In these uncertain times, it is important to convey to the permanence of this market and industry in the light of the events of recent months, including the announcement of the new government program "More Housing". There have been several conferences held recently, in which industry leaders have had the opportunity to voice their ideas, and concerns, about the "state of the nation" and the Portuguese real estate industry.
On the 4th and 5th of May, several issues of paramount importance to the real estate and construction industry were addressed. One of these concerns discussed was the shortage of supply, which forces us to keep prices at the same level. Secondly, the lack of political vision for the problems of housing in Portugal and the corresponding distraction of the electorate, blaming the Golden Visas and the AL as scapegoats for all the problems that exist, and using them to support their own ideologies and achieve their electoral goals.
The biggest problem, as has become clear to everyone involved in this industry, is the lack of efficiency in the processing of building licenses and projects, on the part of public administrations. There are legal deadlines that must be respected by the Public Administration, which are neither respected nor penalised, which also increases the price of construction and the entire production line of the properties for the end customer.
At the Conference of Mayors, concerns about the lack of new construction in all municipalities in the country were discussed and confirmed, and how the weight of bureaucracy and the approval process of new building permits and projects are part of this problem.
There were several further industry issues discussed, such as rising interest rates and the financial burden on Portuguese families. Here, too, there was talk about the lack of housing and the development of a housing policy that is better tailored to the problem. This problem is not exclusive to Portugal, but a concern that exists throughout Europe.
International confidence following the government's announcement about the end of golden visas, the issue of distrust over AL licenses and the drastic increase in taxes on them has been impacted. The concerns over change in the rules of the game for urban redevelopment and the VAT payable, a plan for the transfer of state land were also put up for discussion but the information surrounding these topics was still very new at the time of the conference.
The Lisbon Real Estate Fair also serves as a meeting point between professionals and real estate developers, and a place to find out more about new project launches. During this event we heard about the new real estate portal of the Association of Real Estate Professionals and Companies of Portugal (APEMIP), CASAYES.PT, a dedicated platform for all professionals in the sector. It has been developed with professional ethics kept in mind and is a place to promote clients’ properties on a professional platform, allowing more independence for the real estate industry from the ever-increasing costs of national and international portals.
Beyond this, the Lisbon Real Estate Fair is also a fantastic place for clients who are looking for a property. Here you can consult with professionals from different regions of Portugal about prices, the market and its evolution.
All in all, this was another successful event and trade fair, and we will see how the real estate market will evolve over the coming year. Uncertainties have always existed in this market, and we have always had to navigate difficult times. Working in the real estate sphere comes with risks; you just must be prepared to adapt, and deal with obstacles that can come up.
by Paulo Lopes - Casaiberia Mediação Imobiliária, Lda
Paulo Lopes is a multi-talent Portuguese citizen who made his Master of Economics in Switzerland and studied law at Lusófona in Lisbon - CEO of Casaiberia in Lisbon and Algarve.