Buying property in Braga, Portugal offers many opportunities. As of 2023, costs range based on size, location, and property state, giving choices from cheap apartments to luxury villas exceeding a million euros. Braga blends urban and country charms, from a lively city center filled with culture to peaceful rural settings near beaches and nature trails.
Purchasing property involves receiving a fiscal number (NIF), opening a bank account, and understanding property taxes, where hiring a local real estate lawyer could be helpful. This article guides foreigners who want to buy property in Braga, Portugal.
Braga Portugal real estate property types
Braga has a lot of different kinds of real estate properties. You can find modern apartments, houses for families, luxurious villas, large pieces of land, and even places perfect for nature lovers. There are all sorts of these properties in and around Braga, so you’ll likely find one that fits your needs. If you’re looking for a fancy or high-end home, there are many of those in and around Braga.
9 Steps to buying a house in Braga as a foreigner
Buying property in Braga as a foreigner can by following these nine steps:
Step 1: Secure a Portuguese Tax Number (NIF)
As a first step of buying property in Braga, acquire a Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF), your actual Portuguese tax number. You can apply at the Portuguese tax office in Braga via email or through a local contact.
Step 2: Open a Portuguese bank account
Opening a bank account in Portugal is necessary for property purchases in Braga. Many foreigners favor banks like Millennium BCP, Novo Banco, Banco Santander Totta, Banco BPI, or Caixa Geral de Depósitos.
Step 3: Find a Braga-based real estate agent
Engaging a real estate agent based in Braga provides localized insights for foreigners who are into buying property in Braga. They offer access to a broader property listing in Braga, facilitate better deals, and aid in contract reviews and regulation compliance.
Step 4: Appoint a notary in Braga
For the legal transfer of property rights in Braga, notary services are required. Ensure the notary office has the proper licenses and sufficient experience serving foreigners in Braga.
Step 5: Conduct due diligence on Braga properties
Always verify ownership, inspect properties in Braga, certify government compliance, and review agreements before purchase. Trusted Braga-based real estate agents or lawyers can assist you in this due diligence.
Step 6: Sign the provisional purchase agreement and make a downpayment
After selecting a property in Braga, sign a temporary purchase agreement with the seller and make a downpayment, typically 10% or more of the total cost.
Step 7: Sign the final Deed of Purchase and Sale contract
Signing the Deed of Purchase and Sale (Escritura de Compra e Venda) officially makes you the property owner in Braga.
Step 8: Settle property taxes in Braga
Upon buying property in Braga, you must pay IMT tax (Imposto Municipal sobre Transmissões Onerosas de Imóveis) within a month. The tax rate varies based on the property type. You may also have to pay a special wealth tax and possibly stamp duty tax, annual property tax (IMI), and rent tax.
Step 9: Apply for a visa
After buying property in Braga, non-EU citizens must apply for either a Golden Visa or a D7 Visa. The Golden Visa is investment-based, requiring a minimum of €250.000 ($266.900) investment in Portuguese real estate. The D7 Visa, on the other hand, is based on demonstrating sufficient passive income.
Residence permits and visas for foreigners investing in Braga real estate
EU citizens don’t need a residence permit or visa, but non-EU citizens need to. They can obtain two different visas when buying property in Braga.
1. Golden Visa Program
Introduced in 2012, the Golden Visa Program presents a fantastic opportunity for foreign property investors in Portugal, including Braga. You and your family can secure residency rights in Portugal by making a minimum investment of €250.000 ($266.900) in real estate. This permit allows you to live, work, and study in Portugal for up to five years and provides the freedom to move across the Schengen Area. More specific requirements related to the Golden Visa Program can be found here.
2. D7 Visa or ‘Retirement Visa’
Alternatively, foreigners may consider the D7 Visa, often called ‘passive income’ or ‘retirement visa’. Unlike the Golden Visa Program, the D7 Visa doesn’t necessitate property investment. Instead, it’s designed for individuals with a yearly income of at least €9.120 ($9.735). This income-based residency permit is particularly popular among those intending to retire in Portugal. You can find more details about the D7 Visa requirements here.
Remember, as a non-EU resident, you can seek the assistance of a Portuguese visa agency to navigate the application process for these visas effectively.
Best neighborhoods in Braga
Braga is one of the oldest towns in Portugal. It has many charming areas with a mix of historical importance, modern appeal, and lively local culture. Here are some of Braga’s best places to live:
- Sé: This is the old town center of Braga. It is named after the largest church in Portugal, the church of Braga (Sé de Braga). This area is famous for its beautiful old buildings, cobblestone streets, and many bars and restaurants.
- São Vítor: This area is an active and lively part of the city where students like to hang out because the University of Minho is nearby. São Vítor has a festive atmosphere because it mixes living, business, and academic areas.
- São João do Souto: This area is in the middle of the city and has a lot of important sites, like the Braga City Hall and the Raio Palace. It’s also known for its excellent restaurants and shopping streets.
- Lamaçães: This is one of Braga’s newest and most expensive living areas. It has a lot of shopping malls, grocery stores, gyms, and bars. Families and workers like to stay here because it is quiet and has much to offer.
- Gualtar: This neighborhood is near the University of Minho, which makes it lively and full of young people. Gualtar has a good mix of places to live and places to work, and there are many shops and bars there.
