In 2023, Portugal's property market experienced notable shifts. High property prices and a growing interest in mortgages were contrasted by a noticeable slowdown in house sales, influenced in part by inflation's impact on buying power. This article delves into the latest trends, providing a detailed analysis of regional variances within the market.
1. Real Estate Market in Portugal 2023
According to a study by Idealista, around 19% of homes were sold in less than a week in November 2023. These quick sales are an indicator of selective demand that targets specific property types. In Porto, for example, 28% of homes were sold in less than a week, indicating strong demand in the area. In contrast, in districts such as Castelo Branco and Viana do Castelo, only 7% of houses were express sales.
Timeline of property sales by district 2023 (source: Idealista)
dark green: less than a week
dark grey: 2-4 weeks
light grey 1-3 months
light green: 3-12 months
purple: more than 1 year
Market development and property values
According to Moody's, there could be a slight correction in property prices in Portugal in 2023, with a potential decline of up to 3% expected. This trend will be influenced by factors such as rising interest rates, inflation, and slower economic growth. Nevertheless, the market remains dynamic, and investment in rental property, particularly in cities such as Lisbon and Porto, could continue to be attractive as demand outstrips supply. In addition, construction prices have risen, which could lead to a limited supply in the medium term and thus to higher prices for flats that have already been built.
There were clear regional differences in the Portuguese property market in 2023. While some district capitals such as Évora, Coimbra, and Funchal recorded price increases, other cities such as Guarda and Ponta Delgada saw property prices fall. Lisbon and Porto remained the most expensive cities for housing. The Algarve, the Lisbon Metropolitan Region, and the Autonomous Region of Madeira were among the most expensive regions to buy housing, while the Autonomous Region of the Azores, the Centre, and the Alentejo were among the cheapest regions.
Tourism and demand for property
The impact of tourism on the property market is significant, especially in popular tourist regions such as the Algarve. Demand for holiday homes and rental properties, particularly in coastal areas and large cities, remains high. In addition, investments in the Portuguese property sector remain attractive, as rental income promises high returns, especially during the peak tourist season.
2. Influence of Inflation
Inflation has a significant impact on the property market, particularly on the purchasing power of buyers. As a result, some homes that do not match the budget or needs profiles of families remain on the market for longer. Nevertheless, some properties sell more quickly as they are better suited to current demand.
Loan offers and key interest rates in Portugal
In Portugal, as in many European countries, the Euribor (Euro Interbank Offered Rate) is used as the reference interest rate for property loans. Banks usually charge a premium on this interest rate to determine the final interest rate for mortgages.
1. Euribor as a key interest rate: The Euribor reflects the interest rates that banks charge each other for short-term loans. It is an important indicator of interest rate trends in the eurozone and directly influences the conditions of variable-rate mortgages in Portugal.
2. Current developments in the Euribor: In times of inflation and economic uncertainty, the Euribor can rise, which has an impact on the cost of property loans. An increase in Euribor leads to higher mortgage rates, which increases the monthly repayments on new loans and therefore affects the purchasing power of potential property buyers.
3. Impact on the property market: Higher borrowing costs can dampen demand for property, especially in higher-priced segments. This could lead to a slowdown in the market, with cheaper properties or regions possibly experiencing stronger demand.
4. Importance for buyers: For property buyers in Portugal, it is important to monitor current and forecast Euribor rates and take them into account in financial planning. Careful consideration of one's financial situation and the long-term feasibility of a property purchase is essential in such an economic environment.
It is recommended to contact financial experts or banks for the latest information and specific data on Euribor and mortgage rates in Portugal. They can provide accurate and up-to-date information that is essential for making informed property decisions.
3. Tips for Buyers in A Changing Market
Research: Find out about the regional market conditions. Thorough research is crucial to identify the best opportunities in the Portuguese property market. Differences in sales speed and price trends are visible from region to region. While houses are selling quickly in Porto and Évora, other areas such as Castelo Branco and Viana do Castelo show less dynamism. Potential buyers should analyze these regional trends to make informed decisions.
