Last Updated on November 14, 2023 by Maryam Siddiqui
Portugal’s second-biggest business hub has seen remarkable growth in the last few years. We’re talking about growth in the number of businesses, co-working spaces, new expats, and students coming to experience the best universities. So, amidst all of this, is finding a rental in Porto a difficult task?
Not quite as difficult as you may think it’s going to be. To keep it real, famous cities aren’t always the easiest to deal with, but anything worth it also comes at a cost. In this case, your patience will come in handy before you find your next dream accommodation.
Keep reading till the end to know exactly how easy it is to find a rental in this stunning city and why everyone wants to grab an apartment in Porto. We’ll also tell you the best cities to rent near Porto if your first option doesn’t come together. Happy reading, and be sure to note down our tips along the way!
Living in Porto is trending
While Porto’s fantastic nightlife has always been one reason behind its fame, there’s an entire list of why people love to live here. This colorful and lively city has won the hearts of many and proved to be an expat magnet, just like the country’s capital, Lisbon.
Living in Porto means experiencing Portugal’s traditions but also modernity, shopping centers, and workplaces. It comes second in line as the biggest city, with over 232,594 inhabitants, out of which 8.1% are foreigners with Residence Permits.
The average percentage of expats nationally is nearly 6.4%, so you can see that foreigners prefer this vibrant city over others. This explains why housing and finding a rental in Porto are getting more challenging.
It seems this isn’t one of those trends that come and go; rather, it’s here to stay. We’re all for it; we love seeing locals welcome foreigners with open arms and help them have a great time. The only hurdle is to find accommodation worth your money.
Here are a few reasons why living in Porto is trending indefinitely:
- Rich Portuense heritage;
- Lively, vibrant, and cozy;
- Cheaper than living in other European cities;
- English is widely spoken;
- Larger expat community than the national average;
- Real estate market is profitable;
- Great public transport facilities;
- Some of the best healthcare and education facilities;
- Traditional but modern.
Rise in business hubs
Porto is a city that breathes entrepreneurship. Similar to Lisbon’s business scenario, Porto is also a business hub. More and more companies are opening their offices in the North of Portugal, and they’re not just start-ups but also multinationals.
The country’s economy is a highly favorable investment option, especially for foreigners. Policies like the Non-Habitual Tax Regime and the Golden Visa are also huge attractions for investors, given their many benefits.
An efficient labor market also plays a huge role when it comes to business hubs and their operations. With students graduating from the top universities in this region, there are plenty of skilled workers who can add value to more businesses.
The city’s living conditions also attract many expats who want to expand their businesses in Europe. Portugal’s central location helps them achieve their goals efficiently while enjoying a low cost of living, including rent and property prices in general.
It’s common behavior for an entrepreneur or businessperson to choose a location that’s not only ideal but also affordable and pleasant to live in. Porto matches all the criteria, which is why finding a rental in Porto becomes challenging.
Long-term rentals vs short-term rentals in Porto
Finding a rental in Porto, or any city in a tourist hub like Portugal, also depends on the period of your stay. There are two types of rentals available: long-term and short-term.
As the name suggests, long-term rental contracts have a duration of 6 months and longer, usually up to a certain number of years. These are primarily for families or individuals who have planned a longer stay in Porto.
Once you enter this city, it’s hard to part ways! The rich Portuense heritage and culture continue to mesmerize the residents every day.
The other type is short-term rental contracts, which have a duration of a couple of days to a few weeks. Since moving around this often isn’t anyone’s cup of tea, this type of rental is for tourists and individuals on a scouting trip to find the perfect city for themselves. It’s really helped a lot of new foreign residents to settle in the right place.
Generally speaking, finding a short-term rental is a lot easier than the effort it takes to find a permanent dwelling. Tourists keep coming and going, so rentals are available quite often.
However, this doesn’t mean finding a long-term rental to live your best life in Porto is impossible!
Keep reading till the end to know the best areas in and around Porto, along with some advice on how you can land the perfect deal for you.
- Read Also: Pros and Cons of Moving to Porto.
The challenges of finding a rental in Porto
Now is a good time to remember that although you may face your fair share of challenges while finding a rental in Porto, it’s important to know that these challenges don’t last an unpleasantly long time.
A possible shortage of finding the perfect dwelling is only a result of basic demand and supply factors, and most landlords aren’t here to overcharge you.
Let’s take a look at some factors that make it difficult to find a suitable rental at reasonable rates:
- Foreign expats who’ve bought a house in Porto to live indefinitely;
- Porto is a mega tourist attraction;
- Lots of businesses prefer this business hub to Lisbon;
- High rental prices can decrease your options;
- Lots of investors have already invested in the real estate market of Porto.
There are schemes like the Affordable Rental Programme for locals that make renting and finding rental properties easier. It works by establishing a price ceiling for tenants to ensure that the majority can find decent accommodation without breaking the bank.
Vacation rentals give tenants much more profit in the summer
As we’ve reiterated many times, the real estate market of Portugal is quite profitable. Vacation rentals, which are also known as short-term rentals, give tenants much more profit in the peak season. The peak season in Portugal is during the summer months: May to August.
Renting an apartment in the city center is still cheaper than renting one in Lisbon or the Algarve, for example.
Rent prices in Porto during summer can go up to €900 a month, while the Algarve is €1,000 a month, and Lisbon can be close to €1,200 a month! These are some of the most popular regions in Portugal and are well-loved by tourists from all over the world.
