Buying a home is getting more and more expensive, but property sales keep going up year after year; in 2018, the number of transactions grew between 15% and 20%, which means that about 180,000 properties were sold, 25,000 more than the previous year and an average of 500 per day. This is according to estimates by the Association of Professionals and Companies Real Estate Mediation of Portugal (Associação dos Profissionais e Empresas de Mediação Imobiliária de Portugal or APEMIP).
According to the Diário de Notícias daily newspaper and figures from APEMIP, this level of real estate sales is the highest number since at least 2009, the year from which data are available from the National Statistics Institute (Instituto Nacional de Estatística or INE).
Up until September 2018, 132,000 homes were sold, and when the definitive data come in, APEMIP predicts that more than 45,000 homes will have been transacted in the last quarter of the last year. The figures are indicative of what is happening with the real estate market in Portugal right now: in a single year more houses will have been sold than in 2013 and 2014 put together.
Foreigners continue to invest heavily in Portuguese real estate – figures show that buyers from overseas were responsible for 20% of home sales last year. This means that non-Portuguese citizens bought around 35,000 homes in Portugal in 2018. This is still a slightly lower number when compared with 2017.
"The percentage is not due to a decrease in foreign investment, but to the increased representation of the domestic market," said Luís Lima, head of APEMIP. According to him, Brazilians and French are the most active investors at the national level, with "a decentralisation of investment outside the main cities". "On the other hand, the number of real estate transactions made by British citizens in Portugal remains steady, who traditionally prefer the Algarve region," he added.