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Is it better to buy or rent property in Portugal in 2021?

Is it better to buy or rent property in Portugal in 2021?

Pros and cons of buying and renting property during the latest coronavirus wave in Portugal in 2021.

Whether you live in Portugal and want to move house, or whether you’re planning on moving to Portugal, many people will be asking the same question. Is it better to buy or rent property in Portugal in 2021? Is borrowing money from the bank to buy a house the best option during a pandemic? Or does the possibility of being a tenant instead of a property owner bring more advantages in 2021? With the help of DECO, the Portuguese Association for Consumer Protection, we’re here to help you answer all of these questions and guide you through this difficult decision making process.

Whether to buy or rent property in Portugal in 2021 is a doubt that is increasingly common due to the uncertainty of the current climate, both amongst national and international buyers in Portugal. People are hesitant about getting into mortgage debt and many people are opting to rent in spite of worries that in the long term, this may mean losing money, while others are taking advantage of low interest rates and think that now is the right time to take out a mortgage.

Historically, and according to official statistics quoted by DECO, the great majority of residents in Portugal generally prefer to buy a house instead of renting. However, various factors have contributed to some cooling off when it comes to taking out a mortgage in Portugal during the years of economic and financial crisis that have been experienced since 2008, a situation which has worsened since 2020 with the pandemic that has led to new cuts in Portuguese income.

The experts at DECO advise those currently looking to buy or rent property in Portugal to consider a number of factors as decisions made now could have repercussions for many years. Contracting a mortgage loan today, for example, usually represents a relationship of often at least 30 or 40 years.

This is one of the reasons that has led consumers in Portugal to favour the option of renting. In this case, for example, tenants would not have to pay the taxes associated with the property, nor are they responsable for maintenance or condominium expenses. On the the other hand, renters will have to manage the end of the lease term and be subject to annual changes in rent in accordance with the updating coefficients and inflation.

By choosing to buy a property in Portugal, you will be accumulating valuable assets for your retirement and to leave to your children, for example, but you will have to pay more taxes, such as IMI property tax, or bear maintenance or condominium expenses. Remember that if you do choose to buy, you will still have to be able to afford a down payment or deposit and you will be tied to a mortgage for a long period of time. Whatever you choose, make sure to do your sums carefully and find the best solution for your situation.

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Construction, a sector that shows signs of being resilient to Covid-19

idealista News

Construction, a sector that shows signs of being resilient to Covid-19

Banco de Portugal, for example, highlighted the “remarkable resilience” of the sector, which managed to remain “insulated from the strong negative impacts of the pandemic crisis”.

Portugal lost with the pandemic, between the first and third quarter of the year, 66,000 jobs (in net terms). The construction sector seems to have escaped this trend, however, showing signs of resilience: 5,300 jobs were created during that period. The data from the National Statistics Institute (INE), released in November, were in line with those released a month earlier by Banco de Portugal (BdP), which considered that the construction sector is showing a “remarkable resilience”, managing to maintain itself “Insulated from the strong negative impacts of the pandemic crisis”.

What was said about the sector

On this subject, David Marques, CEO and founding partner of Detailsmind, a company dedicated to the construction and rehabilitation market in Portugal, said that the construction sector, and almost in a kind of counter-cycle, has stood out throughout this period for the its positive performance and the way it has managed to “escape” the crisis. “The market shows signs of wanting to recover its previous dynamics”, maintaining “the intentions of executing projects in various areas”, he said, in an interview with idealista / news. For Manuel Reis Campos, president of the president of the Portuguese Confederation of Construction and Real Estate (CPCI), the projects launched under the National Investment Plan (PNI) 2030, worth almost 43 billion euros, must have taking into account the capacity and qualification of the national business fabric. The official defended that “companies have to know what they can count on and have equal circumstances to compete with foreign competitors”. Manuel Reis Campos said, however, that it is important to have your feet firmly on the ground. This is due to the economic uncertainty that a second wave of the pandemic can bring. Before, in August, he said that it is “in public and private investment that the key lies” in the collective future of the construction sector.

Licensing and construction costs

In the third quarter of 2020, that is, summer months and in the middle of the pandemic, the number of licensed and completed buildings in Portugal increased by 2.8% and 1.5%, respectively, in year-on-year terms. Statistics Portugal reveals that, between July and September, 5,900 buildings were licensed and 3,700 completed. With regard to housing construction costs, they increased by 2.2% in October 2020 compared to the same month last year, according to ONI. A year-on-year rise similar to that recorded in September.

Enterprises are born in pandemic

There were several developments – mainly residential – that were news throughout the year, either because they were going to be launched and / or commercialized, or because they were already being built or because they were being designed. This in a pandemic scenario of the new coronavirus, which shows that the construction sector has not stopped, as we wrote at the end of June, when we wrote that the real estate and construction sector closed May almost fully operational, with 97% of companies of these activities to work. An idea, by the way, also left before, in April, and later, in September.

