Government Presents New Housing Measures Package… Will it be the end of the Golden Visa???
This past Thursday, in the Council of Ministers, a new legislative package on housing was approved. It should be noted that these measures will be publicly discussed for a month, and subsequently ratified on March 16, in a council of ministers!!! “The Program will act on all dimensions of the housing problem” - Prime Minister António Costa The Mais Habitação program aims to act in all dimensions of the housing problem, based on five axes, as listed by António Costa: 1. Increasing the supply of properties that can be used for housing purposes; 2. Streamline licensing processes; 3. Increase the number of homes on the rental market; 4. Fight speculation; 5. Support families in the lease contract and housing loans. ❖ Increase the real estate Inventory: Starting with the first point, António Costa paid attention to the need to increase the supply of properties. The package foresees converting the use of commercial properties or services for residential use, as well as making State land available under development contracts for housing, where affordable housing projects are subsequently developed. ❖ Simplify licensing processes: The slowness of the licensing processes aggravates prices and the Government is aware that «it is necessary to simplify the licensing processes», confirms the Prime Minister. For this, two measures were presented: licensing with a term of responsibility signed by the designers and, whoever fails to comply, will be subject to a “very tough” sanctioning framework, says Costa; public entities will be penalized with default interest for non-compliance with the licensing deadlines. ❖ Reinforce owner confidence: In the third axis, António Costa emphasized the fact that the package includes measures to increase the number of houses on the rental market, based on strengthening the "landlords' confidence". The measures are: the State will lease for a period of five years and then sublease; the State guarantees payment after three months of non-compliance (or collects, or supports or evicts). António Costa also adds that there will be an increase in the public offer of affordable housing, as a result of an exemption from capital gains on property sales to the State. The Government will also promote affordable renting, with funding for municipalities to carry out coercive works, and encouraging the transfer of houses in local accommodation to housing. It also becomes mandatory to rent vacant houses: “there is a very significant number of houses that have conditions but are not on the market”. Rehabilitation works will have 6% VAT and zero IMI for those who have affordable rental housing.
❖ Fight real estate speculation: In order to combat real estate speculation, the Government announced the end of the Golden Visa program in Portugal. This is the end of new licenses for Golden Visas and those that exist will have a limited renewal, subject to evaluation. The Government also upholds the guarantee of fair income in new contracts. This is the end of new licenses for Golden Visas and those that exist will have a limited renewal, subject to evaluation. “In Visas already granted, their renewal will be carried out if they are real estate investments for permanent housing or for descendants”, declares the Prime Minister, adding that another of the criteria for maintaining this license will be “when the house is placed on the market for rent at affordable prices”. António Costa had already stated, in November, that the measure was being studied and that the Government would reassess the program that has been in force since 2012. The prime minister revealed, at the time, that the program could have already fulfilled its function. The real estate sector considered that there were changes and improvements to be made, however the Government created an inter-ministerial working group to discuss and analyze the issue, thus opting for the end of the program, according to the legislative package presented, this Thursday, at a press conference. ❖ Support for families The last axis of the Government's package of measures is the exemption of capital gains for the repayment of mortgage loans for the owner and descendants. In addition, all financial institutions will now have to offer a fixed rate. The Government will «adopt credit protection measures in case of interest rate hikes and rent support», stresses Costa. Thinking of moving or investing in Portugal… Feel free to schedule a call at your convenience on our calendar, and let’s see where our team and I can add value to your move or additionally investing in Portugal, as our trusted Lawyer and Tax Attorney can walk you through the NHR | Residence Visa or Portugal Residence Permit and our Loan Broker and Currency Exchange Broker will additionally be able to add value to your buying process!!! Link to schedule call on Calendly
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