Portugal Golden Visa VAT

We are attempting the Portugal Golden Visa (freehold real estate) and were incredibly surprised to learn that we were expected to pay a VAT tax when purchasing the property (I guess the upcoming construction rehab fees are VAT taxed). This is in addition to the regular IMT and Stamp Duty Tax. The VAT we are expected to pay is nearly 18K! Is this surprising to anyone else? Is this normal? I can’t find a lot of discussion about this and for us, it is the largest tax fee of all the taxes we will be expected to pay in this venture. Would love your thoughts.

To my knowledge the buyer would need to pay VAT on a new property, which should be advertized by the developer accordingly (i.e. selling price + VAT).
On a resale property you don’t pay VAT.

I purchased a new build last year and also had to pay VAT, so you’re not alone.