Rehabilitation in times of crisis

Despite all the real estate projects in progress, the supply of new housing in Portugal is growing at a (very) slow pace. The country is managing to build and finish an average of less than 1.5 new homes per thousand inhabitants, currently the European market with the lowest “ceiling”, at stake is a study by the Ifo – German economic research institute. Urban rehabilitation, in addition to new construction, started to be talked about again in 2020, with many properties that gained “a second life”, such as the former Faculdade Moderna, in Lisbon, and the former Slaughterhouse in Porto. It is important to say, in this regard, that the Financial Instrument for Urban Rehabilitation and Revitalization (IFRRU) 2020 has managed to increase its execution in recent months, marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, having reached 248 signed contracts, in an investment of 704 million euros. euros in integral rehabilitation of buildings and improvement of their energy performance, announced in September, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing.

Making houses more efficient

In order to help make homes more efficient, we have prepared a special dossier in which we explain, for example, how it is possible to have healthier, more comfortable, economical and environmentally friendly homes and what are the financial support provided by the Government to families. Full article: here.
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The future of tourism in Portugal after COVID-19

Photo by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash
Article Idealista News

The future of tourism in Portugal after COVID-19

The boom in tourism in several cities worldwide, notably in Lisbon and Porto in Portugal, generated controversy in pre-pandemic times, due to excessive numbers of tourists and the anticipated effects of this trend on inhabitants. This is a situation that COVID-19 has, of course, dramatically changed, and in 2021 getting tourists back is the priority for cities across the world. Some signs of change are anticipated when the recovery comes, but what is the future of tourism in Portugal after COVID-19? “The cities that used to live from tourism were the first to suffer an unparalleled crisis, while the streets became deserted and the economy was paralysed due to a lack of visitors”, writes the Portuguese newspaper Expresso. The article quotes experts who state that at this stage, cities that have previously relied on tourism, such as many Portuguese cities, should not lose sight of sustainability goals and begin to plan more adjusted strategies for the moment of recovery, correcting excesses committed in the past. According to Eduardo Abreu, partner of Neoturis, a national consultancy firm which focuses on tourism, “the issue of excessive crowding in some tourist destinations in Portugal was already on the agenda before the pandemic, which may have accelerated reflection on the subject”. He also stated that “disruptive moments” such as those that Portugal and many countries are currently going through “lead to reflection on future development strategies, particularly those that meet the needs of more sustainable tourism in the long term”. Things have well and truly been reversed, and many cities throughout the world that were being overwhelmed by tourism one year ago now want tourism back, and this isn’t only the case in Portugal. What are cities thinking of changing in the future in a post-COVID-19 world when it comes to tourism? And what is the future of tourism in Portugal? Recovery in cities after the coronavirus pandemic is expected to be slower than in other destinations, even with the arrival of a vaccine, but some signs are being given to indicate change. These are some of the steps that European cities plan to take in the near future, according to the Expresso publication: The Italian city of Venice will have entrance fees for daily visitors who do not stay in hotels from 2022 onwards; Lisbon will only receive cruises (tourist ships) mooring with electricity from the end of 2021, following a protocol signed this summer between the city council and the port of Lisbon; Porto will reinforce cycle lanes in the city to disperse traffic and is preparing the measures for next year – these should be presented in January or February 2021. According to Expresso, improving mobility and encouraging the use of public transport instead of own cars is one of the goals of the municipality; The Spanish city of Barcelona is maintaining its regulation stating that no new hotels can be opened, and the concern in a post-pandemic scenario is to not have empty hotels in the city. What will it be like when the pandemic ends in Portugal? Hard times are expected until at least the spring of 2021, when some recovery in tourism is expected in Portugal. According to Eduardo Abreu, “no one is speeding up the COVID-19 restrictions. Everything is very focused on reaching March and April and getting tourists, with the vaccine reaching the market and gaining some normality,” he says. In the cases of Lisbon and Porto, “cities where the issue of ‘excessive’ numbers of tourists has been evident,” the main priority on the agenda of public decision-makers and entrepreneurs is to “recover the flow of lost tourists”. These are, according to Neoturis, some trends which are being accelerated by the pandemic in Portugal, and which could improve situations of overcrowding of tourists concentrated in specific points of the cities. Measures include the deconcentration of housing supply from historic centres to outlying areas, increased investment in public space and outdoor areas, better management of visitor numbers at tourist attractions and greater focus on attracting national tourists in Portuguese cities to promote tourism within Portugal. See original article.
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3rd best year ever | Jornal de Negócios

Article Jornal de Negócios | 31 December 2020

JLL: Real estate investment falls in 2020 but is expected to be the third best year ever

Real estate investment in 2020 is expected to exceed 26 billion euros, according to JLL estimates. Values ​​representing a 20% drop compared to the 2019 record.

