Spanish property companies bet on Portugal

PROMOTING PROPERTIES in Portugal was one area responsible for the success of the Spanish Property Market in 2005. According to statistics published in a report by property consultants DBK, 89 per cent of property sales abroad made by Spanish companies were in Portugal, followed by France.

There are currently around 15 Spanish property companies operating in the Portuguese market, while at the Lisbon Property Market Fair held in November last year, 20 per cent of the floor space was taken up by Spanish companies.

Tiago Gil, commercial director of Spanish property group Hercesa, which has been operating in Portugal since April 2005, said this factor is because the property market in Portugal has, in recent years, demonstrated a positive evolution, similar to that in Spain. However, he continued by saying that, “at the moment, the market is stationary and we are not predicting a significant growth in 2006”. He was also sceptical that property prices would come down in Portugal this year.

Hercesa says that, despite having recently entered the Portuguese property market, it has yet to feel the effects of the overall economic recession filter on down through it. However, according to Carla Estradas of Imobiliária Prohabitação, the recession is being felt, although luxury properties are still selling well. “It is in the midrange price sector of the market that we will feel the pinch,” said the company’s manager, who added that “everything will depend on supply and demand”.

Jorge Garcia of ERA Portugal says that there has been a noticeable fall in house sales in the last two years. “Although Lisbon and Porto have registered a rise in property sales, elsewhere in the country, sales have fallen and will probably continue to do so.”