Smart Offices and Digital Real Estate "The Future Is at the door and how should we do it?"
The digital era is also considered as the way to the future in Real Estate. Though what does it mean in practical terms? What are advantages and opportunities brought to real estate by the digital era? With the digitalisation of buildings, it can improve livelihood as they will better know the individual needs of each user. The management of the building becomes easier and the CO2 emissions are reduced significantly. The return of the investment in Real Estate will increase and our daily life will become more pleasing. Firstly, we require to create a common knowledge of hat digitalisation is capable in the real estate sector. What types of digitalisation exist? It all depends on the different points of view, perspectives and interests that are requirements to digitalisation. A group with a major real estate portfolio has a completely different uptake of digitalisation then a projects promoter. The different perspectives on the subject need to be worked on and discussed so that the interested parties may be on the wavelength. In the future the smart buildings may be used in a different way through software updates or any other ways that may be adequate for users. Digitalisation may be beneficial for asset and property management, as well as installation management. The architects must be conscious of these possibilities and assess their clients’ interests. Above all, the smart buildings can be used in a more flexible way, but there may be problems. The devil in the detail. E.g.: The problem of a magnetic coating, that is characterised by its ability to avoid the passage of radio waves, is that it will also impeach the digital reception in that part of the building. This measure is though feasible to be applied if we consider safety measurements, having to reconsider the reinstallation of Telecomms as part of that measure. After installation of such measure smartphones’ reception would be broken and new installations would be required to enable communication with the exterior world. What are the greatest challenges for architects in digitalisation? To start off with the DPGR sets off alarms as smart buildings will collect data including those from its users. Who knows to which point and way that type of data collection is legal? I think that presently that there is still a lot of grey areas and lack of information and comprehension in the real estate market and its promotion. The know –how is also sought when we consider safety: What does cybernetic safety mean for wireless networks? It is necessary to start creating legislation and knowledge around this matter, as the future is around the corner and there is an increasing requirement due to the natural demand for innovation and, naturally, a growing demand for smart buildings and communicators with the exterior world, such as for mobility in urban city centres. We are not just speaking of new buildings, but a giant stock of real estate that will be digitalised gradually in the future. Smart buildings are more costly, but they are worth the investment, there will be return on investment Only 2.5 to 5% of total construction costs are directed towards digitalisation. And the expectations on ROI rise due to demand and offer relations. To these reasons we can add the benefits of optimised efficiency and therefore there is a great potential in savings to be explored by digitalisation. There are other new possibilities that will influence companies as well, e.g.: a company that has 10000 employees but can only offer 1000 parking spaces. In the past this would not be feasible or considered feasible! Though now it is possible with a mobility integrated programme and a parking solution with offers for car share, then this would be possible to overcome. In summary we cannot forget that both you working place and your home have direct or indirect consequences in nature. Considering new behaviours and new ways of living of each and every one and their concerns for nature, we cannot put aside that everyone needs to minimise the carbon footprint, adding smart buildings to this aim.
The European strategy for hydrogen and the role of Portugal in this coming energy change!
