Where is the start-up destination for property investment in Europe?

03 Aug 2020

Sunny Porto in Portugal is the perfect place for a happy work-life balance. It’s a safe city comprised of a rich culture and heritage, a booming tech-driven economy and a renown Research and Development environment. In addition to this, the city has a plethora of high-quality health services, international schools and excellent flight connectivity.

Porto is also known for being very welcoming and open to foreigners. This allows for easy cross-cultural integration, whilst offering a unique quality of life for everyone who has chosen Porto as their home.

In 2018, Porto was crowned Europe’s most start-up friendly city by The World Excellence Awards, following on from the successful Scale-Up Porto initiative launched back in 2015.

The aim was simple: support the growth of local tech start-ups with the potential to scale internationally and position Porto as a city open to creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

The current ecosystem provides 69 research and development centres, 20 incubators, 14 co-working spaces, and 8 technology and transfer centres.

The city is now a pioneer in the creation of tech start-ups, accounting for 36% of the national total and home to several leading high-tech companies. Porto’s top start-ups include: Farfetch, Porto.io, Opolab, NOW, Porto Innovation Hub and Muratto Open Space Porto. A flourishing market has subsequently evolved within the city, as it continues to draw in a growing pool of talented workers and students.

Why is Porto thriving as a start-up hub?

An esteemed business mentality is not new to the running of Porto, as Rui Coutinho, Executive Director of the Centre for Business Innovation explains, “our DNA is one of business people, manufacturers, industrialists and traders. There is a strong and long entrepreneurial background to the city”.

Porto is also Portugal’s leading education hub, attracting 72,000 students (the country’s highest number of students in higher education) and is home to several of the country's best universities.

The city's large pool of highly qualified, multi-lingual, and extremely motivated graduates has fostered Porto's importance as an area to produce entrepreneurs and start-up founders.

This in turn has made Porto the industrial and business hub of the country, as opposed to its sister, Lisbon, which is very much the creative and tourism hub of Portugal.

Why is Porto property a great investment?

Porto is experiencing soaring rental and property prices. House prices in the city’s historic centre have more than doubled since 2014, albeit from a lower base. Like other Portuguese cities, Porto is suffering from a residential supply shortfall and property prices will continue to rise. As of Q1 2020 the city saw 19% annual growth in house prices.

In the last two years there has been significant redevelopment efforts across the city; large public investment in new roads, libraries and universities are providing a welcomed facelift to the city. Previously run-down buildings in the city centre are being refurbished and these projects are rightfully attracting international capital.

Despite mounting demand, the square metre price of property in Porto remains lower than Lisbon and more affordable than other global investor hotspots. A 300% increase in jobs created by foreign investors was seen between 2013-2016 and in late 2018 Amazon announced it would be opening a new European base in the city.

According to EY’s European Investment Monitor, Porto’s levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) grew at a rate of 11.4% between 2013 and 2018. This growth rate is faster than other Portuguese regions as well as the EU average.

The 2020 EY Portugal report tracked 51 FDI projects across Northern Portugal accounting for 5,722 new jobs. This equates to an 88% annual increase in FDI projects and a 93% annual increase in the number of jobs created to 2019.

Porto’s investment profile is strengthening not only in Portugal but worldwide. Future forecasts remain strong and robust. To take advantage of this unique investment opportunity, see IP Global's latest Porto residence below.

Litoral Living is IP Global’s second development in Porto and is located within the southern part of the Matosinhos neighbourhood. If you would like to find out more about investment opportunities in Porto and Litoral Living, contact us today.

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