BE wants to ban non-residents from buying property in Portugal

Written By Manuel Poças

Bloco de Esquerda (Left Bloc), one of the Portuguese left-wing political parties, has proposed a series of measures aimed at fighting the current housing crisis.

According to Mariana Mortágua, the leader of the party, the housing crisis has become a ‘social pandemic’. The current prices are way above Portuguese wages, and citizens are being left with little to no option.

For that reason, the political party is calling for a ban on selling houses to non-residents, (except to emigrants), for effective rent control, and for a reduction of banks’ interest rates. A similar measure has been adopted in Canada.

In an interview, Mortágua makes it clear that this is not “a ban on sales to foreigners”. “Foreigners can buy a house in Portugal as long as they reside in Portugal”.

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Moreover, under the proposed law, there are exceptions such as “any person who has a spouse or is in a de facto union with someone who lives in Portugal, a refugee who lives in Portugal and wants to find a home, and, obviously, anyone who has a residence visa in Portugal”.

These measures, which were defined by the party leader as very urgent, intend to help those who cannot afford to leave their parents’ house, those desperate for a house suitable for their family, those facing eviction, and those who cannot pay their mortgages, and for those who are left with nothing after paying their rent.

The goal is to offer some relief to Portuguese citizens, and hopefully dissuade many from emigrating. According to the party, this can be done by providing them with solutions that enable a sustainable living situation.

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