What the Migrant Crisis in Europe Means for Lisbon’s Property Market in 2017
The causes are many and far too complex to address here, but there is one fact that is obvious: Europe is being flooded with migrants coming from the Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. The numbers are so high, that no country, as welcoming as it may want to be, can cope with. Social tensions are rising, and locals in German, Swedish, French and other European cities are feeling intimidated with the sheer chaos that so many people are bringing. Plus, the ability and willingness of these migrants to assimilate and adapt to local cultures and integrate into local patterns of living does not look very promising.
If you look at Europe and its over-indebted nations, their agonizing economies, their very dramatic demographic crisis, the problems pertaining to a dysfunctional European Union, and how this is all frustrating millions of people both in northern and southern states of the EU, it’s very difficult to see how the challenges posed by millions of migrants coming in at such a fast pace can be successfully dealt with by governments and peoples who already were under strain as it was.
I’m not opining on the roots and ramifications of this subject. That is definitely not the purpose of this text. I am just observing events and stating facts so to try to determine their implications. And, if there is one implication that is very easy to see coming out from all of this, is that things are not going to get any smoother, mostly in Northern Europe, any time soon.
On the other hand, if you look at Portugal, despite all the problems it faces (mostly the same demographic, economic and financial problems that you find in Northern Europe), you also see Europe’s westernmost country having several advantages over its European partners.
Since Portugal does not have a generous welfare system, unlike that of wealthier nations, such as Sweden, Germany and even France, migrants flooding Europe do not really want to come to Portugal — or, if they do get to Portugal, they stay on the go, en route to wealthier lands where welfare checks are quite more substantial. This means that, unlike what’s happening in Germany or Sweden, for example, Portugal is not really struggling with the migration crisis.
It should also be said that Portugal has always been and still is very much a peaceful country, where actual social strife has never been felt. Sure, the European sovereign debt crisis and its consequences have also left the Portuguese angry, and some protests and rallies have occurred. Still, the Portuguese have a history of being very easy-going — even the revolution against the regime, in 1974, became known for how peaceful it was: the rebel military forces that ended the dictatorship were backed by the people in what made the history books as the “Carnation Revolution”, in which flowers, not bullets, were the symbol of the revolution that kickstarted Portugal’s modern democracy.
Furthermore, Portugal is, for the most part, a low-crime nation where violent episodes make the news as rare events. Sure, there are robberies, assaults and all sorts of crimes, but in a very small scale, when compared to what happens in other European nations.
So, considering all these aspects, this means that Portugal is very much a safe bet, and here I say it not so much from a financial point of view (that’s another story), but from a vitally important point of view: people’s physical safety. Lisbon, in particular, is a very safe city where you can go out late at night without worrying about what may happen to you. And it is very likely that it remains as safe as it is, and as it has always mostly been — while other European capitals see insecurity dramatically rising in the coming years.
In short, my point is that Lisbon’s Property Market in 2017 can be considered a safe haven — for now and for the coming future. If you purchase an apartment or house in the Lisbon region (far cheaper than similar options in other EU capitals), you are securing a comfortable and safe space for you and your family when things go south in Northern Europe. Plus, you may see a substantial property appreciation overtime, and you get to enjoy the extra bonus of generating solid income from your apartment in Lisbon, Cascais or Sintra.
Portugal is a very welcoming nation to those who come here for a sunny, culturally charming and safe escape, so if you’re looking for an apartment in the Lisbon Coast, I invite you to contact me to obtain a knowledgeable and free assistance to make the right find and buy in Lisbon real estate market.