Updated: February 22, 2024
Home to some of the most popular beaches in the Portuguese Riviera, beautiful summer days and mild winters graced by scenic views of the coastline, and a few of the most prestigious golf courses in the world, the Cascais region offers residents and visitors from across the globe a culturally rich and family-friendly lifestyle. Without a doubt, buying property in Cascais is a great investment for non-EU and European citizens alike.
In this comprehensive article, we offer insight into life in the stunning Portuguese Riviera, just west of the cosmopolitan capital of Portugal, Lisbon. We will also explore the essential steps of purchasing properties in Cascais – from real estate listings in the Cascais area to understanding the buying process and creating a budget before you buy property. This guide will also lead you to discover more about the value of working with a buyer’s agent or other real estate professionals who can assist you with their expertise in negotiating fair property prices, handling paperwork, and ensuring a smooth sale process.
Why should you buy property in Cascais?
Whether you’re in search of private detached houses with swimming pools in a quiet suburb or a coastal apartment in the perfect location for beach lovers who enjoy surfing and watching the waves crash on scenic beaches such as Praia da Rainha, Cascais offers real estate listings that cater to every lifestyle need. The Cascais region is located in close proximity to Lisbon and is famous for amenities that include five-star restaurants, convenient supermarkets, popular beaches, and many international schools.
Can foreigners buy property in Cascais?
There are no restrictions to foreign investors and expats buying properties in Cascais or anywhere in Portugal for that matter. With the professional assistance of a local real estate agent or buyer’s agent, purchasing your dream home in Cascais will be a relatively easy process. A real estate professional’s support and assistance will help you make a sound investment decision.
If you are buying property in Portugal with plans to relocate to this beautiful country, you will need to apply for residency. Some of the most popular visa options for non-EU citizens include the D7 Visa (Retirement or Passive Income Visa), the Digital Nomad Visa, and the Portugal Golden Visa program.
Key reasons to buy property in the Cascais region
Besides the allure of the stunning coastline and the convenient location near the Portuguese capital and neighborhoods of Estoril, there are a number of reasons that make property investment in the Cascais region an attractive option. Although Cascais property and the relaxed lifestyle tend to be more on the luxurious and expensive side of life than other regions of the country, property and the cost of living are still competitively affordable when compared to other European countries and sought-after destinations across the globe.
There is also a considerably large expat community to connect with in Cascais. In 2022, the Portuguese real estate market intelligence unit, Confidencial Imobiliário, revealed the top five nationalities of foreign investors who have purchased properties in Lisbon’s urban regeneration areas, which included investors from China, France, Germany, the UK, and the USA.
The Cascais Real Estate Market: An Overview
More than a coastal gem that Portugal has become famous for, the once humble fishing village of Cascais has developed into a sought-after location with luxury properties and more modest houses available for sale as investment prospects with great potential. Investors can discover real estate listings that promise lavish lifestyles along the Atlantic coast and the Portuguese Riviera, attracting tourists and expats alike with a vibrant coastal lifestyle enriched by water sports, top-notch amenities, serene waters, easy access to cities, and authentically Portuguese culinary landscape.
According to Confidencial Imobiliário, the Portuguese real estate market intelligence unit, the average property price in Cascais reached €5,835 per square meter in 2023. Note that this is the asking price, and the sales price can often be significantly lower than this or, in fewer cases, higher. For those eyeing investment properties with plans to rent the home out during the popular summer holiday season, Cascais boasted a commendable 5.6 percent growth in gross rental yields in the same year.
The Cascais real estate market welcomes investors and expats to join a unique world filled with the historical and contemporary coastal allure of this stunning coastal region. Cascais offers cobbled streets that lead to mansions and villas reminiscent of 19th-century architecture, while the Museum Quarter and the 15th-century Cidadela de Cascais add to the coastal city’s rich heritage. But Cascais isn’t just a historical haven; it’s a vibrant hub with an array of bars, dining delights, and a pulsating nightlife, radiating an irresistible holiday charm and making it the best property investment opportunity for those seeking profitable investment or a well-rounded lifestyle on the Portugal coast.
Where to buy property in Cascais?
From the opulence of Cascais and Estoril to the tranquil charm of São Domingos de Rana, each area in Cascais offers property buyers real estate listings for sale that will meet their lifestyle and investment needs. You will find a selection of many properties, from modern apartments and luxury villas surrounded by the calm waters of the yacht marina to prime beachfront properties and quaint detached houses in quiet suburbs offering a simple yet luxurious lifestyle with access to the coast and the best golf courses.