- Maximinos: This area is close to the city center and has living choices that aren’t too expensive. People know Maximinos for its rich culture and the busy train stop in Braga.
Remember that the “best” area relies greatly on your wants, lifestyle, and personal tastes. Braga has a neighborhood for everyone, whether you like a busy city hub, a quiet neighborhood, or a place where students feel welcome.
Real estate prices in Braga
The average price for apartments in Braga is €2.177/m² ($2.324/m²), with a +15% variation over the last 12 months. The average house price in Braga is €1.326/m² ($1.415/m²), with a +15% variation in the previous 12 months. The table below gives an overview of the real estate prices in and around Braga.
|Property type||Average price|
|Apartment studio||€160.500 ($171347)|
|2-Room apartment||€175.617 ($187.486)|
|3-Room apartment||€231.333 ($246.967)|
|4-Room apartment||€252.667 ($269.743)|
|5-Room apartment||€274.833 ($293.407)|
|House with 4 rooms||€306.261 ($326.959)|
|House with 5 rooms||€330.000 ($352.303)|
|House with 6 rooms||€331.667 ($354.082)|
|House with 7 rooms||€354.167 ($378.103)|
|House with 8 rooms||€375.876 ($401.279)|
Actual prices can differ depending on various factors like property size, location, age of the property, renovation status, and additional facilities like a pool, gym, parking, or garden.
Why buy real estate in Braga, Portugal?
Braga’s thriving business environment, secure and tolerant society, access to stunning beaches, and generous tax benefits make it an attractive destination for foreign real estate investors. These are the reasons why buying property in Braga, Portugal, can be a wise investment:
- Growing business hub: Braga is a flourishing business location, offering vast job opportunities in customer service and IT sectors. Several large corporations, including those prioritizing multilingual communication, have established their presence in the city. This increased commercial activity supports a steady demand for residential and commercial properties, making it an attractive location for real estate investment.
- Safety and tolerance: Portugal’s reputation as the fourth safest country in the world, as per the 2021 Global Peace Index, extends to Braga. The city is known for its low crime rates, open-minded attitudes, and welcoming nature towards locals and foreigners. Such a peaceful and accepting environment benefits property values and ensures a steady influx of prospective renters or buyers.
- Beautiful beaches: While Braga is not a coastal city, it is conveniently located near several beautiful fluvial and sea coasts. Whether it’s the fluvial beaches of Verim and Faial, Praia de Cepães, Praia Fluvial de Cavez, or even Samil Beach across the border in Spain, the proximity to these natural attractions adds to Braga’s appeal, enhancing its real estate desirability.
- Attractive tax benefits: Portugal’s non-habitual residence (NHR) scheme offers significant tax advantages to foreign residents, potentially for up to ten years. This scheme has been instrumental in attracting expats to Portugal, creating demand for residential properties. As a result, real estate investors can leverage this inflow to achieve a satisfactory return on investment.
Braga’s thriving business environment, secure and tolerant society, access to stunning beaches, and generous tax benefits make it an attractive destination for foreign real estate investors.
Property management in Braga
When looking for a property manager in Braga, keeping a few things in mind to ensure your home is in good hands is important. Choose a company based in Braga that knows the laws and real estate market there. Make sure the company knows how to manage properties like yours. You can find out if they do by asking about their current clients, the size of their operations, and how long they have been in the real estate market.
Getting recommendations from friends or other expats in Braga can also help you find a suitable property management company. Lastly, look at their customer service, paying attention to how quickly and well they respond to your needs as a property owner. The right company should give both you and your renters excellent care.
Real estate agents in Braga
Working with a real estate agent in your area can make buying property in Braga easier. If you are considering purchasing a home or letting it grow in value over time, you should consider potential rental income, costs for repairs, and trends in home prices in the area. Before buying, you should always research and talk to experts in real estate, the law, and money.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is buying property in Braga a good investment?
Yes, property in Braga can be a lucrative investment. With its increasing popularity, robust real estate market, rich history, and high quality of life, properties in Braga tend to hold their value and offer good rental income possibilities.
Is Braga expensive to live in?
Compared to many other European cities, living in Braga is relatively affordable. While costs can vary. Generally, housing, food, and services are cheaper than in many parts of Europe.
Which area of Braga is best to live in?
The best area to live in Braga largely depends on your lifestyle preferences. The city center, Sé, and São Vítor are ideal for a vibrant urban feel. For a quieter, more residential atmosphere, areas like Ferreiros or Frossos could be more suitable.
How to buy property in Braga?
Buying property in Braga involves several steps: getting a Portuguese tax number (NIF), opening a bank account in Portugal, finding a real estate agent and a notary, conducting due diligence, signing the provisional purchase agreement, and making a downpayment, signing the final Deed of Purchase and Sale contract, paying the property taxes, and if you’re a non-EU citizen, obtaining a visa.
Will the Portugal Golden Visa changes impact buying Braga real estate?
Yes, changes to Portugal’s Golden Visa program may impact real estate purchases in Braga. The alterations, designed to redirect foreign investment to less densely populated areas, could potentially increase the attractiveness of Braga properties to overseas buyers seeking Portuguese residency. Always consult a local property and visa expert to understand the current regulations.