Real estate sector: 2018 saw new companies “appearing like mushrooms”

With focus this week on trends and happenings through 2018, APEMIP – the association of real estate companies in Portugal – has described the sector as having new companies appearing like mushrooms.

In the 10 months between January 1 and October 31, a total of 1,492 new agencies opened their doors – an average of two a day.

Compared to figures for 2017, this year saw even more businesses start trading. In fact, the first 10 months registered more new companies opening than during the 12 months of 2017.

But the upward trend is about to come up against new rules, introduced last summer by the Bank of Portugal which raised concerns about the possibility of a housing bubble (click here).

APEMIP president Luís Lima explains that from January 1, agencies that want to offer mortgages will have to have “specific certification”.

Will this start limiting the rush of new business into the field? He doesn’t think so.

“The tendency is growth”, he told reporters. “In good years these businesses grow like mushrooms. They are practically a barometer for the sector. Next year has good perspectives though with perhaps not quite such an accentuated margin for growth”.

Meantime, property prices have continued to grow.

According to reports in the press today, the third trimester of 2018 saw prices 8.5% higher than during the same period last year (Correio da Manhã). Building licences issued by town councils, for new builds and rebuilding projects increased by 19.7% during the first nine months of 2018, said the paper, while property sales “exceeded 170,000” compared to 2017’s 153,000.

Elsewhere, negocios online has been come up with slightly different figures, though the consensus is that prices will continue to rise into 2019.

Said the website today: “The region where prices have risen the most since last year was the Algarve” though house price increases were even higher in Lisbon (12% more than last year).

The ‘counter balance’ to the south and capital’s more rapidly rising prices can be found in the Alentejo where apartment and house costs remain comparatively low (around 1,000 euros and 965 euros per sq metre respectively).