Cascais and Estoril
From upmarket apartments offering breathtaking sea views to expansive mansions with inviting swimming pools, Cascais and Estoril is the city center of the Cascais luxury real estate market. With its great selection of luxury houses and other real estate listings, Cascais and Estoril is popular among lifestyle-driven investors and families and offers a few of the best golf courses in the area including the Quinta da Marinha Golf Course.
São Domingos de Rana
In the São Domingos de Rana area, you can find a more affordable house for sale and live in a community with a historical background and proximity to Lisboa, making it an attractive choice. Here, you can enjoy proximity to beautiful beaches, like Praia da Rainha, while living in a quieter suburb still connected to modern amenities.
Alcabideche is one of Portugal’s perfect neighborhoods for beach lovers and adventure seekers. Nestled between Cascais and Estoril, Alcabideche features the picturesque Sintra National Park, which attracts visitors to this area with its natural beauty, making it a smart investment for renting your property.
Carcavelos and Parede
Carcavelos and Parede offer the best of both worlds, stunning beaches that are the avid surfer’s paradise and tranquil residential pockets perfecting the closely located areas’ laid-back atmosphere. Together, the exquisite beaches are complemented by waterfront dining options and panoramic sea views, creating a lifestyle of seaside sophistication.
How to Buy Property in Cascais: A Step-by-Step Guide
Now that you have an idea of the property prices and explored a few of the areas where your dream property awaits in the captivating coastal town of Cascais, we can discover more about the property buying process. In the table below, we guide you through the essential steps and legal intricacies involved in making your foreign property ownership dreams a reality in Cascais – from finding and financing your ideal investment property, negotiation and reservation, the promissory contract, and finalizing the deed signing.
Step 1: Secure financing for your property
Assess your finances, explore mortgage options from Portuguese banks, and understand associated costs such as taxes, legal fees, and property registration expenses.
Step 2: Find the perfect property
Set a budget and research the Portuguese real estate market, focusing on location, amenities, and rental potential. Seek guidance from real estate professionals like buyer's agents or real estate agents.
Step 3: Make an offer
Once you find a suitable property, negotiate an offer with the seller, potentially facilitated by a real estate professional. Consider having a buyer's agent representing your best interests during negotiations.
Step 4: Reservation Agreement and CPCV
After an offer is accepted, a Reservation Agreement may require a refundable fee. The Promissory Contract (CPCV) finalizes the deal, often with a 10 percent deposit, signed in front of a Notary.
Step 5: Signing the Escritura
The Escritura, or Final Deed, officially transfers property ownership. Signed before a Notary, it involves paying remaining balances and fees. After signing, the buyer becomes the official owner, concluding the process.
Requirements for a Successful Property Purchase
An essential part of the real estate investment Cascais process is applying for a Portuguese NIF number and opening a bank account. These two requirements will also come in handy for any other transactions you need to complete in the country, especially for investors who are non-EU citizens.
Portuguese tax number
You will need a NIF, the Portuguese tax number, to open a bank account in Portugal. You can apply for the NIF number yourself at your local tax office or get an attorney to assist you. If you are a non-EU citizen, you will need to have a fiscal representative. To avoid having to go to the local tax office, you can also apply for your NIF number online. Our colleagues from GetNIF can assist you with getting your Portuguese tax number and opening a bank account remotely.
Portuguese bank account
When buying property in Cascais, it is recommended that you open a Portuguese bank account to avoid hefty international transaction fees when making your purchase. There are a variety of Portuguese banks to consider, many of which offer mortgages to foreign buyers as well.
Required Documents for Property Purchases in Cascais
Once you start the purchase process, it is important to have all the essential documents ready to ensure the property purchase journey is seamless and your purchase offer is eligible and legally compliant with Portuguese real estate law. Working with a real estate lawyer will prove to be an invaluable asset as they will be able to assist you with getting the documents you need in order and completing due diligence checks on the property on your behalf.
To buy property in Cascais, you will need the following documents:
- Photo ID: A valid identification document that verifies your identity.
- Contrato Promessa de Compra e Venda (CPCV): The buying contract or property deed that outlines the terms and conditions of the property purchase.
- Energy Certificate: This document provides information about the energy efficiency of the property and must be presented to you by the seller. Read our guide, Portugal’s Energy Performance Certificate Explained, to learn more.
- Imposto de Selo: The stamp duty payment, which is a tax required by the Tax Authority for property transactions.
- Caderneta Predial: The land register document that contains information about the property, including its location, boundaries, and registered owner.
