Sales activity improving in Portugal and property market stabilising, says RICS

Portugal’s property market is undergoing a stabilisation in sales activity, according to the September figures of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) published in its recent Housing Market Survey.

In the Portuguese property sales market, the agreed transactions balance turned positive for the first time since the RICS reports began back in September 2010. Improvement was also seen within the new buyer enquiries series, moving further into positive territory. According to RICS, house prices in Portugal are still declining at present, with a marginally worse net balance than was the case in August. This is however the second best reading on record and, coupled with greater levels of activity, does suggest that prices may be close to reaching a floor.

In the lettings sector, tenant demand rose whilst new landlord instructions also experienced an increase, said RICS. The balance for letting volume expectations was consequently the highest seen in four months. Meanwhile, the net balance for rents remained negative, but to a lesser extent than any time in the previous seven months. Although rents are still anticipated to fall further in the near term, the pace has moderated over the last twelve months.

RICS Senior Economist Josh Miller said: “The September survey results provide further evidence that the sales market may be stabilising. However, the market remains fragile; the economic backdrop remains weak, and while the recent GDP data has been encouraging, it will need to be sustained before we are realistically in a position to talk about a housing recovery.”

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