JLL estimates that by 2020 2.6 billion euros will have been invested in commercial real estate and another 24 billion euros in housing purchases in Portugal, which should be the third best year for this market.

The real estate firm considers that this was “a very resilient sector in the context of the pandemic crisis”, pointing to price and income stability in most segments, as well as a high volume of transactions.

“The year started at full speed in the different market segments and, had it not been for the proliferation of covid-19, 2020 would have been the best year ever for this sector, breaking new records”, says JLL general director, Pedro Lancastre . “After a 2nd quarter of panic in a context of absolute ignorance, the 3rd quarter was bringing normality to the sector, with transactions taking place, and the 4th quarter was already marked by greater confidence and the return of many investors to assets, also because the vaccine stopped being a mirage to become a reality “, he adds.

The head of Capital Markets at JLL, Fernando Ferreira, points out that the local capital, coming from open real estate investment funds and pension funds, “was much more active” and points out that the offices were one of the most desirable assets “. The retail segment “underwent greater scrutiny” by investors, due to the impact of the pandemic on the free movement of consumers, which caused a drop in the performance of many assets in this segment, especially with regard to shopping centers. statement sent to newsrooms.

With regard to the residential market and also to the industry and logistics market, there is “strong demand”, which is accompanied by a “lack of product”.

In 2019, 3.240 billion euros were traded in commercial real estate and 25.1 billion euros in residential, which means that in 2020 a drop of about 20% is expected compared to the previous year. In 2018, 3.356 billion euros were traded in commercial real estate and 24.1 billion euros in residential real estate.

Portugal stands out in 2021

The same real estate company is optimistic about the performance of the Portuguese market next year, stating that the country keeps “its attractions intact”, after leaving “well positioned” in the pandemic compared to other European counterparts.

Even so, JLL takes the opportunity to point out some growth brakes that already inhabited this market before the pandemic invaded it. The real estate firm argues that it is necessary to resolve the delays in the licensing processes and review the strategy for Gold Visas, “which can again be an important catalyst for the country’s economic recovery”.

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Israeli group Fortera invests € 80 million in Gaia

Israeli group Fortera invests € 80 million in Gaia


Project includes a hotel, a congress center and apartments

“The Skyline project is unique and brings together an ecosystem of commerce, services, residential, hospitality and leisure in two buildings”, says Elad Dror, executive director and one of the founders of the Fortera group, of Israeli capital.

The “jewel of the project is a congress and exhibition center that will make it possible to transform Gaia into a central city with facilities for major events and exhibitions”, adds Elad Dror.

The Skyline, which will be served by 600 parking spaces, was designed for Rua General Torres, at the rear of the City Hall of Gaia, on a 26 thousand square meter plot, with the possibility of building 45 thousand square meters above the ground. The project will have two construction phases: a 260-room hotel, which will also have apartments, in a 20-story building. A second phase will be “a congress center for two thousand people, served by a square and shops, to enhance leisure activity”. “In total, there will be 16 thousand square meters of offices and 10 thousand square meters for the residential and commercial area”, adds Elad Dror.


The architecture of the congress center and the hotel must be designed by Souto de Moura, but Elad Dror does not take the choice. “He is one of the most important architects in the country, we are working on the agreement and we will announce the decision soon,” he says. As a guarantee, only that “it will be an emblematic project for Gaia and also for Porto and will bring about a great change, it will create many jobs, placing the region on the map of major world exhibitions and congresses”.

The € 80 million investment “will be supported by equity”, guarantees the administrator of Fortera, which has other investments in the North of the country. With the sale of the square meter between € 3,000 and € 5,000, Fortera expects to deliver 60 more apartments by the end of the year, divided between Porto, Gaia and Espinho. Some of these dwellings “resulted from changes in hotel projects, which were converted into residential units, with greater importance for the external area, with the inclusion of terraces, which are now essential” due to the pandemic.

“We concluded, between 2016 and 2019, nine projects, with a total investment of approximately € 21 million, and we invested another € 45 million in acquisitions during 2019. The total investment we currently have in the pipeline is more than € 250 million”, says . Elad Dror does not fail to criticize the restrictions that are preparing for the gold visa regime. “It is exactly the opposite of what should be done and it will be a disaster for the economy”, he anticipates.

The administrator guarantees that the Fortera group “is ‘unleveraged’, with little bank exposure”, so he predicts that the construction of the Skyline will start as early as 2021, in a work that “will take approximately two to three years to finish”.


For the next year, the administrator recognizes that “the first three quarters will be difficult”, but assumes that the attraction of foreign investment can help to move the economy, create business and jobs. “The fundamentals have not changed: the climate, the people, the gastronomy and the security”, he says. For this reason, he guarantees, the group has underway “the preparation of two real estate funds to continue investing in the residential market, street commerce and logistics”.

Among the investments is the transformation of Convento do Carmo, in Braga, which “will be converted into a residential building”, and in Gaia awaits the licensing of three towers to “start a residential project”, he concludes.