Budget planning: Consider the impact of inflation on your budget. Inflation can have a significant impact on your financial possibilities. It is important to consider not only the purchase price of the property but also ongoing costs, taxes, and possible increases in value. Realistic budget planning that takes inflation and interest rates into account is essential to avoid getting into financial difficulties.
Flexibility: Be open to different property types and regions. Flexibility can be crucial, especially in a rapidly changing market. Some regions and property types that previously received less attention may suddenly become more attractive. A willingness to think outside the box and consider alternative options can lead to surprising and valuable investment opportunities.
Long-term perspective: View property investments as a long-term decision. Short-term market fluctuations should not affect your decision. Instead, it is advisable to keep an eye on the long-term value and potential of the property. A property in Portugal is not only a home, but can also be a source of long-term capital growth and stability.
4. Prospects for 2024
While there was a noticeable deceleration in house payments as of November 2023, predictions for the Portuguese property market in 2024 remain clouded with uncertainty. This uncertainty primarily hinges on inflation trends and broader economic conditions, factors that will significantly influence the European Central Bank's (ECB) forthcoming decisions. Although a drastic decline in Euribor rates is not anticipated by analysts, a slight decrease in house payments could occur, yet they are expected to stay relatively elevated.
Role of the ECB
The European Central Bank (ECB) is currently maintaining a cautious approach regarding monetary policy, with no immediate plans for interest rate reductions. This cautious stance aligns with the policies of other major central banks globally. As a result, the existing interest rates are likely to be upheld in the near term. This status quo on interest rates will directly affect the mortgage market, particularly impacting the terms and monthly payments of variable-rate mortgages. Homebuyers and investors in the property market should therefore be prepared for sustained levels of interest rates, which could influence their financing decisions and overall affordability of property investments.
Despite the challenges in the current economic climate, Portugal's real estate market continues to attract a diverse array of investors and buyers. This resilience is underpinned by its varied regional offerings, catering to a wide spectrum of preferences and financial capabilities. For those considering investing or purchasing, the key to success lies in thorough market research, prudent financial planning, and adaptability to evolving market conditions. Portugal's diverse property landscape, ranging from bustling urban centers to serene coastal towns and rural retreats, ensures its ongoing appeal as a sought-after destination for real estate investments and acquisitions.
Lagos Homes is your reliable partner for all your real estate needs in Portugal. We go beyond helping you find your dream property, offering expert guidance across all aspects. Do you have any inquiries before embarking on your real estate journey? Feel free to contact us now!
6. FAQ Property prices in Portugal
Buying property in Portugal - is it worth it?
Yes, buying property in Portugal can be worthwhile, especially for long-term investments or for those who want to benefit from the quality of life and climate in Portugal. Despite the current challenges of inflation and economic uncertainty, the market offers many opportunities, especially in regions that are less affected by price fluctuations.
What are the current property prices in Portugal for 2023?
Which regions in Portugal are the most popular for property purchases?
How is the current economic situation affecting the property market in Portugal?
7. Opinion: Portugal crash 2023/2024?
The property market in Portugal has evolved significantly in 2023 and this YouTube video offers interesting insights into current trends and prospects. Louis, a property agent with 17 years of experience, shares his views on the evolution of the market and speculates on possible future trends.
1. Market Segmentation: Louis divides the market into two main segments: urban property (towns and villages) and rural property (farms). He believes that these two market segments will show different development patterns.
2. Rural Property: Louis sees stable demand for rural property, mainly from international buyers interested in farms. These buyers are often cash buyers and therefore less affected by interest rate fluctuations. He predicts that prices for this type of property will continue to rise.
3. Urban Properties: In contrast, urban properties could face more pressure, particularly due to rising interest rates and the associated higher mortgage costs. This could lead to more supply on the market as some owners may not be able to continue to finance their mortgages.
4. Prospects: Louis is cautiously optimistic about the long-term stability of the Portuguese property market. He emphasizes that Portugal will remain an attractive destination for international buyers due to its many advantages such as security, quality of life, and cultural appeal.
In summary, the video offers a positive, albeit nuanced, perspective on the property market in Portugal. It emphasizes the importance of market segmentation and the different impact of economic factors on different types of property.