2022 will bring house buying opportunities in Portugal’s interior
Portugal’s estate agents are confident that there will be big opportunities for house buyers in Portugal’s interior as the government shifts its Golden Visa programme away from coastal areas to the interior.
The president of the Portuguese Association of Estate Agents and Real Estate Professionals (APEMIP), Paulo Caiado, believes that the trends of resilience seen during the pandemic will continue next year despite the existence of concerns over the end of moratoria and the Golden Visa property option in Lisbon and Porto.
In an Intervew with Jornal Económico he said that despite the pandemic building projects didn’t stop, and that after the first lockdown ended, growth in house sales increased while prices remained stable and sales did not fall.
This has been helped by the policy of the banks to continue to provide home loan incentives while the second hand housing market has also continued at the same pace as before the pandemic, fuelled by continued low interest rates.
Caiado says that one of the great challenges faced by the sector will be how the market reacts at the end of the moratoria, but believes the banks are prepared to provide solutions.
Another challenge is the State Budget 2022 in which APEMIP says it has a role to play in debating the housing question.
“We are calling for a definitive solution to ending rent freezes and we have already expressed our concerns about the postponement to unfreezing contracts prior to 1990 in the SB 2022. We also think it is essential that support on housing and non-housing rents should continue to be forthcoming under the same terms as foreseen in the SB 2021”.
The State budget, he says, should include investment in refurbishing State property so that later it can be used for affordable housing for young people and the disadvantaged all over the country, putting properties that have been done up on the market at affordable prices.
While attracting consumers to large towns is important, it is equally important to attract them to areas which are underpopulated. And because it has been an unusual year, the transfer of funds to the Institute of Urban Housing Rehabilitation should be stepped up.
Other challenges include having a role in policies aimed at attracting people to the interior of the country via the Golden Visa programme, using the RRP to channel funds into programmes aimed at affordable housing, with the need for cooperation between municipal/government and private entities in public-private housing partnerships, as well as providing incentives for sustainable buildings and the circular economy where construction and the entire life cycle of the building(s) can be improved and transformed.
Paulo Caiado is also confident that Portugal will continue to be an attractive country in which to invest in different types of real estate products and not just luxury projects for foreigners, but in all segments of the Portuguese housing market.