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Portuguese Property Sector Increases Jobs by 80% Over 4 Years

Portuguese Property Sector Increases Jobs by 80% Over 4 YearsPortugal’s property sector currently employs around 50,000 people, 22,000 more than in 2015.  Over the past four years the number of people employed in Portugal’s real estate sector increased by around 80%, making the real estate sector one of the main sources of employment in the country, according to figures published by the Portuguese Association of Estate Agents (APEMIP).  The Dinheiro Vivo website reports that half the people working in the sector are estate agents.  Data from the Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEPF) suggests that the property sector is the most active sector in the country, when it comes to job creation.

After three years of depression in the market, Portugal’s house prices began to recover in 2014 and have been rising ever since.  This turn around was in part due to a range of government legislation designed to encourage foreign buyers, legislation such as the Golden Residence Permit, which enables property buyers from outside of the EU to obtain a five-year residency permit.  There are no restrictions on foreign property ownership in Portugal and add on costs involved in property transactions are generally low.  From the point of view of foreign buyers, Portuguese property represents great value when compared with other European countries.

Lisbon, the country’s capital, has been rediscovered as one of the great capitals of Europe.  The hills, the views, the light, the jacaranda trees, the sea breeze, the food, the wine, the architecture; this unique, historic city has so much to offer.  Some sought after neighbourhoods in Lisbon’s historic centre have seen price rises of 60% in recent years.  The city is also attractive to landlords, apartments in Lisbon provide a high rental yield with rents ranging from 12-16 Euros per square metre per month.

‘In Lisbon, construction and reconstruction projects have proliferated.  The whole city centre has been renovated.  Buyers are scooping up Lisbon apartments in new developments before construction is finished’, says Nadezhda Yakimenko of the Cascais Real Estate Agency.  There is concern in government circles that ordinary Portuguese are being priced out of their city; foreigners currently account for 90% of all property purchases in Lisbon.  80% of the Golden Residence Permits have been issued to Chinese buyers.

Since 2012, foreign investors have pumped 4.3 billion Euros into Portuguese real estate, making Portugal the Eurozone’s hottest property market.  At present, demand continues to outstrip supply and as long as that situation continues, the Portuguese property market is likely to remain buoyant.  Despite dramatic increases in the value of the capital’s property, Lisbon’s house prices remain one of the lowest among the capitals of Western Europe.  Whilst there are concerns about the long-term social effects of rising house prices, there have been clear benefits for the capital. Francisco Bethencourt, a history professor at King’s College, London, observes that: ‘Lisbon has never been better in terms of the restoration of its buildings.  The number of decrepit buildings has been reduced and some of the misery that existed in some neighbourhoods is no longer visible.

 

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