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Portugal, the Property Investment Paradise

Jun 6, 2008
The cost of living in Portugal is still lower comparing with other European nations, even since it joined the European Union in 1986. Prices of goods have gone up but are still affordable.

As of the present, living in Portugal can be ideal if an expatriate gets to have a steady job earning around 1,000 Euros every month. Compared to a lot of European countries, prices of commodities, rentals and leisure are still much lower. Living in the capital city of Lisbon or in Porto will definitely be more expensive but the Silver Coast, West Coast and Central Portugal areas of the country still have several cheaper wares and places to offer.

Overall, the cost of living in Portugal heavily depends on the location as well as the lifestyle of the individual. It is possible to live comfortably if one chooses the right areas to sustain both needs and wants.

Portugals economy recently ranked 40th in total GDP at over 230 billion Euros. Per capita GDP is estimated to be around 23,000 Euros which is at 34th place. Income equality is considerably good and the country still enforces free market. Standard of living according to the Economist Intelligence Unit or EIU puts Portugal at the 19th spot in terms of quality of life.

Food and Drinks Costs in Portugal
Portugal used to rely heavily on trade although in recent years, export has begun to decline in comprising the bulk of the economy. As of now, there are still a lot of agricultural and food products available at moderate prices.

Expatriates can enjoy cheaper goods in the countryside as well as in the coastal areas since these places harbour rich raw materials fresh from the ocean. Seafood in Portugal is very abundant and also affordable. There are varieties of ocean bounty such as shrimp, crab, mackerel, sardines, bass and tuna. If buying at local wet markets, prices are considerably low but the rates after due tax will increase if sold at supermarkets and shops.

Wine is also abundant in Portugal since several regions make and distribute it locally and for export purposes. Red, white and green wine is available in most wineries and home cellars. Prices depend on the quality, age and maker. Expatriates may be able to find Port wine at very reasonable rates but buying at commercial wine shops will surely be more expensive.

Portugal also makes several varieties of cheese and these are available at very affordable prices. Meat products like beef, lamb and pork are moderately priced just like poultry and eggs. The average Portuguese spends around 150 to 200 Euros every month on food and drinks.

Clothing and Accessories Costs in Portugal
Clothes and accessories are cheaper in Portugal than in other European countries. People may have noticed that prices of goods and commodities have gone up. Quality clothes made locally are expensive and are particularly manufactured for export. At bargain shops there are also more affordable wares and accessories.

Electronics and computers are also slowly rising in costs but expatriates may still comparably see the cheaper difference. Imported goods are expensive in Portugal but there are many who still prefer to purchase locally made products.

Designer labels in commercial establishments are pricey as well as those in department stores and boutiques. Street vendors and flea markets offer considerably lower rates but quality of these goods are still questionable.

Housing Costs in Portugal
Major cities in Portugal like Lisbon, Porto and Cascais have high costs of living but the rural areas are still open at affordable rates. A single person can live comfortably earning 1,000 Euros every month. About 300 to 600 Euros can get quality rental space inclusive of water supply, electricity and gas consumption.

Resort living is significantly cheap but the location may also be the reason for high unemployment rates. Big cities are conducive for business owners since these have excellent resources and communication links.

Land and home ownership is easy to come by in rural areas especially for foreign investors. There are some taxes needed to be paid before due ownership. Owning land in the countryside can be reasonable in terms of price too. In rural areas, although unemployment rate is a little higher, majority of Portugals total population are actually located there. Several families living in the city also have an extra house in the country which explains why there are more houses than people in Portugal.

Services Costs in Portugal
Portugal has recently been in shortage of medical professionals but their standard of health care in terms of service and equipment are still good. Public hospitals are partly subsidized by the government and most Portuguese have insurance policies that are well supported. Transportation in major cities is excellent and well maintained.

A lot of public schools are available in urban, suburban and rural areas which are subsidized by the Portuguese government. Some problems lie with high illiteracy rates at almost 8 percent as well as dropout rates.

There are also a number of excellent universities which are linked with good names in the United States and the United Kingdom. On the other hand, students can opt for Polytechnic courses. Meanwhile you will find also excellent international schools in different parts of the country.

Employment Costs in Portugal
Overall, Portugal has an unemployment rate of 7 percent which is the 48th lowest all over the world. The income equality and economic freedom are still in good condition. GDP per capita is also stabilizing at over 22,000 Euros.

Portugal needs more people to help its growing need of health care. Business investors from foreign countries are also welcome. Exportation of wine, cork, textile and furniture are the new economic trends of Portugal unlike before when it heavily relied on agriculture and fishing. Recently, it is also making its move in the stock market and business arena which expatriates may find promising in seeking employment.

It makes sense to invest in Portugal!
About the Author
Antonio Oliveira is the webmaster of http://www.silver-coast-properties.net, a site that offers a wide range of useful and helpful information about property investment in Portugal. Visit his site for more informations.
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