Portugal Says No More Golden Visas & No More Airbnb’s

To address the housing crisis in Portugal, the government has passed a new set of laws and regulations aimed at curtailing short-term rentals and the sale of visas. These changes include a ban on granting new licenses for short-term rentals in urban centers, a move that will effectively eliminate new city Airbnbs. The government has also terminated the “golden visa” program, which allowed non-European Union residents to acquire EU passports in exchange for investing over €350,000 in real estate in certain areas. The program had been used by property developers to convert buildings into short-term rentals, further aggravating the housing crisis.

Portugal has been trying to attract international tourism, investment, and development for over a decade to revive its historical cities and stimulate its economy. While the policies seemed to have worked on paper, the negative effects on the locals have become too significant to ignore. The average cost of renting in Lisbon has risen by 37% in the past year, even though wages have remained relatively stagnant for decades. Short-term rentals account for over 60% of listed properties in the downtown area of Lisbon’s Santa Maria Major parish. Additionally, the number of foreign residents has increased by 40% in the past decade, causing housing prices to soar and limiting the availability of long-term rentals.

The government’s latest regulations are a step toward fulfilling the promise of the 2019 law that made housing a human right. However, housing advocacy groups argue that the new measures are incomplete, as long as the government continues to support other programs meant to attract wealthy foreigners, such as the “digital nomad” visas.

The problem of rising housing costs and limited availability of long-term rentals is not unique to Portugal. Many other places worldwide have experienced similar issues due to the popularity of short-term rentals, including Airbnb. To address this issue, some countries, such as the United Kingdom and Ireland, have already ended their “golden visa” programs. Portugal’s decision to follow suit and eliminate new city Airbnbs and “golden visas” may help alleviate the housing crisis, but more comprehensive solutions are still needed.

source link:
https://gizmodo.com/digital-nomad-airbnb-golden-visa-remote-work-1850127066

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