Lisbon attracts “diverse” international buyers

Lisbon is attracting an increasingly diverse array of international buyers.

Lisbon is attracting an increasingly diverse array of international buyers, as Portugal’s property market continues its recovery. Low real estate prices and lifestyle appeal, combined with the country’s Golden Visa scheme, have helped to fuel interest from overseas.

“Lisbon is a prime example of a European heritage city poised to recover strongly as a variety of occupiers and investors seek economic recovery and growth,” says Savills.

The firm’s latest report highlights interest from emerging countries, including Portuguese-speaking countries South America and Africa. Indeed, Portugal is now one of the few destinations outside of the Americas to attract Brazilian buyers, which Savills suggests could lead to an “Atlantic rim market”.

“Lisbon appears to have the opportunity to join the group of global elite, premier cities which enjoy international inward investment in real estate markets offering safe haven, stability and security with high-quality product and lifestyle,” adds the report. “If it does so, further capital and rental value uplift would appear likely.”

Lisbon property sales soar past 2,000 mark

8th June 2016

Lisbon property sales broke through the 2,000 barrier last year, with investment in the city’s real estate totalling €700 million.

New research from Confidencial Imobiliário show that a total of 2,199 sales were completed in the capital in 2015 for a total of €709 million, up 11 per cent and 37 per cent year-on-year respectively.

That demand, bolstered by the tourism and retail sectors, has fuelled the city’s growth in recent years, with prices rising steadily. Indeed, between 2008 and 2010, prices rose 12.5 per cent before the financial crisis struck, landing Portugal in a bailout with real estate falling in value by 8 per cent between 2011 and 2012.

Since then, though, Lisbon has moved in leaps and bounds, albeit unevenly: prices bounced back by 12.5 per cent in 2013, before dipping 1.3 per cent in 2014, but then surged 22.3 per cent in 2015, as the city continued its rejuvenation.

“The data is unequivocal. The historical centre of Lisbon is the market with the highest level of price growth in 2015 reflecting the strong demand that has focused on it in recent years,” the independent property publication is reported as saying in a report for the 3rd Conference on Urban Rehabilitation.

Portugal property sales continue to gather pace

23rd May 2016

Sales of Portuguese property are continuing to gather pace this year, with transactions up three months in a row.

The March report from RICS/Ci shows that “solid demand” is helping sales of real estate to build momentum.

New buyer demand increased at a solid pace during March, with growth seen in each region (Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve). On the back of this, agreed sales rose for the third consecutive month following a modest dip in December. What’s more, the rate of increase has now accelerated in each of the last three reports.

A firm outlook is forecast for the coming months, which is also pushing prices gradually up. Values continue to “recover modestly across all regions covered in the survey”, notes the RICS, with price growth predicted to be around 2.5 per cent this year – led by Lisbon and the Algarve at 2.9 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively. Projections for Porto have also improved over recent months, with price growth of 2 per cent pencilled in for the next 12 months. Over the medium term, house price inflation is anticipated to quicken, with the headline indicator pointing to average growth of 4 per cent per annum, over the next five years.

Portugal is also enjoying a boost in popularity from its status as a safe destination, at a time when a number of other countries and tourist hotspots have experience unrest in a variety of forms in the last year. According to the TravelZoo website, safety and security are the top priorities for holidaymakers, which Chris White, Founding Director of Ideal Homes Portugal, says is also boosting demand from house-hunters.

“We have noticed that rentals have improved considerably,” White tells OPP.Today. “Clients seem to be leaning towards countries such as Portugal and Spain… Portugal offers a real safe haven for UK holidaymakers. The country lacks the political tensions that exist between many nations… [and] is perfect for those looking for sunshine, beaches, water parks and a great Mediterranean diet.”

The lettings market is certainly showing signs of continuing recovery too, says the RICS/Ci report. Rental growth continues to accelerate as a result of the increasing mismatch between falling landlord instructions and rising demand from prospective tenants.

Ricardo Guimarães, Director of Ci, also highlights growing interest once more from non-EU buyers seeking to take advantage of the Golden Visa scheme.

“Global sentiment towards Portugal is improving and there are several contributory factors – such as the new Government Budget in place. Also, at the market level, several dynamics are gaining pace and sustaining the recovery. Two in particular: the increase in new bank loans (although still at historically low levels) and the reappearance of golden visa after being frozen for several months,” he comments.

RICS Chief Economist Simon Rubinsohn adds: “Portugal’s economic recovery has continued to progress at a steady pace so far in 2016, with business surveys showing confidence in the outlook remains solid. Likewise, improving fundamentals should continue to drive further growth in housing market activity over the coming months.”

Demand for Portuguese property has also increased on, with the country stealing second place in the portal’s monthly Top of the Props chart from Spain, its share of all enquiries on the site increasing to 4.49 per cent.