Brussels could stop new LA laws
The European Commission could give the thumbs down to the Portuguese Government’s new Local Accommodation laws which aim to restrict the de-characterisation of traditional historic neighbourhoods and prevent house price speculation.
The European Commission has slammed similar restrictions in Ireland as “disproportionately restrictive” and “capable of negatively affecting tourism offer”, particularly in coastal and rural areas, without guaranteeing that the measures will increase the number of houses available to rent.
In a decision issued a few days ago, Brussels considered that Ireland “did not provide information and sustained arguments” that these measures would be essential to respond to (Ireland’s) housing problem by transferring up to 12,000 LA properties for long-term rental. The Irish government had also failed to come up with a wider alternative package that could achieve the objectives proposed”.
It also criticised disproportionate actions such as not confining the restrictions geographically to the most densely populated urban areas where there was a greater likelihood of LA having an effect on rental prices.
So where does that leave the Portuguese Government’s More Housing package and its restrictions on Local Accommodation in Portugal? At the moment the European Commission says that it is awaiting information from the Portuguese Government on the measures which will be analysed in the light of European rules”.
The clampdown on overseas buyers snapping up property through visa schemes has even spread to the UK after its Labour Party pledged to restrict foreign buyers of UK properties.
Although the UK doesn’t have a Golden Visa regime which was scrapped after London was dubbed ‘Londongrad’ because of the number of properties being bought by Russian millionaires, a future Labour government would increase property transmission tax (Stamp Duty) paid by foreign buyers of UK property while also restricting the sale of new-build properties to overseas investors under plans being drawn up for the party’s general election manifesto.