Price decline slowing, sales rising – Portugal’s recovery gains momentum

Portugal’s property market is getting busier as the second quarter of 2014 gets underway, indicating the housing recovery is well underway, according to the latest RICS/Ci Portuguese Housing Market Survey (PHMS).

The February PHMS results highlight a continued increase in buyer interest which has led to a modest rise in sales. Lettings activity remained relatively steady, although respondents appear a little more optimistic regarding prospects for future volumes.

In the sales market, transaction levels picked up slightly on the back of the strong buyer interest reported last month. What’s more, new buyer enquiries continued to rise at a healthy pace throughout the February period. Buyers will be encouraged by the fact that house prices are still falling, although the pace of decline has slowed significantly. All things considered, the sales market appears to be in better shape than at any other point since the (PHMS) survey was launched in 2010.

In the lettings sector, tenant demand experienced a marginal uptick while landlord instructions fell for the fifth month in succession. Rents continue along their downward trajectory and are anticipated to fall further in the short term. However, the outlook for lettings activity turned more upbeat, with respondents expecting volumes to rise over the coming three months.

RICS Senior Economist, Josh Miller said: “The February results show improved buyer interest beginning to translate into greater transaction volumes, a trend which is projected to continue in the near term. This is slowing but has not yet arrested the decline in prices. Before we are in a position to talk about a genuine turnaround in the housing market the brighter macro news flow must be sustained.

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