Potential Pitfalls of Purchasing Property in Cascais, Portugal
It’s important to consider the potential pitfalls when buying property in Cascais and other regions of the country you are interested in investing in. During the process, you could encounter legal complexities with property title deeds or debts attached to the property that could lead to lengthy legal battles.
Besides the purchase price, you will also need to account for additional expenses beyond the property prices, for instance, mortgage costs for foreign buyers, property taxes, notary fees, and registration expenses. Overlooking local regulations or tax laws could lead to fines or unexpected financial obligations.
You should also be sure to talk to a team of professionals and locals about Cascais so that you can learn more about the nuances of the community you will be living or investing in. For instance, with Cascais being situated on the gorgeous Portuguese coast, the region has high-volume vacation seasons and off seasons like winter when life slows down, and access to local entertainment and amenities may be limited, and the income from an investment house you are renting to holidaymakers may slow down.
Seeking the professional advice of a buyer’s agent or experienced local real estate agent will help you understand the intricacies of property acquisition in Portugal, navigate setbacks successfully, and save you from a number of potential roadblocks that may impact the sale.
Financing Your Property in Cascais
Once you have browsed the Cascais real estate listings and decided on the neighborhoods you would like to purchase a house, you can begin planning how you will finance your purchase. In this section, we take a look at how you can plan your budget and the financing options Portugal offers for buying a home.
Create a budget
Putting together a detailed budget that takes the various costs into account, from initial application fees to property taxes, is a good place to start and most important step. If you need to finance your purchase, bear in mind that for Portuguese residents, mortgage deposits usually range between 10 percent and 20 percent, while non-residents typically require around 30 percent of the property value as a deposit.
Your property financing options
If you have the capital, one-off payments on your property purchase price will be possible. However, there is also a great selection of mortgage options available from financial service providers, including BBVA, Santander, Banco Best, Bankinter, and Banco CTT. Visit each website and do some research before weighing your options.
Mortgages in Cascais, Portugal
Getting a mortgage in Portugal involves approaching banks or mortgage agents to request an initial estimate. While residents enjoy broader borrowing options, non-residents face different criteria. Typically, non-residents should budget for a 30 percent deposit and consider factors like the Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio, which usually stands around 70 percent. Fixed-rate mortgages, lasting between 3 and 30 years, currently stand at approximately 3.9 percent for up to five years.
Types of mortgages
Fixed-rate mortgages come with a premium but offer stability, protecting against rate changes. However, non-residents face a capped LTV ratio of 75 percent. Variable-rate mortgages, tied to the Euribor, provide fluctuating rates; currently, mortgage spreads sit around 0.85 percent. Monthly payments fluctuate over time, and early repayments might incur a 0.5 percent charge on the repaid capital.
Cost and fees for mortgages in Portugal
Besides the application and valuation fees, there are additional costs involved in securing a mortgage in Portugal. Notary, registry, and tax office fees for mortgage deeds, along with Stamp Duty Tax (IMI) at 0.8 percent of the property price, add to the financial considerations. The Property Purchase Tax (IMT) varies from 2 percent to 8 percent of property prices.
Navigating the mortgage landscape in Portugal requires a clear understanding of the options available to you, associated costs, and the different requirements for residents and non-residents. Professional advice and clarity on these aspects will ensure a seamless property purchase process in Cascais and ensure that you invest in the best property.
Exploring Property Taxes in Cascais, Portugal
Navigating the property purchasing process in Portugal entails so much more than finding the perfect house and buying it. There are property taxes you will have to pay for property acquisition and ownership in Portugal. Below, we go into detail about the property taxes you should expect to pay and prepare for.
Municipal Property Tax (IMI)
The IMI (Municipal Property Tax) is an annual tax of which the amount is determined by the municipality in which the property is located. The rates range from 0.3 percent to 0.8 percent based on the property type and location.
Property Purchase Tax (IMT)
Calculated based on the property’s value or declared amount in the deed, the IMT (Municipal Tax on Onerous Transmissions of Real Estate) is a property transfer tax that needs to be paid before the purchase is completed. The property transfer tax rate varies from 0 to 8 percent based on factors like property type, location, purchase price, and intended use. Our Portugal property tax calculator can help you calculate the IMT (property transfer tax) on your potential property.
The Stamp Duty (Imposto do Selo) is an additional transaction tax charged by the Portuguese state for real estate transfers. It amounts to 0.8 percent of the deed’s total value and must be paid at the time of purchase.