The clean hydrogen is gaining way in the European scenery: The European Commission (EU) has a new strategy which defines much more ambitious targets and has created na alliance which will lead its implementation. EU’s forecasts that accumulated investments in renewable Hydrogen may reach between 180 e 470 billion euros in Europe by 2050. In parallel the creation of infrastructures around the industry that will service various production sectors and other end use solutions, may employ, directly or indirectly up to a million people. Brussels states that, according to analysts, clean hydrogen may serve 24% of the worldwide energy demand by 2050, with annual sales of circa 630 billion euros. The European Clean Hydrogen Alliance will define the strategy, counting with representatives of the member states, the industry and the civil society, as 75% of emissions in the European Union result from energy processes. The commission has promised to support the installation of 6 gigawatts of electrolysers, a type of equipment deemed necessary to the production of renewable Hydrogen. The aim, when speaking of these electrolysers is 40 gigawatts and, in what concerns production, targets are set at 10milion tons of hydrogen. The Portuguese Government wants to make available 400 million euros by 2030 towards clean Hydrogen! This year there will be set aside 40 million euros to finance projects in the field of Clean Hydrogen, aiming to repeat such initiatives in the same amount up until 2030. In this way, Portugal, as a member of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, wants to produce large quantities of clean hydrogen in a competitive way and with an important role in the emerging Hydrogen Industry aligned with an industrialisation strategy. The points in favour of Portugal are: geographical strategic location; solar and wind energy resources; the harbour in Sines and the Harbour in Leixões (Porto) that enable export of goods or gross product to the main markets in Northern Europe and across the Atlantic. In the core of this Alliance is also Marc Rechter, CEO of Resilient Group, who sees Portugal as a favourable location to advance with new projects in this sector, namely in what concerns Sines. In: Jornal de Negócios Image: fuelcellworks
Pandemic suspends review of Council tax coefficients
The proposal with the new values for location coefficients for Council tax purposes has been completed and has been sent to the Revenue Department, but the process has been suspended since the beginning of the pandemic and there is no schedule for starting over. Values for Lisbon should rise. The revision of the location coefficients for Council tax purposes, which should have been completed in 2019, remains stalled, following the pandemic and with no date for resuming activities, as ascertained by Jornal Negócios. These coefficients, which are used to determine the tax asset value (VPT) of the buildings and, consequently to ascertain the council tax band payable following the evaluations, have already been reviewed by the evaluating experts of the Revenue services. However, they were not validated and published by the Treasury, who have the last word. Figures pointed to increases The review by the experts and which CNAPU sent to the Revenue at the end of 2019 pointed to substantial increases in coefficients, especially in large urban centers, as the Jornal Negócios then reported. Compared to the maps now in force, practically the entire city of Lisbon recorded increases: throughout the riverside area – especially the Expo area – in Baixa and Avenidas Novas, Campo de Ourique or Telheiras, just to give some examples that not only saw increases but were approaching or were already at the maximum level of the coefficient (between 0.4 and 3.5). In Porto there were also rises, but less expressive, particularly in the area of Foz, Hospital de São João or Gaia, on the South side of the river. The location coefficient reflects variables such as accessibility, proximity to social facilities, transportation services or areas of high real estate market value. This raises the question of whether values have to be re-revalued now that the housing market suffering the effects of the crisis. What dividing into areas means and what is it for? For the setting of the location coefficients used in the definition of the tax asset value of the buildings, the territory is divided into as equivalent areas as possible taking into account a set of criteria. The higher it is, the more it will influence the real estate VPT and, consequently, the council tax to pay on an annual basis. These coefficients are periodically revised to reflect the changes that are taking place in urban centres and the evolution of the real estate market. Fiscal measures for the ride of the pandemic At the beginning of the pandemic, the Government soon launched some tax relief measures for the immediate time. The supplementary budget proposal brings more and longer lasting changes in time. Source: Jornal de Negócios (28-06-2020) Picture: Bruno /Germany by Pixabay
Co-Living resists the pandemic
