After a while in the doldrums, Portugal’s property market is now enjoying renewed interest from both domestic and overseas buyers, boosting the sector enormously.
Latest data from the RICS/Ci Portuguese Housing Market Survey (PHMS) shows that investor confidence is at an all-time high with new buyer enquiries and transactions increasing throughout the country.
Like other property markets in Europe much of the lift in investment can be attributed to elevated foreign buying, primarily from Britain, China and France. Out of the total 75,000 transactions in the first 9 months of this year, 17% of deals involved foreign investors, an 8% increase on last year.
The report states: " PHMS results show sales activity continues to pick up while prices appear to be a step closer to stabilisation. On the back of this, confidence in the outlook continues to strengthen ".
" Meanwhile, sales expectations are now more buoyant than at any other time in the survey’s history (launched in 2010) and as such, the national confidence index increased by 10 points and now stands at 23, the highest reading on record by some margin ".
According to APEMIP , the Portuguese Association of Real Estate, the British remain predominant in the market but the Chinese and French are starting to emerge as primary buyers in the country.
I Think the Golden Visa is a great idea to help push up the sales market
Foreign investors in Portugal have traditionally been Northern Europeans with British, French and Germans buying mostly in the Algarve. However, new incentives such as the Golden Visa scheme have encouraged non-EU buyers to Portugal’s property market.
Wealth creation in China has been such that there has almost been a deluge of interest in overseas property markets from ultra-wealthy investors, attracted by the visa schemes available in countries like Portugal and Spain.
The Golden Visa has been particularly successful in Portugal since it was introduced in October 2012 with more than €1bn invested through the scheme nationally. Chinese citizens continue to dominate the programme that guarantees residence for a qualifying investment, claiming 80% of visas issued under the scheme.
Managing director of Silver Holidays, Rob Kerstholt said: " I Think the Golden Visa is a great idea to help push up the sales market and since it has been in place, Portugal has attracted a new market that is sure to grow in the coming years. We have completed many sales due to this scheme with our main clients coming from Chinese and South African markets ".
" The property market is definitely stabilising and slowly the prices are going up again. I think the real ‘bargain properties’ are gone, the ones where owners needed to sell to pay back mortgages, for example, have already done this in the last few years and although there will always be a few left, the majority of sellers are not desperate to sell, " he added.
Property prices are inflating the most in areas of interest to foreign investors such as the Algarve. With the absence of bargain properties and limited new construction, prices are anticipated to continue rising, sending buy signals to foreign investors in Portuguese property.
Source: Property show rooms