Last Updated on July 25, 2022 by Laila Oliveira
Portugal’s top industrial hub does not seem to be getting any less popular; quite the opposite, in fact! Lisbon is home to numerous businesses, coworking spaces, and start-ups. So you can expect why finding a rental in Lisbon is a bit of a challenge.
But is it impossible? Of course not!
No matter how complex the process gets, Portugal’s capital city is still a favorite for expats, tourists, and business owners. We’ll cover all the details in this article, from why it’s gotten so difficult to rent a place in Lisbon to how you can find the best deals possible. Keep a lookout for our tried-and-tested advice!
Living in Lisbon is trending
This is probably one of the most obvious reasons why finding a rental in Lisbon is getting more and more difficult, but we thought we’d still highlight it, just in case. When we say living in Lisbon is trending, we don’t mean it as a subject of interest lasting for a short period.
Living in Lisbon is becoming trendier because the capital is developing fast, and this change is appreciated by those hearing about it. The rich Portuguese culture and stunning architecture is what attracts tourists, but the quality of life is what turns them into expats!
The city is home to over 540,000 people but has about 2 million inhabitants, counting its metropolitan area. According to official data, 21% of Lisbon’s residents are foreigners, and nearly half of them live in the metropolitan area.
That’s a lot of foreigners for a country that wasn’t too popular just a few years ago.
According to recent news, Lisbon is also ranked as the #1 destination for digital nomads, and the country has seen a massive influx, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. The networking spaces and co-working offices allow remote workers to grow tenfold in their careers, which is just one of the reasons they like to live here.
Here’s a summary of why living in Lisbon is trending:
- Cheaper than living in other European cities;
- English is widely spoken;
- High standard of living;
- Business hub – more job opportunities;
- Real estate market is very profitable;
- Huge expat community.
Knowing these reasons will help understand why it’s harder to find a rental in Lisbon than in other Portuguese regions.
Rise in business hubs
The Portuguese economy is set up in a way that attracts many foreign investors to the country. Schemes like the Non-Habitual Resident Tax program and the Golden Visa are two of the most attractive strategies.
With due credit to the Golden Visa program, there’s been a rise in business hubs all over Portugal – but specifically within Lisbon. The city has developed infrastructure, a prime location, good public transport, and a very favorable cost of living, especially for foreigners.
Some of the best workplaces are located in this city, and it’s home to many multinational companies’ head offices such as Microsoft, Mercedes-Benz, Deloitte, etc.
In recent years, investors have started to weigh the possibility of Lisbon turning into Europe’s next Silicon Valley with the increase in new start-ups within the city. It’s a hub for many tech entrepreneurs thanks to its quality of engineering talent, proficiency in English, and inspiring business culture.
Considering all these reasons, there’s been a heightened demand for coworking offices and networking spaces. Since there’s only a limited amount of properties available, the cost of rentals shoots to the sky. Consequently, the entire real estate market sees an increase.
Long-term rentals vs short-term rentals in Lisbon
The availability of rentals also depends on how long your stay is. Finding good accommodation depends a lot on how long you intend to stay.
Short-term rentals are generally easier to find. They’re usually preferred by tourists, prospective expats on a scouting trip, or locals spending a few days in the region. This kind of contract typically lasts a few days or weeks, but nothing more than that.
The other option is long-term rentals, primarily for families and individuals who’ve decided to stay in the city. Some stay here for work, while others want to live in the heart of Portugal and experience the magic every day. This contract usually lasts anywhere from more than 6 months to however long possible.
So, which type of rental is easier to find in Lisbon?
Since Lisbon is a very attractive and demanding tourist destination, most landlords prefer short-term rentals because it brings in more profits.
Don’t lose hope! Like we said, finding a rental in Lisbon that ticks all your boxes is not impossible. Yes, it’s a little more work than other regions require, but Lisbon is also quite worth it. Keep reading to know more about landing the perfect deal.
The challenges of finding a rental in Lisbon
We hope you’re starting to understand that Lisbon’s rental prices are simply a result of basic economic factors of demand and supply, not due to landlords’ covetousness.
We understand that the challenges of finding a rental in Lisbon may seem overwhelming to you right now. However, having the right kind of professional assistance and planning ahead of time can make your journey harmonious.
People have lately started to preplan their journey far ahead in advance. It allows tourists and prospective expats to have a more relaxed time without having to worry about finding a place to live while they’re here.
Vacation rentals give tenants much more profit in the summer
As the name suggests, vacation rentals are short-term rentals and are preferred by landlords. During the peak tourist season, such as throughout summer in Portugal, the prices of rentals proliferate. Monthly rent in Lisbon can come close to €1,200 if you live in the city’s center.
While that sounds very expensive for people earning Portuguese salaries, foreigners usually don’t mind paying extra. They’re mostly used to higher rent prices and a much higher cost of living.
Depending on which area of Lisbon it is, people can list their properties for €50 per day or higher. This way, landlords earn nearly €1,500 monthly on their real estate investments. Consequently, finding a long-term dwelling can be tricky.
Lisbon rental prices rise every year
If you study real estate markets closely and keep up with the global inflation news, this won’t shock you. Appreciation of real estate values is very normal when regions start to gain popularity or when there’s a global inflation crisis.
Despite being more expensive, finding a rental in Lisbon is still much more affordable than in other industrial hubs in Europe. The prices are indeed increasing, but all for a good reason.