AIMI (Wealth Tax)
The Portuguese Wealth Tax (AIMI) is a post-purchase tax that applies to property worth more than €600,000. There are three levels of taxation based on property value:
- 0.7 percent tax for properties valued between €600,000 and €1 million
- 1 percent tax for properties valued between €1 million and €2 million
- 1.5 percent tax applied to property worth more than €2 million
Capital Gains Tax
Capital gains refers to the profit made from the property’s sale that may be subject to taxation. When you sell your Portuguese property, you will need to submit the purchase details of the property to the tax authorities for a capital gains assessment. If you reinvest the total selling price in a new home, you may be exempt from capital gains tax. Our article, Property Taxes in Portugal 2024: An Overview, is a comprehensive guide to property tax in Portugal that you may find beneficial.
Additional Property Purchase Costs to Consider
When preparing to purchase property in Cascais, Portugal, it’s crucial to factor in the various one-off costs essential for the transaction. These include notary and registration fees, attorney fees, transfer tax (IMT), stamp duty fees, and potential expenses related to the land registry. Additionally, there might be fees associated with lawyers, especially if legal counsel is sought during the property acquisition process.
Is it worth buying property in Portugal?
There are many good reasons to buy property in Cascais, Portugal. Some of these key advantages include:
- No restrictions on foreign property ownership
- Investing in a dynamic market with a high return on investment potential
- Low cost of living compared with other countries in Western Europe
- Incredible climate with incredible summers and mild winters
- Top-quality education at international schools and high-quality healthcare services
Consider these benefits and take into account the potential pitfalls that you may encounter during the process, which we explored above, to decide whether Cascais is the perfect for you to call home or invest in financial freedom.
Goldcrest Can Help You Find Your Dream Home
Goldcrest is a buyer’s agent based in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve. Equipped with local knowledge, exclusive networks, and international experience, we provide expert, impartial advice on real estate investments and how to buy property in Cascais, Portugal. From scouting real estate listings to find the perfect property through to property acquisition, we have you covered throughout the process. Our team of skilled experts is available to cater to all your real estate needs, offering insightful expertise and strategic advice. Contact us to schedule a complimentary call today.
Frequently Asked Questions about Buying Property in Cascais
Do I need a lawyer when buying a property?
Working with a real estate lawyer is not a strict requirement for investing in property in Cascais, Portugal. However, professional legal services are recommended if you want your purchase process to be compliant with Portuguese laws and as seamless as possible.
What are the additional fees when buying a property in Cascais?
Besides the property’s asking price, there are other costs that are essential to factor in. These include notary and registration fees, attorney fees, transfer tax (IMT), stamp duty fees, and potential expenses related to the land registry.
How much do I need for a deposit payment?
The deposit for the property usually lies between 10 to 25 percent of the purchase price based on the condition that the mortgage offer is accepted. However, to be safe, non-residents and foreign buyers should budget 30 percent of the property purchase price for the deposit payment on a property in Cascais, Portugal.
Is property cheap in Cascais?
Property in the beautiful Cascais region is more expensive than in other regions of the country. However, still quite affordable when you factor in the beauty and luxury the popular coastline offers. With a little research and the right help you will be able to find affordable real estate listings. In 2023 the average asking price for a house in Cascais was €5,835 per square meter.
Is buying property in Cascais a good investment?
Besides the beauty, tranquility, and safe lifestyle Cascais offers, buying property here can bring worthwhile returns on property investment through the vibrant tourism sector or rental income.
Where do most expats live in Cascais?
You will find many English-speaking expats from across the globe living in Cascais, Estoril, Carcavelos, Parede, and Alcabideche.
Where can I find Cascais real estate beachfront properties?
You can begin your search for beachfront properties online by visiting online listing sites and real estate agency sites in Cascais. Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, your price range, and the area you prefer, contact a real estate agent for assistance with the process.
A buyer’s agent like Goldcrest will also be of great value as they will have access to exclusive listings through their network and solely work on your behalf as the buyer.
What are the pitfalls of buying property in Cascais?
There are a number of potential pitfalls you could encounter when buying property in Cascais, which is why seeking the professional services of a buyer’s agent is highly recommended. Potential issues may include legal complexities with property title deeds or debts attached to the property or missing vital information pertaining to local regulations or tax laws.
What is IMT tax?
Calculated based on the property’s value or declared amount in the deed, the IMT (Municipal Tax on Onerous Transmissions of Real Estate) is a property transfer tax that needs to be paid before the purchase is completed. The property transfer tax rate varies from 0 to 8 percent based on factors like property type, location, purchase price, and intended use.