Portuguese people have never been so rich, proclaims TSF radio today, stressing the reason lies in the booming property market.
In five years, family properties have risen in value by a staggering €84 million.
As a result – on paper at least – people are all suddenly a great deal better off.
The finding comes in an article written by economists Tiago Domingues and Margardia Castro Rego and published by the Ministry of Economy’s Office of Strategic Studies.
It shows that between 1980 and 2010 families’ liquid wealth increased ‘in a constant way every year, crashing between 2010 – 2012 (by €46.8 billion) and then increasing again – to historic maximums – in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
In 2018, said the article, wealth in property was up to €625 billion – €129 billion more than it was valued at in 2012.
But there’s a warning among all the superlatives. On one hand, families these days are actually saving less and less. If there was a ‘collapse’ in the property market (brought on by economic crisis?) all this newfound ‘wealth’ could evaporate. The economists stress also that Portugal remains one of the most unequal countries in the European Union.
Tiago Domingues particularly gives another slant on the picture of ‘sudden wealth’: people have to live somewhere. Thus selling a property because it’s worth so much more than it was, still implies buying another one “which in principle will be more expensive than in the past”.