For centuries, the people of Portugal have strived to safeguard their land from aggressive invasion and opportunistic marauders who sought to plunder the country’s intrinsic wealth. Each of these attempts were ultimately thwarted and today Portugal is facing a new era from which to profit and flourish. It is reaping the rewards of having built its country on solid foundations.
The rhythm of life
The rhythm of life in Portugal today has a powerful beat. A beat that is ringing out loud and clear across nations with a message heralding a land of harmony and unison. A place to which people from shores near and far are flocking, in search of a life less taxing and if there is an Elysium on earth, then this is paradise found.
History moulds a country and its people - so a brief account of bygone events helps to understand the Portuguese spirit and soul. Attributing to its appeal is a unique and inherent rhythm that brings a tide of visitors and settlers to its shores. Such a small country, displaying colossal might, was at the helm in shaping the world map. Portugal’s reputation as a nation of valiant sea-farers holds no comparison as intrepid mariners sailed across uncharted seas to break out of the confines of Europe to discover the New World.
Throughout history, the Portuguese people have sought peaceful coexistence even during times of adversity. This dates back to the ‘Invasion of Portugal’ in November 1807 when a French contingent invaded the Kingdom of Portugal. This military operation resulted in an almost bloodless occupation of Portugal. The presence of the French was challenged by the Portuguese people and by the United Kingdom in 1808 and marked the start of the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Due to harsh threats made by Napoleon, the Portuguese government acceded to most of the demands made by the French Emperor who had support from the Kingdom of Spain. Conscious of the Emperor’s ruthless reputation, the Portuguese authorities made a judicious decision and offered little resistance.
It can be recorded that throughout their turbulent history, the Portuguese have been patient hosts to a multitude of invaders and settlers since the Moors, from North Africa, arrived in the seventh century. From 1143 to 1910 Portugal was under Monarchal rule until a revolution deposed D. Manuel II. From 1910 to 1926 the country had 44 governments, 20 military takeovers and 12 presidents. Following a coup d’état in May 1926, the country was ruled by the infamous dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar until his death in 1970. Such was the distain of his tyrannous rule that the people didn’t want another despot so they took to the streets on 25th April in 1974 with a mass movement to overthrow the authoritarian regime of the Estado Novo. This became know as the Carnation Revolution due to its peaceful and, once again, almost bloodless outcome. Soldiers armed with riffles aimed their weapons to the sky, each loaded with a red carnation in the barrel.
With just a little knowledge of the country’s history, it is easier to understand the nature of the Portuguese people, who continue to demonstrate resilience and benevolence while extending a warm welcome to all those who visit or settle despite historical associations. Their hospitality is both magnanimous and altruistic.
One example is Portugal’s current relationship with France which has blossomed following the signature of new agreements between the two countries concerning taxation, language and education. Recently the President of the Republic of France met with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa who was accompanied by Prime Minister Antonio Costa. Following this meeting, a declaration of intent, marking a new stage in the promotion of the other partner’s language, in their respective education systems, was signed. This was just one area of cooperation that was established. France and Portugal are now enjoying an excellent bilateral relationship concerning matters fiscal. In March of this year, the 5th French-Portuguese Economic Conference was held and the Ministers for Economy and Finance on both sides discussed the theme ‘Portugal, the brand’ and extolled the importance of bilateral exchanges. French companies in Portugal are ranked second behind Spain in terms of the number of companies working here (582), employees (61,598) and turnover (€14.274 billion). Recent years have seen a marked increase in French visitors to Portugal which is now considered a favourite holiday destination. Linked to this, is a major increase in the number of these visitors wishing to purchase property and enjoy the rhythm of life in Portugal on a more regular basis.
A life less taxing!
One can ask - “What is Portugal’s lure?”
This is easy to answer. The Portuguese people offer a genuine and genial welcome in an erstwhile trouble-free land. The Algarve averages 300 days of sunshine and boasts clear blue skies and clean air. Kilometres of unspoilt, unpolluted beaches, with soft white sand, lace the coastline. Add an abundance of culinary enticements - fresh fish caught daily, flagons of locally produced wine, olive oils the colour of gold, fruit plucked from nearby orchards and vegetables sold at village markets bustling with ‘bonhomie’ and earthy well-being. The pace of life is less taxing and added to this is a cost of living that is lower than most other European countries. This alone should be a lure sufficient enough to entice others to share such a bounty.
The pace of life is not the only aspect less taxing - the government have used ingenuity in casting out their nets to catch the best fish by offering those who become tax resident in Portugal a ten year tax holiday. This Non Habitual Residency (NHR) is a major step forward in making Portugal a tax free jurisdiction as incomes eligible for exemption include pensions, dividends, royalties and interest from non-Portuguese sourced income. The sole requirement is that the individual has his habitual residence in Portugal and spends a minimum of 183 non-consecutive days in the country and has not been a tax resident in Portugal during the previous five years. The regime was introduced in 2009 to attract people to Portugal by making it beneficial from a tax perspective to become tax resident in Portugal allowing the individual to grow their wealth in a whitelisted jurisdiction, earn income in a tax friendly environment, dispose of their assets and benefit from tax exemptions, pass on their wealth without inheritance or gift taxes - namely for children or spouse - and to enjoy their retirement without tax on their pensions. The bait is landing big fish!With careful and fastidious planning, the management of Boavista Resort skilfully navigated its ship through tempestuous weather during the recession of a decade ago; but are now sailing calmer waters and anticipate a period of steady growth. Careful financial planning and an intelligent knowledge of the market have allowed the resort, part of the privately owned and long established Emerson Group, to take advantage of a burgeoning economy. This confidence is reflected in the new-build programme currently forging full steam ahead. A visit to the new area of development on the resort is an attestation, as five tower-cranes dominate the skyline. To fulfil an increasing demand from international clients, the pressure is on to build new homes that are contemporary, yet sympathetic to lifestyle. The Portugal News reported, “House prices in Portugal were in the first quarter of this year up 7.9 percent on a year earlier, which is well above the 4 percent average increase over the eurozone”. In readiness for such demand, Boavista pre-empted the market by implementing a new and vigorous build programme more than two years ago.
An excerpt from KPMG’s Golf Courses Development Cost Survey states - “Numerous studies have indicated that golf courses come second only to waterfront sites as the most desirable location for a housing community. However, golf, as part of a real estate or touristic complex, is not only an added value because of the facility itself, but mostly due to the beautiful, calm scenery and landscape a golf course provides.”
Available for immediate occupation, under construction or to purchase off-plan are apartments enjoying glorious views of the golf course and the bay of Lagos, golf-front and village location detached/semi-detached villas and townhouses. Meticulous attention has been paid to the build process of each property, with a magnifying glass on fine detail, so as to deliver, to our discerning clients, a home to inspire and cherish.
Experience the rhythm of life at Boavista!