While announcing that it abolished the Golden Visa scheme, Portugal’s government introduced a ban on new licenses for short-term rentals, as part of efforts to manage the country’s housing crisis.
But a report of Skift says that the decision to ban new short-term licenses will not affect the vacation rental market in the country, at least not in the short-term, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa, announced that the country would put an end to its Golden visa program which allowed wealthy internationals to acquire residency in Portugal provided they made a financial contribution to the country by investing, as part of efforts to tackle the housing crisis.
In addition, the Prime Minister also proposed a ban on issuing new licences for Airbnbn as well as other short-term holiday rentals.
Real estate investments in Portugal account for more than 92 per cent of all Golden Visa applications. However, regarding the issue, some industry professionals believe that it is still too early to make pessimistic predictions after the proposal is still up for public debate until mid-March.
“The government made dramatic announcements, but we don’t know the details yet. If these measures are passed as they were announced, that will have a huge impact on not only vacation rentals but also tourism in the country. But I believe the proposal requires a lot of polishing,” Founder and CEO of Lisbon-based property management firm Rent4Rest, Filipa Leitão de Aguiar, pointed out.
However, stakeholders believe that the government treads this situation with caution believing that there is a lot to be negotiated upon.
“There is an urgent need to show that the short-term rental ecosystem is complex and rich, much more than just a few owners getting extra income from their properties,” Eduardo Miranda, president of Associação do Alojamento Local em Portugal (ALEP), the national association of local accommodation said.
Miranda expressed his concerns that some of the measures introduced for short-term rental while adding that there are still vague while adding that ALEP will be working on a proposal for the public consultation that attempts to show a new path of sustainable development for short-term rentals.
Portugal became the second country that ended the Golden Visa scheme last month, after Ireland, as part of a wider package of measures introduced in an effort to tackle a housing crisis in this country. The decision was confirmed by the Council of Ministers during a press conference on February 16.
Despite bringing a significant contribution to the country’s economic sector, Portugal’s Golden Visa Program was often criticized for being involved in many unlawful affairs such as money laundering and corruption.