January sees sharp rise in Portuguese property enquiries, signalling promising 2014

Owning a home in Portugal is back in fashion in 2014, according to the latest RICS/Ci Portuguese Housing Market Survey (PHMS), which showed a significant pick up new buyer enquiries during January.

This increased activity in Portugal’s housing market has pushed the sales expectations for the coming three months to its highest level since the PHMS survey was launched in 2010.

The national confidence index – is a composite of the sales and price expectations series – increased to +16 from the previous figure of +6. This, again, is the best reading since the survey’s inception and marks the third successive month in which a positive value has been posted.

The pick-up in buyer interest and confidence has, however, yet to feed through into prices of property in Portugal. Indeed, prices are still falling (albeit at a moderating pace) and are expected to continue to do so in the near future. In the lettings sector, tenant demand rose marginally whilst landlord instructions fell for the fourth straight month. Rents continue to decline, with little respite expected in the short term. Furthermore, future lettings activity is only anticipated to rise modestly.

On a regional level, new buyer enquires increased substantially across all areas covered by PHMS. Likewise, sales are expected to grow materially throughout each region and this growth is expected to be sustained.

RICS Senior Economist, Josh Miller said: “The January results show buyer interest returning to the market while sales are expected to pick up in the months ahead. For the moment however, there is little sign of this filtering through into prices. The recent GDP figures also portray an upbeat message although the recovery still has a way to go until it is firmly entrenched.”

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