House price increases 4th highest in Europe
Portugal was among the countries in Europe which registered the highest house price increases last year.
In Western Europe it enjoyed the highest price increases (9.3%) equalling both Luxembourg and Holland.
Only property prices in three Eastern Europe outstripped Portugal – Slovenia (18.2%), Lithuania (11.8%) and the Czech Republic (9.9%).
Data revealed by Eurostat on Thursday reveal that house prices increased by 9.3% in the last quarter of 2018.
Overall house prices increased 10% in 2018, prices driven by high demand, especially from overseas investors buying to live, do up and sell and rent. In 2018 178,000 houses and apartments were sold, +16.6% on 2017.
Total house and apartment sales in Portugal last year represented €24.1Bn to the Portuguese economy.
The EU statistical agency notes that there was an acceleration in the rhythm of house price increases between the third and last quarters of 2018, from 8.5% between July and September to 9.3% between October and December.
On average house prices in the Euro Zone increased 4.2% in 2018 although house prices in Italy did not keep pace with the upward trend — these fell 0.6%.
The upward trend in prices is causing some alarm among analysts who claim the housing market in Europe and Portugal is overheated and speculative.
It is a result, they claim, of an ultra-expansionist monetary policy by the European Central Bank (ECB) with interest rates at 0%. There are fears that this could lead to property bubbles.