Madeira property market: purchases and long-term investments


There are many factors that make the Madeira property market an attractive investment opportunity for foreign investors.

Perhaps the most important factors that make Madeira an attractive property investment destination are its geography and excellent climate. A developed tourism industry, an international airport and modern medical facilities form a well-developed infrastructure of the islands, providing comfortable living conditions and security for both residents and guests.

Madeira's stable political, economic, and social conditions create an ideal investment climate. And progressive legislation ensures transparency and legal protection of property transactions.

The Portuguese government offers incentives to foreign investors, such as the Golden Visa Programme. This programme allows investors to obtain a residence permit in exchange for investing in Madeira property, making it an attractive option for those wishing to obtain a residence permit in Portugal.

Key features of the Madeira property market:

  • Diverse investment opportunities. Foreign investors have a wide range of options, from buying a private home to investing in income-generating commercial property.
  • Different price ranges. The Madeira property market caters for a wide range of investors, with properties available at a variety of price points: From cosy mid-priced flats in traditional Portuguese neighbourhoods to premium luxury villas overlooking the sea. You'll find options to suit your budget.
  • Stability and positive growth. The property market in Madeira is characterised by stability and positive growth. Demand for residential and commercial property remains consistently high due to the island's unique climate, well-organised infrastructure and high standard of living.
  • Variety of properties. The market offers a wide range of properties, from exclusive villas in prestigious areas to more affordable apartments. This variety of property types attracts a wide range of investors with different preferences and budgets.

Clear advantages for property owners in Madeira

1. Stable rental income.
Madeira is a very popular tourist destination in Europe, with hotels and rental properties enjoying consistently high occupancy rates, typically between 70% and 80%. This high demand from tourists ensures a stable source of rental income, especially during the high season.
2. Potential for property value growth.
The property market in Madeira has shown positive growth trends in recent years. Property values in the region have seen a significant increase of 10-15% over the last five years. This growth can be attributed not only to increasing tourist demand, but also the active development of infrastructure, making it an attractive prospect for property investors.
3. Personal use.
Owning property in Madeira offers the dual benefits of investment potential and personal enjoyment. You have the opportunity to use the property as your home or as a holiday home in one of the most beautiful regions in the world. This means that your investment will provide a financial return and enhance your quality of life.

Working with an overseas company formation law firm will streamline the process of buying property in Madeira and ensure that all the necessary legal requirements are met. This legal support is crucial to a successful investment, protecting your capital and helping you to achieve your desired financial results from property investment in Madeira.

Preparing to buy property in Madeira

The process of buying a property in Madeira is preceded by a long and careful preparation. To ensure that the whole process runs smoothly and that the transaction is mutually beneficial, we recommend that you seek professional advice on buying property in Madeira.

Below, we have described the main steps that a professional lawyer of buying property in Madeira will take in the initial stages.

1. Financial readiness analysis.
This includes assessing your current financial situation, exploring the possibility of obtaining a loan, and drawing up a budget for the purchase of the property and its ongoing maintenance. It is important to understand the tax implications of owning property in Madeira and to investigate the possibility of opening a local bank account to facilitate the purchase.
2. Define your investment objectives.
This will help guide your future property search and make the selection process more focused. Your objectives may range from generating a stable rental income to creating a comfortable holiday home or permanent residence.
3. Choose the location and type of property.
This choice is critical as it can have a significant impact on the profitability and stability of your investment. The following key factors are considered when making this choice:
  • Transport and accessibility. Proximity to transport hubs and tourist routes can increase rental demand. A well-developed infrastructure, including public transport, motorways and airports, is a plus.
  • Safety. Tenants and insurance companies prefer areas with low crime rates and good security.
  • Infrastructure development. The presence of basic amenities such as schools, hospitals, and shopping centres increases the attractiveness of an area and the demand for property.
4. Value growth prospects.
Review long-term development plans and macroeconomic indicators to assess potential property appreciation. Strategically located properties can increase in value by up to 15% over five years.

The importance of advisory

The type of property you choose will depend on your investment strategy and personal preferences. Consultation with lawyers on land law and property transactions is necessary to ensure that

  1. Compliance with all legal requirements.
  2. Efficient and safe completion of all stages of the transaction.
  3. Reduction of investment risks.

Our firm offers comprehensive legal support for property transactions in Madeira, including advice on the purchase of property, assistance with tax matters and assistance with the registration of property. If you require legal assistance in any of these areas, please do not hesitate to contact our specialists for assistance in all matters relating to real estate in Madeira.

