At a news conference in Lisbon, Eric van Leuven described 2014 as an "exceptional" year for the market with the "long awaited" return of foreign investors and the recovery of occupancy rates in office and retail property.

The outlook for 2015 is one of "renewed hope", he said, adding that C&W was looking to the future with caution "due to the fragility of economic recovery in Portugal and Europe and geopolitical tensions".

Portugal's market, though small and peripheral in Europe, "will continue to benefit from the excess of liquidity" in various parts of the world, given that Portugal is now "perceived as being a mature, transparent and cheap market."

He cited major deals towards the end of 2014 by private-equity funds Blckstone and Meyer Bergman.