5 Great towns to buy cheap property in Portugal

In recent years, Portugal has become a hotspot for expats in search of a new home and a fresh start. Its appeal is evident in the growing number of individuals from around the world, drawn to the country’s charm, affordability, safety and quality of life. As more and more people consider making Portugal their home, savvy buyers are increasingly on the lookout for the best property deals in this diverse and welcoming nation.

The reasons behind Portugal’s popularity among foreigners, especially Americans, are increasingly more apparent. The country offers a winning combination of a mild California-like climate, stunning landscapes, a rich cultural heritage, and an affordable and safe lifestyle.

Beyond these powerful reasons, one other key factor is driving expats to Portugal — the affordability of housing, particularly in certain areas that provide excellent value for money in the real estate market.

The Current Property Market in Portugal

Portugal’s property market is experiencing a golden era, marked by steady growth and increasing demand. According to recent statistics, the average property prices in Portugal have seen double-digit annual increases over the past few years. In 2023, the real estate market witnessed a 6% increase in property prices compared to the previous year, making it an opportune time for investors to explore affordable options.

Amidst the thriving market, Portugal maintains its status as a prime location for foreign investment, with a significant portion of buyers coming from countries like the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States. This international interest is fueled by the country’s stable political environment, attractive tax incentives and a high quality of life.

The interest from buyers isn’t just a short-term thing. It’s a sign that Portugal’s property market is seen as a good area for investment. With all these factors working in its favor, the market seems like it’s in a stable place right now, drawing in those who want to take advantage of the positive trend.

Top Cheap Places to Buy Property in Portugal

1. Coimbra

Average price per square foot: $189
Average house price: $378,000
Average apartment price: $150,000

Coimbra, situated along the Mondego River, is a city that blends historical significance with affordability, making it an appealing choice for potential property owners. Its medieval roots as a university town contribute to its unique charm.

For those considering Coimbra, the city offers a tranquil yet vibrant lifestyle that has particularly drawn expats seeking a welcoming atmosphere. The property market in Coimbra is diverse, providing options that cater to various preferences. 

The local lifestyle in Coimbra is rather quiet and serene, making it an ideal destination for individuals seeking a peaceful residential experience. Additionally, the city’s medieval roots contribute to a culturally vibrant atmosphere, with access to historical sites and events throughout the year.

What sets Coimbra apart is not only its cultural appeal but also its affordability. The property market is known for budget-friendly choices, making it an attractive option for those looking to invest without breaking the bank. At an average price of $189 per square foot, Coimbra is one of the most affordable cities in Portugal to buy real estate. 

Currently, the average house price in Coimbra is $378,000 for a 2,000-square-foot homeA two-bedroom apartment in Coimbra would cost on average $150,000, a great value housing option for a young family or a couple. 

In terms of real estate options, Coimbra offers the opportunity to experience the city’s charm through historic center apartments or embrace a balance between urban and suburban living with more spacious houses in the outskirts. 

2. Covilhã

Average price per square foot: $83
Average house price: $165,000
Average apartment price: $65,000

Covilhã is a city located in the central part of Portugal; in the heart of the Serra da Estrela mountain range. With a population of around 50,000, it offers a perfect balance of urban amenities and natural beauty. 

The cost of living in Covilhã is one of the city’s most attractive aspects. Housing prices, utilities, and everyday expenses are generally lower compared to other major Portuguese cities, making it an economical choice for property buyers.

Over the past few years, the real estate market in Covilhã has shown steady growth, having increased by a whopping 16% in 2023 compared to a year ago. The demand for properties, especially among locals and expats, has contributed to a positive market trend.

As of the latest data, the average price of a large house in Covilhã is $165,000. Prices vary based on location, property size, and amenities, but generally, you can purchase a two-bedroom apartment here for a mere $65,000, as the price per square foot is only $83. 

