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One in five homes in Portugal sold to overseas buyers

The extent to which Portugal’s improving housing market is being propped up by foreign buyers was laid bare by figures showing that 20% of Portuguese property purchases in the first quarter of this year were made with overseas money.

New figures published by the Real Estate Association APEMIP show that thousands of Britons are taking advantage of a combination of favourable economic factors, including a strengthening Portuguese housing market, improving domestic economy and strong sterling exchange rate against the euro.

In terms of foreign buyers, British nationals represented 18% of the total, second only to the French, which secured a 26% share of the market.

Chinese investors meanwhile covered 13% of the Portuguese property market, with many buyers lured to Portugal by its golden visa scheme which gives foreign investors who spend €500,000 (£380,780) on a property in Portugal the right to live in the country.

Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve remain the most popular locations for overseas nationals acquiring homes in Portugal, APEMIP said.

With transactions in Portugal growing, APEMIP chairman Luís Lima estimates that that the volume of property sales in Portugal are likely to increase by up to 40% during the course of 2016 in relation to last year.

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