Portugal's real estate agencies association today said that its members fear that many foreign investors may now have chosen to invest in Spain in preference to Portugal.
Estate agents now are complaining of bureaucratic difficulties in the Golden Visa system with Luís Lima of the association APEMIP reporting that it seems the Golden Visa process is frozen.
Lima believes that the state must intervene quickly, otherwise there will be unrecoverable losses.
The Portuguese Construction Confederation added its worries about the Golden Visa programme, saying there seemed to be "a halt in allocating new visas in May with a record of only six Golden Visas issued for a total investment of €4 million, which compares with €54 million recorded in the previous month."
The Confederation now questions the reasons for this almost total suspension and worries that Portugal has become unattractive to foreign investors due to the bureaucracy involved in issuing Golden Visas.
The Confederation spokesman said today that "clarification is needed. According to several market participants, investor interest has remained at high levels so there must be an incomprehensible delay in state services in response to new visa applications and to renewals."
The Confederation noted that after the arrests of key public servants in Operation Labyrinth, as money had been changing hands to fast-track and to approve Golden Visa applications, the system had been improved so the current delays are incomprehensible, given the strategic importance of the programme.
No word from Deputy Prime Minister Paulo Portas who championed the Golden Visa scheme, but only it seems when it was doing well.