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The new regulatory restrictions implemented since October of last year have failed to slow demand for central Lisbon properties. While new Local Lodging applications dropped by 60%, foreign investors continue to seek out and buy property in historical districts as real estate sales soared by 38% over the period. While the “AL” sector is still significant, there are clearly other factors driving the market as well.
Despite positive evolution in recent years, Lisbon still has many buildings that are either abandoned, poorly maintained or even in ruins. According to data from the Lisbon Chamber of Commerce in 2018, there are 2,626 buildings in the city declared totally or partially vacant and 7,230 in poor condition, concentrated in the city’s historic neighbourhoods. Experts speak of the need for €4 billion in urgent rehabilitation works in the capital and over €24 billion nationwide.
Owners who remove their properties from Local Lodging and make them available for long-term letting can be spared mandatory CGT assessment. This push to long-term letting integrates the government’s package of proposals in the 2018 State Budget. Once confirmed, this measure will be the only Capital Gains Tax refuge once an owner stops an “AL” activity.
Property Owners as well as the Tax Office may request an additional “IMI” (Municipal Property Tax) evaluation if there is disagreement over the original set values. However, any such challenge does not suspend the payment of the first evaluation.
The Budget proposals for 2017 foresee that real estate owners with high-value properties (VPT of more than 500.000€) will face an additional tax next year. The new levy will be progressive, to be accumulated with the regular IMI. It is hoped that the tax will provide an additional €100-€200 million to the state coffers.