Not content to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, Lisbon has also been ranked by an international consulting firm as the best European property market to invest in 2019.

According to the study "Emerging Trends in Europe in 2019" conducted by the UK audit and consulting firm PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), and the American Urban Lan Institute, Lisbon is at the top of the European ranking of the most interesting cities for invest in real estate. In one year, she moved from 11th to 1st place, dethroning Berlin. This strong preference of buyers is explained by the "quality of life" attributed to this small town in southern Europe, but also by the growth of the Portuguese economy, which is attracting more and more businesses. foreign investors.

The corporate real estate market is fulminating

JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle) – another US company specializing in real estate business and involved in Portugal in real estate transactions of more than 276 million euros in 2018 – estimated that 3.3 billion euros were invested in Lisbon stone in 2018, an increase of 74% over the previous year. This is almost equivalent to the amount of investments made in the rehabilitation and urban development of the cities of Lisbon and Porto between 2008 and 2014. The overwhelming majority of these investors are foreign (94%) and have mainly bought in 2018 commercial spaces to accommodate offices. JLL has also recorded a 26% increase in office space available in Lisbon in 2018 compared to 2017, or 210,000 square meters against 167,000 in 2017. The most expensive spaces are unsurprisingly on the market.Avenida da Liberdade and in the neighborhood of Baixa-Chiado. JLL chief executive, Pedro Lancastre, said the results reflected the strength of the industry and the buoyancy of the Portuguese economy, but cast a damper on the nature of the real estate offer: "Lisbon lacks large spaces, especially in large commercial areas and close to public transport". He also added that the real estate market was finally more balanced in Porto than Lisbon, that the offer was more diverse buyers had more different profiles than those who invested in the Portuguese capital.

House selling prices continue to rise

House prices continue to rise in Portugal. Data from the INE (National Institute of Statistics) indicate a 1.5% increase in the average price of housing sales in the third quarter of 2018. According to the INE, 57% of homes in Lisbon, Porto and Cascais have were bought by foreigners last year, mostly Brazilians (25%), English (13%) and French (11%). In Lisbon itself, it is the French investors who are since 2016 the first foreign buyers of real estate, ahead of the British, the Brazilians and the Chinese, preferring the decrepit buildings of the old districts of Lisbon to the Moroccan riads which had long their favors. It goes without saying that this wave of foreign investors has a direct impact on the rise in house prices, particularly in the Lisbon metropolitan area, the most expensive in the country – it took an average of € 2247 per square meter in 2018 and up to € 10,000 in some popular neighborhoods, such as the Chiado. In the third quarter of 2018, all Portuguese cities, almost without exception, with more than 100,000 inhabitants recorded an increase in housing prices. The activity of national buyers has also increased in Portugal, thanks to the improvement in economic conditions, since January 2019, the increase of the Portuguese SMIG while remaining one of the lowest in Europe has increased from 580 to 600 euros (1 ) but also to the increase in housing loans, even though banks currently require much more stringent guarantees than a few years ago. Pedro Lancastre predicts a slowdown in prices in 2019: "The supply is now more dynamic and diversified, which should balance prices this year and slow down at least their rise."

The hotel sector maintains its growth

Curiously, the hotel market does not seem to be saturated yet in Portugal, despite the significant number of hotels that have opened in recent years. Its growth margin still lies in the opening of new establishments but especially in the valuation of new destinations in the country and institutions already in place. JLL has announced six hotel asset transactions valued at approximately 200 million euros, as well as the opening of seven hotels in Lisbon, totaling more than 550 rooms. In 2019, the regions of Porto and Lisbon will receive the majority of hotel projects to promote and host tourism in Portugal. According to the newspaper Diário de Notícias44 new hotels are expected to open in 2019 in these two regions. In Lisbon, a well-known Lisbon building will soon be transformed into luxury hotels. Santa Apolónia (inaugurated in 1865) which has just been bought by the Portuguese group Sonae Capital for 12 million and should open by 2021 with four stars on the clock.
The Fado de la Mouraria School is also going to be auctioned soon, and some are already worried that it too will be transformed into a palace without knowing the origin of the capital.

This is, in fact, the risk that runs Lisbon by selling to the most bidding, whatever their projects, even losing the hand on its real estate heritage.

(1) – According to PORDATA, the average Portuguese salary is 943 euros.