According to the international consultancy Athena Advisers, the existence of schools in a certain area, or in its vicinity, is a determining factor in the purchase decision by families, including Portuguese ones.

However, despite the fact that the offer of international schools has grown by 93% in the last five years in the Lisbon region, there are many areas with the potential to accommodate this type of residents, but cannot keep up with demand because they do not respond to the educational needs of home buyers.

“It often happens that families with children choose a school first and then home”, says Carlota Pelikan, Destination Adviser at Athena Advisers Portugal. “However, the relationship between real estate and the educational offer goes far beyond this perception. There is an interdependence between the development or renovation of a neighbourhood, real estate investment and the emergence of new schools. New real estate projects attract people, which in turn generate potential to invest in educational establishments. It is the existence of schools and good transport that give a boost to a certain area and consolidate it as a residential destination”, said Carlota Pelikan.

Growth in international schools

The growth of schools in the Lisbon region has even created the need for specialised consultancy in a rapidly expanding sector. Nathalie Willis-Davis, founder of Tendoria, a company that provides advice to families looking for the right school in Portugal for their children, closely followed the improvement of the educational system to respond to the growing expatriate and national population.

“The number of international schools in Europe has grown by 32% in the last decade, which is further evidenced by the 93% increase in the Lisbon region in the last 5 years alone. Lisbon is a highly attractive market for the education sector and proof of this is the strong investment of education groups such as Dukes, Inspired and Globeducate. Another interesting aspect of this market is the increasingly diversified offer. Although British, American, French, German, bilingual and IB schools are at the base of the growth of this ecosystem, progressive schools, or even alternative ones, are also emerging to support the growing cosmopolitan communities of the region”, explains the specialist.