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Where are most residential properties for sale in Portugal, and where are people buying the most?

An idealista analysis shows the effects of the pandemic on demand and supply in the residential real estate market across Portugal.

The property market, like many other economic sectors, is feeling the effects of COVID-19 in Portugal. But how are supply and demand levels coping in Portugal when it comes to housing? Last year in 2020, demand for residential property registered an average rise of 62.3% and stock showed a small growth of 13.6% nationally, according to data collected by idealista, analysing the variation between January and December 2020. But where are most residential properties for sale in Portugal, and where are people buying the most?

Property supply and demand in Portuguese districts
The top 5 districts in Portugal where the variation in demand is higher than the national average include Castelo Branco (106.3%), Braga (85.7%), Porto (83.3%), Guarda (69.3%) and Lisbon (69.0%). These figures are above the national average demand of 62.3%.

The variation in demand is lower in the districts of Faro (36.7%), Coimbra (35.9%), Madeira Island (31.1%), Vila Real (24.9%) and Viseu (23.6%), which are below 40%. The district of Bragança, is the region that presents the lowest variation in demand (3.4%).

As for the properties on offer in the market, so-called ‘stock’ or ‘supply’, during this year marked by the pandemic, the district of Viana do Castelo is the district that shows the greatest variation (28.4%). This is followed by Braga (23.6%), Porto (20.6%) and Madeira Island (20.1%), all of which are above 20%.

On the contrary, there were 6 districts that saw their property stock for sale fall over the last year, namely Guarda (-18.4%), Portalegre (-9.9%), Leiria (-5.2%), Beja (-4.2%), Santarém (-3.1%) and Évora (-0.3%).

Performance of Portuguese cities

Analysing the variation in demand by city, Castelo Branco is the only city where demand doubled (118.7%). Next on the list are Porto (87.6%), Lisbon (78.6%), Faro (73.9%), Braga (72.2%) and Leiria (71.8%). All of them show an increase in demand for residential property above 70%.

During 2020, Castelo Branco (district and city) stands out as the only area where interest doubled in 12 months, in spite of the pandemic.

With regard to demand, it can be concluded that it was less than 40% in 2020 in the cities of Santarém (37.4%), Vila Real (35.8%), Beja (28%), Funchal (27.9%), Viseu (26.3%), Bragança (25.7%) and the city of Guarda stands out as the only location where demand fell (-16.4%), from January to December 2020.

The city of Guarda also stands out for being the location where real estate supply saw the sharpest fall (-45.6%). The cities of Portalegre (-26.9%), Beja (-21.4%), Santarém (-14.9%) and Évora (-0.7%) also showed a reduction in the number of properties on offer in the residential sales market in 2020.

The variation in supply is higher in the cities of Aveiro (36.9%), Viana do Castelo (33.9%), Porto (33%), Funchal (27%), Vila Real (22.9%) and Lisbon (21%).

The impact of teleworking on the residential market in Portugal

“We observe several cities outside the capital with significant increases in demand for residential property for sale. It is considered that teleworking or remote working in Portugal has forced people consider their life choices in order to have a better quality of life, with bigger houses and leisure spaces, namely gardens”, concludes the idealista/data team in Portugal, stressing that “the cities or districts with the biggest variation in demand, doesn’t mean directly that they present the biggest or the smallest amount of real estate stock”.

An example of this is the case of Castelo Branco (district), with a variation of 106.3% in demand and an accumulated stock variation of 8.8%. In Porto (district), there was a variation of 85.7% in demand and 23.6% in supply.

For the purpose of this study, the variation in the level of demand was analysed, calculated through effective contacts to the property listings published on idealista, and the number of properties on offer in the residential sales market between January 2020 and December 2020.

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