Real estate in Madeira: Search strategies

1. Search for property online

Start by choosing reliable resources for your property search. Several online platforms and websites offer property listings in Madeira.

  • Realtor: Known for its extensive property database and comprehensive search filters.
  • Zillow: Offers international property listings, including Madeira.
  • Rightmove: UK platform specialising in overseas property with opportunities in Madeira.
  • Idealista: A local Portuguese resource with up-to-date property listings in Madeira and other regions of Portugal.

Choose proven resources with a solid reputation and positive customer reviews. Searching online allows you to narrow down your property choices, estimate prices and view property features.

2. On-site inspections

Conducting a property inspection is an important part of the property investment process. It acts as a final check before deciding. Research shows that around 60% of investors gain confidence in their investment decisions after viewing a property in person.

Key issues to consider during a property inspection

  • Property condition. Thoroughly inspect all aspects of the property, including utilities, heating and air conditioning systems, and the condition of walls, ceilings, and floors. Consider obtaining a survey to identify hidden defects that could affect the value of the transaction.
  • Location. Analyse access to public transport, proximity to critical infrastructure such as medical facilities, shopping centres and educational institutions. Also assess the security of the area in which the property is located.
  • Future development of the area. Review the area's municipal development plans to understand upcoming construction projects, new transportation hubs or public spaces that may affect property values in the future.

Legislation and taxation of property transactions in Madeira

As Madeira is part of Portugal, it is subject to Portuguese property laws with some specific aspects. Familiarise yourself with the basic legal aspects to avoid unwanted legal and financial complications.

  • Madeira legislation provides clear rules and procedures for the purchase of property. Obtaining a tax number is an important aspect of property transactions.
  • The sale and purchase agreement in Madeira must be executed in the presence of a notary, who will check the documents and certify the transaction.

Documents required by foreign investors

Foreign investors purchasing property in Madeira are required to provide a certain package of documents to ensure the legality and success of the transaction. Failure to provide the correct documents may result in the failure of the transaction. Here are the documents required:

  • Passport. To prove your identity and nationality, required for all legal procedures.
  • Tax number in your country of residence. Required for tax transactions and interactions with financial institutions.
  • Portuguese tax number (NIF) obtained from the Madeira Tax Office. Required to register property in your name in Portugal.
  • Documents proving financial solvency. These documents may include income statements, bank statements or financial documents that show your ability to cover the cost of the property.

The main tax obligations when buying property in Madeira are

  1. Property transfer tax (IMT): range from 0 to 8% depending on the value and type of property. Lower rates may apply to your main residence.
  2. Real estate transfer tax (Imposto do Selo): 0.8% of the value of the property, payable once at the time of the transaction.
  3. Annual property tax (IMI): rates ranging from 0.3% to 0.45%.

Optimising tax obligations

Effective tax planning can help you optimise your tax liabilities and save money. Strategies may include

  • Taking advantage of available tax incentives and rebates to reduce property transfer and other taxes.
  • Effective management of rental income, considering tax obligations and property maintenance costs.
  • Consultation with tax specialists, which is particularly important for foreign investors facing potential double taxation and legal difficulties.

Buying and selling property in Madeira

Buying and selling property in Madeira is a complex process involving several key steps, each of which must be successfully completed to ensure the legal and secure transfer of ownership of the property. Effective legal support for property transactions in Madeira is essential to ensure the legality and security of the process.

The main stages of a property transaction in Portugal are

  • Choosing a property and making a preliminary agreement. This stage starts with market research, talking to professionals, choosing a property, and inspecting it. Then comes the formalization of a preliminary contract with the vendor, which specifies the main conditions and obligations.
  • Due diligence. At this stage, a comprehensive check is made of all the documents relating to the property: it helps ensure the property's legal status, confirming the absence of any encumbrances or legal impediments.
  • Settling all tax liabilities associated with the transfer of ownership of the property. This may include the payment of IMT, real estate transfer tax, and other local charges in accordance with Madeiran law.

Once the taxes have been paid, the financial aspect of the transaction is completed, usually at the bank, where the buyer instructs the bank to transfer the funds to the seller's account. This formalises the financial aspect of the transaction. The final stage is the signing and notarisation of the main sale and purchase agreement, which gives the agreement legal force and serves as the basis for the transfer of ownership.

  • Registration of title. Once a contract has been concluded, it must be registered with the relevant state authorities to formally transfer ownership.