Covilhã offers a variety of properties, including apartments, townhouses, and villas. Each type of property has its own advantages and considerations. Evaluate factors such as proximity to amenities, public transportation, and personal preferences when choosing the type of property that suits you.

Covilhã is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, making it an excellent destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The Serra da Estrela Natural Park offers hiking, skiing, and other recreational activities. The city also boasts historical landmarks, adding to its appeal.

3. Santarém

Average price per square foot: $115
Average house price: $230,000
Average apartment price: $90,000

Santarém is also situated in central Portugal, closer to Algarve. But compared to the swankier Algarve region, Santarém is a budget-friendly option. The city has unique historical buildings around every corner, charming cobblestone streets that invite to romantic evening walks and beautiful ancient landmarks that speak to its interesting past.

Santarém is also well-connected to the capital city of Lisbon, which is just about 45 minutes by car or train. 

The lifestyle in Santarém is typically relaxed and laid-back, characteristic of many Portuguese towns. The community is friendly and welcoming, with a mix of locals and expatriates. There’s a strong sense of community, with local markets, festivals, and events throughout the year.

Best of all, the real estate market here isn’t a rollercoaster. It’s stable and a solid investment for steady growth. The property prices are lower, making it attractive for those counting their euros. The current average house price in the city is $230,000, according to My Dolce Casa’s most recent Portugal real estate market report. Apartments are more accessible and budget-friendly. You can find average-sized apartments for under$100,000. 

Santarém isn’t a flashy hotspot to buy property, but it’s a solid, affordable investment town to settle down in. If you’re up for a quieter life steeped in history, it might just be the place for you.

4. Castelo Branco

Average price per square foot: $84
Average house price: $168,000
Average apartment price: $67,000

In the heart of Portugal, along the banks of the lovely Pônsul River, you will find Castelo Branco. With its roots tracing back through the ages, this city has a distinct charm that’s both affordable and welcoming.

For anyone considering Castelo Branco, the city promises a lively lifestyle, making it especially attractive to students and young families. The real estate scene here offers a mix of options, catering to different tastes and preferences.

Castelo Branco’s historical background adds a cultural flair, ensuring residents have easy access to historical sites and community events. What makes Castelo Branco stand out is not just its cultural richness but also its pocket-friendly nature.

The housing market is known for its budget-friendly choices. Currently, the average house price stands at a reasonable $168,000 and an apartment around $67,000. And beyond housing, the overall cost of living here won’t leave you scratching your head.

When it comes to housing options, Castelo Branco allows you to soak in the city’s charm through apartments in the historic center or find a balance between city and suburban life with more spacious houses on the outskirts.

5. Aveiro

Average price per square foot: $245
Average house price: $490,000
Average apartment price: $196,000

Dubbed the “Venice of Portugal” for its picturesque canals and vibrant cultural scene, Aveiro is the priciest city on this list. In reality Aveiro is a true affordable gem if you consider everything that it offers. Expats drawn to the combination of coastal charisma, historic appeal and modern living will find a variety of great housing options, from waterside apartments to cozy townhouses.

This coastal city is ideal for families and retirees seeking a relaxing lifestyle located under one hour’s drive from Porto.

Aveiro is an attractive destination for those seeking a unique, quality lifestyle in a friendly town. Recent data shows that the average residential property is priced at $490,000, which is 30% cheaper than Porto real estate. For more budget-conscious buyers, apartments can be a better option, as you can purchase a two-bedroom apartment for less than $200,000. 

Note: Before purchasing property, it’s important to be aware of the legal requirements for foreign buyers in Portugal. Engaging with a local legal expert can help navigate the legal aspects of property acquisition.

Find your ideal home in affordable Portugal

In Portugal, each city has its own special story and lots of things to explore. As you do your research about cheap places to buy in Portugal, remember it’s not just about getting a house. It’s about finding a home in a country where living isn’t too expensive, and where there are many incredible places to discover and culture to enjoy.

The post 5 Great towns to buy cheap property in Portugal appeared first on My Dolce Casa.

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