In Portugal, houses for sale are getting more and more expensive, having risen by around 80% between 2010 and the third quarter of 2022, according to Eurostat. The purchase of housing by foreigners – who have a greater financial capacity than the Portuguese – is one of the reasons behind this increase, along with others, such as the lack of supply for high demand, according to a report by idealista.
Could banning foreigners from buying homes in the national territory help to ease the rise in housing prices? Although this measure is being applied in Canada and being studied by the Government of the Balearic Islands (Spain), market specialists consider that this is not a solution for Portugal.
“I do not believe that the housing problem in Portugal will be solved in this way and, on the other hand, it would have a very negative impact on the entire economy”, says Amaro Laia, director and professor of the postgraduate course in Real Estate Management and Valuation at ISEG, cited by Jornal de Negócios. Júlio Lobão, assistant professor at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Porto, also considers that “measures across countries may not be adequate in a specific context”.
It is necessary to look at other alternatives to combat the rise in house prices in Portugal, consider the same specialists, who suggest the end of tax benefits and tax reductions for international investors and the extinction of golden visas for the real estate sector - which is already being evaluated by the Government.
Another path will be to have greater articulation between the public and private sectors too, for example, rehabilitate public housing, defended Francisco Mota Ferreira, a consultant for private equity funds and investors, quoted in the publication.
For 2023, a slowdown in the rise in house prices or even a correction of values is already expected, given the high inflation and high-interest rates on housing loans, experts expect. These predictions are in line with what other rating agencies say, such as Moody's, which estimates that house prices in Portugal may fall by up to 3% in 2023. S&P Global Ratings also predicts that Portugal is one of the European countries that will feel the most intense fall in house prices this year, of -4.4%.
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