Role of the Notary

The notary's role is to create a legally binding document based on the sale and purchase agreement, which serves as the legal foundation for ownership transfer.

  1. Ensuring the legality of the transaction.
  2. Verifying the authenticity of documents.
  3. Verifying the authenticity of the signatures of the parties involved.
  4. Confirming that all tax obligations have been properly settled before completing the paperwork.

Legal support for property transactions in Madeira includes advice on dealing with a notary and preparing all the necessary documents for signature, ensuring that the whole process complies with local regulations and is legally sound.

Property insurance in Madeira: ensuring your investment capital is protected

Property insurance, also known as real estate insurance, is a crucial safeguard for property owners in Madeira.

Types of insurance

  1. Property insurance against all risks. This type of insurance provides comprehensive protection against a wide range of risks, including fire, flood, wind damage and other natural disasters. It offers extensive coverage for your property.
  2. Accident insurance. This insurance provides protection against various types of accidents that can occur on a property, affecting both the property itself and its occupants.
  3. Liability insurance protects property owners in the event of lawsuits or liability problems related to the property.

When choosing an insurance policy, it is important to do thorough research and choose a reputable insurance company that offers competitive rates. This ensures that you are well protected. Help to buy property in Madeira may also include advice on choosing an insurance company, making the process of choosing the right policy more manageable.

Registration of an insurance policy

  • The process begins with filing an application for property insurance and providing all necessary documents to the insurance company.
  • The insurance company may evaluate the property to determine its value and assess potential risks. This assessment is critical for determining the premium and ensuring the property's accurate coverage.
  • After approval of the terms and payment of the premium, the insurance company issues an insurance policy.
It is important!
Insurance policies should be carefully reviewed to understand the coverage limits, exclusions, and any specific conditions that apply.

By purchasing the right property insurance, you can protect your investment and have peace of mind knowing that your property is protected from a range of risks and potential liabilities.

Selling a property in Madeira: main stages and assistance

All property transactions in Madeira require professional assistance to ensure a smooth and efficient process. Experienced consultants provide comprehensive support at every stage of the process.

Property valuation

  • The first step in selling a property is to obtain a professional valuation. This valuation considers various factors that affect the value of the property, such as location, condition, size and other parameters.
  • A professional valuer can accurately assess the market value of a property, allowing you to set a realistic starting price and attract potential buyers.

Preparing for the sale

  • Legal preparation includes resolving tax issues and ensuring that all documents comply with legal requirements.

Finding buyers

  • Finding buyers effectively requires a number of marketing and advertising strategies, including
  • Creating online listings.
  • Working with estate agents.
  • Attending property exhibitions and related events.

Legal support is essential at the stage of concluding a sale and purchase agreement, ensuring a smooth transfer of ownership and facilitating the process of registering the property.

Recommendations for prospective property investors in Madeira

  • Thoroughly research the property market in Madeira, including price dynamics, demand, and supply in different neighbourhoods.
  • Engage qualified legal assistance to navigate complex property transactions and protect your interests.
  • Understand tax legislation to avoid potential problems with the tax authorities and explore tax optimisation opportunities.
  • Calculate all costs, including not only acquisition costs but also ongoing expenses such as property maintenance, management fees and potential tax implications.
  • Evaluate the presence of key amenities, transport hubs and other facilities in the area, as these will have a significant impact on the value and liquidity of the property.
  • Consider purchasing insurance to protect your investment capital against risks such as damage and natural disasters.
  • Avoid investing all your capital in a single property or type of property to reduce risk and increase potential returns.
  • Decide whether you will manage the property yourself or use professional property management services, as this choice can affect your overall return.
  • Evaluate property returns regularly and adjust your strategy as market conditions change.
  • Plan your exit strategy in advance, whether by selling the property, letting it or passing it on as an inheritance.

Long-term planning and strategic thinking are essential for successful property investment. Considering the long-term market outlook and developing an asset management strategy can contribute to sustainable capital growth.


The European property investment market offers reliable returns, with potential yields ranging from 3-6%, depending on the country and property type. Madeira's unique characteristics, including its climate and cultural heritage, continue to attract investors.

Whether buying property in Madeira for personal use or as an investment, attention to detail, legal support, tax planning and a sound strategy are vital components of a successful transaction and ongoing property ownership. Compliance with legal requirements and working with professional advisors will help to minimise risks and ensure a high level of satisfaction with your investment in Madeira.
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