Europe

4 Reasons Homebuyers Might Opt for Porto over the Capital

Portugal's capital city has long been a popular choice for lifestyle buyers and investors. However, Porto is emerging as a strong rival—offering an authentic Portuguese experience combined with lower property prices and living costs.

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As the allure of Portugal as a place to call home continues to rise, many prospective homebuyers are drawn to its sun-kissed shores and historical cities.

Lisbon, the capital city, has traditionally been the go-to for many expats and property investors. However, in recent years, Porto, the northern gem of Portugal, has started to steal the limelight.

This shift begs the question: why are many homebuyers choosing to settle in Porto over Lisbon?

We explore why buyers are being drawn to this exciting city.

The Cost-of-Living Gap – Porto vs Lisbon

One of Porto’s most significant advantages over Lisbon is the more affordable cost of everyday living. Porto, with its rich history, bustling arts scene, and delectable cuisine, offers a quality of life that is comparable to Lisbon but at a fraction of the price. Some of the most notable differences include:

Dining and Entertainment: From traditional tastes to gourmet restaurants, dining out in Porto is noticeably cheaper than in Lisbon. According to Numbeo, the average meal in an inexpensive restaurant would cost €12 in Lisbon, compared with just €8.50 in Porto, representing a 41% difference.

Childcare costs: For parents, particularly those coming from overseas, childcare costs are a crucial factor when choosing where to settle and start a new life. The average annual cost of an international primary school is a massive 35% lower in Porto than in the capital city.

Salaries: Additionally, the average net monthly salary is higher in Porto compared to the capital, at almost 15% more, according to the Numbeo figures.

Property Price Differences

The disparity in property prices between Porto and Lisbon is impossible to ignore. While Lisbon has seen a rapid increase in property values due to tourism and foreign investments, Porto remains a more affordable choice.

According to the data from Numbeo, the current price per square meter for a city centre apartment in Lisbon stands at €5,720, while in Porto it is less than half that price, at €2,608 per/sqm. And outside of city centres, the difference is around 45%, making Porto the far more affordable city of the two.

Lifestyle Differences

Many ex-pats and homebuyers report that Porto offers a more immersive Portuguese experience. The pace is a bit slower, the streets less crowded, and there’s a genuine sense of community that’s harder to find in busier capitals. In addition, Porto’s UNESCO World Heritage status ensures that the city’s historical and cultural landmarks are preserved. This gives Porto a genuine, untouched feel compared to the more cosmopolitan Lisbon.

Investment Opportunities

With the growing interest in Porto, there’s a potential for substantial returns on investment in the coming years. The rise in tourism and the subsequent demand for short-term rentals means there’s potential for both capital appreciation and rental income. In addition, Porto offers a diverse range of properties, from historic buildings in the Ribeira district to modern apartments overlooking the Douro River. This variety, combined with more competitive pricing, allows homebuyers to get more value for their money.

While Lisbon will always remain a vibrant, sought-after location, Porto’s rise amongst homebuyers is well deserved. Offering an authentic experience combined with affordability and potential for investment, it’s no wonder more people are setting their sights on this northern Portuguese city.


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