Now is the time to invest in Portugal, say agentsNow is the time to invest in Portugal, say agents, as demand for the country's real estate rebounds to a record high.
After years of slow struggles, Portugal's property market is beginning to show signs of a recovery. House prices are starting to stabilise, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. While Spain has seen its quarter-on-quarter price decline reduce to 0.3 per cent in the first three months of 2014, Eurostat figures show that Portugal's values enjoyed a quarterly rise of 1.3 per cent.
The rate of recovery varies across the country, but despite a decline in Porto, the RICS report forecasts prices will remain broadly unchanged in Lisbon and the Algarve over the near term, with developers in the capital city recording improved values.
Sentiment is on the up too, with sales expectations high and the lettings sector in July 2014 picking up at the fastest pace in over a year. Indeed, the RICS national confidence index has now been positive for eight months in a row.
The confidence is justified: demand for Portuguese property is now at an eight-month high on TheMoveChannel.com, accounting for 5.66 per cent of all site enquiries in July and overtaking France to become the third most popular country in the world.
The Algarve continues to account for the majority of activity, but interest has spread across Portugal, with enquiries for property in Lisbon surging 55 per cent in the past two years and overall enquiries up 33 per cent. Searches for “property in Portugal” on Google between March and May 2013 were 10 times higher than the same period in 2011.
Some agents have reported a "notable influx" of French buyers recently, thanks to France's high taxes, while others attribute the international appeal of Portuguese real estate to both relatively low prices (compared to the market peak) and increasingly realistic sellers.
With prices improving, confidence booming and buyers returning, Robert Stones, Managing Director of Target Markets, tells TheMoveChannel.com that 2014 is the perfect time to invest in Portugal.
“Sales of property in Portugal have remained slow since the recession but over the last year we have seen significant change in this market with buyers realising that the best deals will soon be gone from the market,” says Robert Stones, Managing Director of Target Markets.
“With growing demand and prices already on the rise, holiday home buyers and investors alike should now be taking advantage of buying at the bottom of the up-cycle while they still can.
“We have some apartments and villas in great locations which are currently available with 100% finance from the bank at interest rates of less than 2%. This leverage opportunity means that buyers only need to pay the closing cost (about 8% of the purchase price in all) and with the such low interest rates the income can cover the mortgage payments making an ideal low money in investment. These kinds of opportunities are disappearing from the market and will not be available by the end of this year."
He concludes: "It really is a great time to be investing in property in this market."