How long does it take to sell a house in Portugal?

An analysis of the residential market in Portugal shows how each district and city reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash
Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash
10 December 2020, Redaction

If you're planning on selling property in Portugal, then it's important to have an idea of how long it takes to sell the house and find an interested buyer. Equally, this same information is also relevant for estate agents and other professionals in the sector, especially in the current climate in the midst of a pandemic. In Portugal, the average period for selling houses is currently around 5 months, having increased compared to the third quarter of 2019 when Portugal was experiencing a period of economic growth and of course, without COVID-19. Only a year ago, on average, the time of a property for sale on the national market was just over 4 months, according to an idealista study.

Looking at the bottom of the table, where it takes most time to sell a house in Portugal, we can find the Alentejo cities of Portalegre and Beja, with periods of nearly 9 months to sell property according to the calculations made by idealista from data referring to the end of October 2020.  

Owners in the districts of Viana do Castelo and Vila Real had to wait around 9 months to sell their house on average and, in contrast, the district of Setúbal stands out as the only district where the time to sell a property has reduced to below 4 months, followed closely by Lisbon, the country's capital, and São Miguel, in the Azores.

Of the country's 20 districts (18 on the mainland and 2 on the islands), 5 have managed to reduce the time needed to sell property compared to the third quarter of last year. In the case of São Miguel (the Azores), the time required to sell a property in Portugal went from 5.8 to 4.1 months, while Guarda (in the Beiras region) went from 8.3 to 6.1 months and Évora (Alentejo) gained 24 days in the process. 

On the other hand, property owners in other Portuguese districts have seen the period that properties remained in the market extended for longer, such as in Vila Real (Trás-os-Montes), where the selling period has increased by more than 3 months, with properties currently on the market for an average of 8 months.

The strongest districts in the property market where selling property generally takes the least amount of time, such as Lisbon (4.1 months), Porto (4.4 months), Faro in the Algarve (6.4 months), or Madeira Island (6.7 months) have seen the time for selling property increase between 10 and 50 days in just one year. As far as the district capitals are concerned, the city of Vila Real stands out in increasing the time it takes to sell a house from one year to the next by almost 5 months.

"It is very interesting to see how the real estate market in each district and city in Portugal reacted to the pandemic. For example, the cities and districts that are located inland show considerably more variation than those on coast, in terms of selling time", states Inês Campaniço from idealista/data in Portugal.

Districts Q3 2020 (months)Q3 2019 (months)Variation (days)
Portugal           5,1           4,322
Aveiro           5,0           4,94
Beja           8,1           7,419
Braga           4,9           4,82
Bragança           7,0           6,94
Castelo Branco           7,0           6,225
Coimbra           6,0           5,513
Évora           5,1           5,9-24
Faro           6,4           4,750
Guarda           6,1           8,3-67
Leiria           6,5           5,337
Lisbon           4,1           3,810
Portalegre           7,7           7,9-5
Porto           4,4           3,720
Santarém           6,2           5,814
Setúbal           3,6           3,8-3
Viana do Castelo           8,3           6,261
Vila Real           8,2           5,581
Viseu           6,3           5,329
Madeira (Island)           6,7           5,148
São Miguel (the Azores, Island)           4,1           5,8-52
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