We’ve made a table highlighting the current prices of rentals in Lisbon, compared to those from two years ago. All estimates are for a one-bedroom apartment, which is nearly 86 m2.
The following details will also help you compare prices between different municipalities. Rental prices generally increase the closer you are to the city’s center.
|Area||Prices in 2022||Prices in 2021||Prices in 2020|
Prices are taken from Idealista in July 2022.
As you can see in the table above, the current cost of finding a rental in Lisbon is higher than it was, and is comparatively more expensive than in municipalities near the center. You can also notice a decrease in prices in 2021; this was because of post-pandemic encouragement to attract more tourism.
Is it worth renting a house or apartment in Lisbon?
Well, there’s a reason why people end up booking their rentals in Lisbon months in advance.
It is a one-of-a-kind tourist attraction, after all. If you haven’t yet heard, you’d be surprised by the number of tourists visiting Portugal every summer. According to tourism activity data from the National Statistics Institute, nearly 2.5 million tourists visited the country in May this year!
Imagine the magnitude of people wanting to experience Portugal’s magic.
Living in Lisbon is surely a privilege, so most locals only come here to spend their holidays for a few days. Whether or not it’s worth it depends on individuals’ preferences and financial flexibility.
For business owners and entrepreneurs looking to grow professionally, Lisbon’s rent is a minimal price to pay for how much value it offers. This is why most foreign residents are stakeholders of Lisbon’s business world and love to invest within the city.
However, there are numerous other places in Portugal to enjoy the rich culture and quality of life without having to pay half of your salary in rent. Keep reading to know how to make finding a rental in Lisbon easy and cost-effective.
If you’re coming to Lisbon alone, a studio apartment will be more than sufficient for your needs. However, bigger apartments and houses are also available if you spend your vacations with friends and family.
How to choose or find a good rental in Lisbon?
So, how can you land a good deal that doesn’t break the bank?
Let’s dive into the basic things you should do when you commence your search for a rental in Lisbon. No matter where in the city you want to live or what time of the year, you should start planning ahead of time.
Even if your plans aren’t certain, it’s always a good idea to understand what the real estate situation looks like in Portugal. Take a look at what steps you should follow to choose a good rental in Lisbon:
Search a lot on real estate websites
Research is key to knowing what you should expect from the available options in Lisbon. Prices vary during peak seasons, and you may not find exactly what you’re looking for. You also want to avoid potential exploitation; no matter which country you’re in, you should know the average rent for specific locations.
Additionally, browsing properties online helps shortlist what type of residence will fulfill your criteria.
Are you looking for something near a recreational center?
How many rooms do you need?
What type of kitchen suits your lifestyle?
Searching real estate websites like Kipper Tree helps you narrow down options by a huge margin. You might get a better idea of altering your budget accordingly. If you have any questions regarding renting properties, our team of real estate experts is here to help you out.
Make contacts with tenants in Lisbon
The next best option besides contacting real estate experts is to make contact with tenants already living in Lisbon. No one else can guide you better than people who are experiencing day-to-day changes.
Being in touch with tenants helps in so many ways; knowing when the best time to visit is, the best neighborhoods to rent apartments or houses in, and maybe even making a friend you could rely on.
Don’t know how to find someone living in Lisbon? We’ve got you! Join our Facebook Group – All About Portugal For Expats and connect with Lisboetas who’d love to help you out.
Talk to real estate experts
Given the technicalities of finding a rental in Lisbon, this is probably the best decision you’ll make.
Real estate experts are up-to-date with property trends, know the best regions to rent and buy, and can negotiate a better deal than contacting a landlord individually.
Sometimes it’s better to let professionals deal with these situations. It takes the unnecessary weight off your shoulders, and you get to enjoy your stay in this beautiful country. Additionally, as a new expat or a tourist, the level of bureaucracy can get a little complicated.
Here’s what Viv Europe and our team of real estate experts can help you with:
- Searching places according to your requirements;
- Gathering information;
- Negotiating offers;
- Inspecting the place;
- Signing the documents;
- Helping you live in your temporary home.
Best cities for finding a rental near Lisbon
It’s certainly not impossible to find a good deal within the capital city itself; it just takes a bit of preplanning and budget adjustments. However, if you’re looking to live near Lisbon on a more affordable budget, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Here are some of the most reasonable municipalities to find a rental in Lisbon:
- Sintra – approximately 28.4 km (35 minutes) from Lisbon, with an average rent of €817 for a one-bedroom apartment.
- Loures – approximately 17.2 km (28 minutes) from Lisbon, with an average rent of €860 for a one-bedroom apartment.
- Amadora – approximately 12.3 km (25 minutes) from Lisbon, with an average rent of €868 for a one-bedroom apartment.
Renting a property in these municipalities near Lisbon can save you almost €400 per month. You can still enjoy the city center using Portugal’s efficient public transport facilities.
Do you want to come and live in Lisbon?
After knowing everything about finding a rental in Lisbon, are you still interested in experiencing the magic of Portugal? We thought you would be! It’s so hard to stay away from the capital city when it’s being talked about so often.
If you’d like to hear stories or ask questions from fellow expats and business owners, join our Facebook Group – All About Portugal For Expats. Let our community guide you better from real-life experiences and learn from their mistakes to have a seamless journey yourself.
And of course, if you need any assistance, our professionals are here to guide you at every step. Contact us now and get an expert to help you search for the best rentals within your price range in Lisbon!