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Urban regeneration laws needed

Portugal’s building sector should focus on urban rehabilitation if it is to survive the year, said the president of the realtors and related businesses’ portal APEMIP.

According to Luís Lima, focusing on the restoration of degraded buildings in urban areas should serve to compensate for the “natural decrease” in new builds due to the economic crisis and difficulty in accessing credit to purchase property.

This new era for the property and building markets, as the expert described it, should be further boosted by tax benefits in order to encourage more investment in the urban regeneration sector.

New legislation for the sector is expected to be passed in spring, he said, offering “attractive” conditions for investors in the sector, which could lead to a boost in the urban rental market.

Luís Lima said: “Portugal is the European country with the least development rate in this sector, accounting for only 10% of building restoration work for habitation purposes, well below the European average of 23%.”

He continued by saying that one of the major advantages a booming urban regeneration market would offer is job opportunities “as so many positions were lost in the construction sector in Portugal” in recent years.