If you search for vacation rentals on websites like Airbnb, you’ll find that bookings can start from €20 a night to €80 and more. So, you could estimate that a property owner can earn an average of €1,500 a month just from renting one room.
- Interested in becoming a property owner yourself? Read our guide on Buying A House in Porto and explore all the possibilities!
Porto rental prices rise every year
We’re quite sure you are aware of the increasing rent prices all over the world; global inflation has touched almost every corner. Similar is the case with Portugal too, along with the price increase due to its popularity.
Although the price differences over the years aren’t as dramatic as they’ve been in Lisbon or the Algarve, there’s a definite change. Before you start finding a rental in Porto, keep in mind the average prices of an 86m2 apartment in the city and around it.
Although some of these rental prices are slightly higher than the national average, it’s still a fraction of what our expats used to pay back home. For example, according to Numbeo, rent in the United States is 125.9% higher than in Portugal. And rent in the United Kindom is 38.8% higher than in Portugal.
We’ve compiled a table to help you compare how the change has been over the last 2 years.
|Area||Prices in 2023||Prices in 2022||Prices in 2021|
|Vila Nova de Gaia||€692||€705||€688|
Prices are taken from Numbeo (as of November 2023).
Is it worth renting a house or apartment in Porto?
While the answer may be subjective to what you perceive as worth your money, a rental in Porto can be absolutely worth it, especially if you get a good deal. That might require you to start searching for a house or apartment a few months in advance, but it will be comfortable for your pocket.
The city’s picturesque beauty is perfect for a family to grow up in, with nature and parks like the Parque da Cidade all around. You can also find some of the best International Schools in Porto, making it an even better place to relocate to.
Surprisingly, Porto has also been attracting retirees looking to live a comfortable life, with hospitable people and good healthcare around them. Even in times of modernism and individualistic societies, the Portuense warmth is one of the best things about living here.
In most cases, entrepreneurs and remote workers look for an apartment here because they find living in one of Portugal’s biggest business hubs worthwhile. The rent is surely a small investment, given all the value and connections people get from it.
How to choose or find a good rental in Porto?
Finding a rental in Porto, a good one, in fact, can be a smooth process if you follow some of our tips. Our advice is tried and tested by numerous individuals who’ve successfully found what they were looking for.
Here are some things you should keep in mind:
Search a lot of real estate websites
Researching what you’re looking for is the first step to obtaining your goal. Browsing online will give you a clearer image of your references and the range of average prices for a one-bedroom or larger apartment.
Be sure to check out the following real estate websites to get an idea of the current prices:
Know what you’re looking for, talk to people living in the city and adjoining areas, and study the market yourself.
Make contacts with tenants in Porto
We cannot stress how helpful this particular tip is! Knowing a tenant in Porto can help you find better connections and possibly a landlord who is willing to give you the best deal possible. They can also give you a better idea of what the prices look like during different months, so you’ll be better prepared.
Facebook groups, like All About Portugal For Expats, are a great way to start looking for new friends when you know no one in the city. Our community of over 13,800 Portugal enthusiasts will prove to be quite resourceful, and you can learn from their personal stories.
One of the best sources to gain more knowledge is someone who has already experienced it. You can also find out more information on the best times to visit, the best buildings or houses, and maybe also make a new friend.
- Discover The Best Neighborhoods Of Porto, according to expats.
Talk to real estate experts
Another excellent source to gain more knowledge about finding a rental in Porto is by talking to real estate experts. They know the market inside-out and are extremely aware of all the trends. Knowing where, how, and when to look for the perfect rental is their job, and no one else can guide you as experts can.
If it’s something you’re interested in, you can also leave the job completely up to them and let them handle the bureaucracy for you. Portugal’s bureaucracy isn’t the easiest to deal with and can be even more challenging than finding a rental in the first place, especially for someone new to the country.
Let Viv Europe handle all your worries of finding a rental in Porto; here’s what we offer:
- Finding the best rental according to your preferences;
- Compiling information;
- Negotiating a better deal;
- Inspecting the place;
- Handling bureaucracy.
You’d be surprised by how many people opt for professional real estate services as compared to doing it on their own.
Best cities for finding a rental near Porto
There might be a time when the city center’s dwelling options are exhausted, but there’s no need to worry because cities near Porto are equally amazing. And the public transport system in Porto makes it easy to commute to and fro, in case you need to travel to the center daily.
They’re at a short distance from the main city, almost 15 minutes away, and have a similar quality of life along with safety. If nightlife and leisure are of any concern to you, you can always take a train to Porto and enjoy to your heart’s content.
Here are some average prices for an 86m2 apartment in cities close to Porto:
|City||Monthly Rent||Distance from Porto|
|Maia||€680||8 mins (2.8 km)|
|Vila Nova de Gaia||€692||13 mins (10.4 km)|
|Campanhã||€900||15 mins (9.6 km)|
|Matosinhos||€866||16 mins (9.1 km)|
Do you want to come and live in Porto?
Endless opportunities await you; it starts with finding a rental in Porto and ends with you living your dream life in Portugal! Now you’re aware of all the ins and outs of finding accommodation for yourself and your family. Start planning ahead of time to ensure landing a deal that ticks all your preferences.
Our community of expats and Portugal enthusiasts is always here to guide you with personal experiences too! Join our Facebook Group – All About Portugal For Expats, and get inspired by people’s journeys. Who knows, your story might be the next inspiration for many others waiting to take this major step.
To assist you throughout this process, our experts at Viv Europe will always be here to guide you. Let’s achieve your goals together and find you the perfect apartment to call home! Book a consultation now and let us know how we can help.