Property Sales in Portugal Rising at Record Speed

By : Nick Marr

Recent market data indicates that Portuguese property sales have gone up at their quickest monthly rate in five years. Inquiries from new buyers are also at a six-month high.

The RICS/Ci Portuguese Housing Market Survey for September 2015 indicates that overall sales volumes have grown at the fastest monthly speed since the survey began in 2010, and estate agents are convinced that the property market will go up even further as 2015 draws to a close.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said that these results illustrate the ongoing and sustained improvement in Portuguese market activity. He added that the momentum is being driven by increased consumer confidence: as the economic outlook continues to brighten, buyer purchases are reaching a post-crisis high.

Ci Director Ricardo Guimarães was a little more reserved in his outlook. He said that the Portuguese real estate market is growing stronger, which can be attributed to increased buyer confidence. Demand is rising and so is bank lending.

Nevertheless, he added, some estate agents still caution that the balance is a fragile one, mostly due to unemployment and lingering uncertainty, and market sentiment continues to vary across different regions.

The lettings market is also enjoying a rental income upturn, thanks to growth in tenant demand, among other positive factors. In the property sales market, inquiries from new buyers indicate that consumer demand rose at the fastest pace in six months. Such inquiries have been rising steadily every month since July 2013.

The Portuguese Housing Market Survey (PHMS) shows that house prices in Portugal have been rising for ten consecutive months after almost four years of ongoing decline. Looking toward the future, price expectations look strong across all applicable regions.

The national confidence indicator, which measures expectations for prices and sales, went up to +42, an increase of 10 points on the previous survey. It is the second highest reading since the survey began.

There are suggestions that foreign buyers are having a positive influence on sales figures. Nuno Nunes, CBRE’s head of capital markets, Portugal, said that a year ago there was “no market” in the country. Now the investment market is much more dynamic, thanks to foreign interest. Mr Nunes said that buyers are constantly seeking investment opportunities, and anything that does reach the market is quickly snapped up.

The PHMS delivers a monthly assessment of both the lettings and sales sectors in the country. Based on approximately 100 regular responses, it features a regional breakdown that covers Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve.