Portugal was among the countries in Europe which registered the highest house price increases last year.
In Western Europe, it enjoyed the highest price increases (9.3%) equalling both Luxembourg and Holland.
Only property prices in three Eastern European countries outstripped Portugal – Slovenia (18.2%), Lithuania (11.8%) and the Czech Republic (9.9%).
Data by Eurostat revealed that house prices increased by 9.3% in the last quarter of 2018.
Overall, house prices increased 10% in 2018, driven by high demand, especially from overseas investors buying to live, do up and sell and rent. In 2018, 178,000 houses and apartments were sold, +16.6% on 2017.
Total house and apartment sales in Portugal last year represented €24.1 billion to the Portuguese economy.
The EU statistical agency notes that there was an acceleration in the rhythm of house price increases between the third and last quarters of 2018, from 8.5% between July and September to 9.3% between October and December.
On average, house prices in the Euro Zone increased 4.2% in 2018 although house prices in Italy did not keep pace with the upward trend, falling 0.6%.
The upward trend in prices is causing some alarm among analysts who claim the housing market in Europe and Portugal is overheated and speculative.