"The behaviour of housing sales in this quarter may have been conditioned by the restrictions imposed by the state of emergency, enacted on 19 March, in the context of the covid-19 pandemic", signals the National Statistics Institute (INE).

In January and February 2020, the number of transactions increased by 9.4 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively, having reversed this trend in March, with a variation rate of -14.1 percent, he says.

In the first quarter, prices for existing homes increased at a faster rate than for new homes, 10.6 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively, compared to the same period.

In relation to the previous quarter, the IPHab grew 4.9 percent (0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019), with the increase in prices to be observed in both categories of housing, having been more expressive in the case of the new ones (6.0 percent) compared to the existing ones (4.7 percent).

According to the INE, in the first three months of 2020, 43,532 households were traded, worth €6.8 billion - of which €5.4 billion corresponded to transactions in existing homes and €1.4 billion to new homes - which corresponded to a year-on-year decrease of 0.7 percent and an increase of 10.4 percent, respectively.

However, while in January and February 2020 there were year-on-year increases in the number of transactions (9.4 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively) and in the respective value (21.5 percent and 13.5 percent, in the same order), in March, the number of transactions and the value decreased 14.1 percent and 3.3 percent compared to the same month of 2019.

In the first three months of 2020, the average annual rate of change of the IPHab was 9.9 percent (9.6 percent in the 4th quarter of 2019). By category, existing homes showed more intense price growth compared to new homes, 10.3 percent and 8.3 percent, respectively.

In the period under review, accommodation transactions in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area totalled 3.2 billion Euros (47.8 percent of the total), the highest amount in this region in the series available.

In the North, housing sales stood at 1.6 billion Euros, corresponding to a relative regional weight of 23.3 percent.

The combined relative share of these two regions was 71.1 percent, the highest record since the third quarter of 2018.

In terms of transaction value, the Centro region (786 million Euros), the Algarve (713 million Euros) and the Alentejo (235 million Euros) followed.