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International Property

Portugal: The New Blue Zone on the Rise for UK Retirees  

Real Estate Specialist Goldcrest reports an increase in retirement property interest 

LISBON, Portugal - Portugal is emerging as a premier retirement destination and a firm contender as a Blue Zone for healthy aging, according to new insights from luxury real estate firm, Goldcrest. The Lisbon-based independent buyer's agent has seen more than a 20% increase in interest for retirement properties in Portugal over the past year, indicating a rising trend among retirees seeking a better quality of life.  


Blue Zones are regions known for their high concentration of centenarians; people who live to be over 100 years old. These zones, identified by National Geographic explorer and author, Dan Buettner, include regions such as Okinawa in Japan, Nicoya in Costa Rica, and Loma Linda in California. Portugal exhibits many of these Blue Zone characteristics, including a Mediterranean climate, community-centric culture, fresh cuisine, and a slower pace of living. Notably, the country's population of centenarians has grown 77% in the past decade, according to figures from the statistical database of the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation. 

Portugal Hosts Second-Most Foreign Retirees in the European Union  

Portugal’s ageing population is not only limited to the locals. In the past decade, Portugal’s foreign seniors' population has more than doubled, with British expats accounting for 19% of the population, according to the Portuguese Statistics Department, ProData. 

Goldcrest’s Head of Real Estate, Goncalo Peixoto, has seen a surge in property demand among British retirees seeking to relocate to Portugal: “The property demand is especially high among British retirees. We receive between 25-30% of inquiries from UK-based clients. Most look for properties that offer a lot of amenities and connection with local culture, but without compromising peace and tranquility. This trend has given rise to properties catering exclusively to the retiree market.” concludes Gonçalo.    


Christina Hippisley, Director of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the United Kingdom, comments on this trend: “Portugal is becoming increasingly attractive due to the development of specialized retirement communities and projects like Chamber member Life Plan Resorts.”  

Life Plan Resorts is a luxury retirement resort located in Tagus Estuary Nature Reserve, near Lisbon.  Inspired by the concept of Blue Zones, Life Plan Resorts provide comprehensive healthcare, community integration, and luxury alongside 5-star amenities. These types of resorts are on the rise in Portugal, designed to promote an active and engaged lifestyle, with facilities such as fitness centers, spas, and community activities.  


Another example of property development providing luxury services is Ombria Resorts. Conveniently located close to the international airport of Faro, Ombria is located in a region historically popular with Brits.  “Several of our property owners are retirees and are keen to stay active and embrace a healthy way of living. The fact that there are regular flights from the US and UK to Faro airport is another reason why the Algarve is so popular with international buyers. With many retirees still having family in the UK, it’s reassuring to know that they can easily travel to the UK or invite their loved ones to enjoy the Portuguese lifestyle with them,” said João Richard Costa, CCO at sustainable real estate development company Ombria Algarve.   

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Gonçalo Peixoto also highlights the many benefits for UK citizens looking to retire in Portugal: “The ease of transition for Brits is facilitated by the widespread use of English, short travel time, and potential for obtaining an EU passport giving back a free transit between the European Union. Additionally, the stunning coasts, warm climate, and lower cost of living compared to the UK make Portugal an attractive option for British retirees”.  

Portugal is currently home to over 40,000 UK nationals, who mostly reside in the capital city, Lisbon, the vibrant city centre of Porto, or coastal areas such as the Algarve. 

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