenty of tax benefits during your first 10 years as a foreign investor in Portugal. 

This 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. 

Golden Visa is a possibility

If your intention is to move permanently to Portugal, then the Golden Visa program is the fastest way of getting you there. 

This program gives foreign investors who are non-EU citizens a 5-year residency permit in Portugal. 

The Golden Visa comes with additional benefits like freedom of movement, working, and also living within Europe’s Schengen Area. 

With that in mind, it is also essential to mention that there are specific requirements that qualify investors for the Golden Visa Program. 

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 live in their own houses. Buying a house in Portugal is encouraged for both nationals and also ex-pats. 

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, especially with the Golden Visa program. 

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 which means there are no legal restrictions that get in the way of foreigners buying a house in the Azores. 

Here is 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 you are interested in the far western regions of Corvo and Flores? 

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 be in a rush to buy just any house you see on the many adverts all over 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 to informed choice on the right one to buy. 

Real estate market tips in the Azores Portugal

While you have the option of sending representatives to do the assessments on your behalf, also keep in mind that it’s only you who knows what’s best for you. 

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

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

Get your documents settled in Portugal

No one likes a lot of paperwork, so this is the last bit of paperwork that you will have to handle and are also quite important. 

These documents are meant to provide specific details about the particular property you are interested in therefore 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 particular document shows that 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. 

Transfer the payment and sign the deed

Today there are several ways of getting your payments to Portugal without having a bank account in the country. 

For anyone outside the Eurozone, the reliable channels of sending money to Portugal that we recommend are World Remit; Xoom (A PayPal Service), Wise (better known as TransferWise). 

When it comes to money transfer, there are specific times that are ideal to convert your money to Euros, this is an important factor to put into consideration. 

What’s more, we recommend that you should only send money to the seller once the contract is fully signed by both parties. 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

Again, it is worth mentioning that property valuation depends on factors like the specific Island, the topology of the Island, and the specific location of the property. 

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

IslandPrice of the sale of rustic propertyPrice of the sale of urban property
Flores€5,143€44,585
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

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

While the cost of living is generally cheaper in Portugal, in the Azores, it is even cheaper. This is clearly evident from the average amount of rent that is 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 €350 every month. 

This amount is usually higher during the summer months because of the influx of tourists. 

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. 

The recent changes that have been implemented in the golden visa program make the Islands of the Azores a good place to buy property. 

Ruin for sale in the Azores Portugal

It is no longer possible to qualify if you choose to buy property in densely populated cities. This makes rural cities and also the autonomous Islands the Azores, among the remaining regions that still give the Golden Visa Program. 

It is also important to emphasize that since the Azores is considered an underdeveloped region, the lowest acceptable property purchase will easily qualify you for the Golden Visa program.

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

There is no one true way of answering this question because 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 Islands of the Azores are quite good prospects for real estate in the near future.

When are you coming to the Azores?

It goes without saying that the Azores is among the most beautiful places you can live. The are plenty of real estate prospects for the near future so should not put the idea of buying a house here too far. 

To get more information about our services and how we can help you get settled in the Azores, get in touch with us. Also, there is plenty of information about the immigration process on our Facebook page

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