Lisbon and Porto were the two European cities with the greatest potential for shared rental demand — the concept of co-living — according to a study by JLL published at the end of 2019. In the eyes of international investors Portugal is a market of opportunities. And now, seven months later, many of the projects have not undergone any change in either interest or development, which for us is an excellent sign for our real estate and international investment market in our country. Uhub, as an example and considered one of the largest brands for students’ halls in Europe, has one of its largest units, located in Lisbon near Colombo Shopping Centre with 340 rooms, gymnasium, social rooms and study rooms, which is about to be completed. This market is somewhat uncertain about its future, even universities do not have their schedules set. Receiving international students as and when it is unknown, though with two more residences in Lisbon, and one in Porto, under construction, which will have nearly 500 rooms, these entrepreneurs do not get carried away by pessimism and rather believe in the market in Portugal which is another excellent sign for us. Smart Studios Carcavelos was one of the most recent to open its activity and made available to the rental market 301 studios and co-living spaces, aimed at students, teachers and young professionals. And aims to put more than 2700 studios on the market by 2025. In Europe there are already 23,500 beds between projects already built or under development. Co-living is a very recent reality in the world, and even more so in Portugal. Though its flexible concept to interchange the buildings to adapt to new realities, and start time and cost are reduced, is, in a way, a product that has its future guaranteed in the national and international real estate market. Currently, there are several projects under development that come from this concept to find alternative residential solutions. As the end of the pandemic is still in the stars, it will be the recovery time that will dictate the success of this business, and the target audience are the digital nomads, who due to the pandemic have retired to confinement in their home countries. The future of co-living will depend a lot on what will happen in the coming months in terms of vaccines and medicines against Covid-19, and whether Lisbon and Porto remain on the route of digital nomads, international students, and self-employed workers, who settle for a short time, usually in shared rental spaces. Before the pandemic, JLL estimated a potential demand that could "reach 16,000 to 18,000 beds in Lisbon and Porto, that is, 25 times more than the current pipeline. Probably the digital nomads will spend more time in a country, maybe six to eight months. Investors and us at Casaiberia will keep an eye on these changes! Source: Jornal Expresso Picture: nathsegato by Pixabay
Residential Real Estate and Covid-19: How Homeowners Can Breathe A Sigh of Relief
It would have been hard to imagine that a virus would affect half the world a few months ago, and that it would still cause incalculable financial losses in almost every sector of the economy. But we want to know how Covid-19 will affect the residential real estate industry, and what should homeowners take into consideration here onwards. Due to the exceptional pandemic situation, the number of people talking and anticipating a drop in residential property prices is increasing from week to week. There is no doubt that the current crisis is already having its impact on the residential real estate market in Portugal. Much because of current and expected economic uncertainties, some potential buyers are unwilling to burden themselves with a real estate investment. Housing credits will have more valuation requirements than before, and many sellers will wait for better times to sell their properties. It is necessary to inform all players in the real estate market in Portugal that "the so-called housing bubble" does not exist. And that said bubble is not about to burst, nor will residential real estate suddenly lose its value. But what is important to know is that the opposite may turn out to be the case! The Coronavirus’ crisis has made many see how important it is for our home to be a space that is much more than just sleeping ground, it has become our castle. Staying in a private space of our own, with due social distancing and living conditions different from those that were important to us before this pandemic. People want to get back to having a beautiful, spacious, safe home that belongs to them. Demand for residential real estate and its prices are more likely to increase, given the emotional factors. So home owners can breathe a sigh of relief and be more relaxed at this time. There have already been several international studies, such as a study in the German market by Hausgold that goes hand in hand with our thoughts, the german residential market like our own has been rising in price in recent years. 39% of all respondents confirm that the competence of real estate agents is particularly appreciated at this time. A regional real estate specialist can competently answer questions on the topics of selling and buying and thus settle client’s uncertainties and concerns. The professional capacity of real estate agents at this stage of the race is crucial, and we at Casaibéria bet on the defense of prices since nothing has changed in the intention of potential buyers, nor in the costs of construction and acquisition of land before and after the health crisis of Covid-19. We are therefore convinced that only good training and sensible response can help our customers, both buyers and sellers. We will not enter a race of discounts just to follow the opinion of said "experts" who live from crystal ball divination, and who lack a broader view of the subject and the national and international real estate industry. I want to underline three ideas! 1- The real estate market will see a sharp drop in indicators of economic activity. The current recession resembles to a “football match break” in economic activity and should be interpreted and managed as such. 2- The fact that Portugal, from the point of view of attracting international investment, has added health security to its already very good and positive features, which will help us to leverage our recovery. 3- Portugal is still in fashion, and international investment is still interested in investing in our country, this will create new jobs. Employment that brings financial well-being and the one that leads to families to buying their own permanent residence again. Text: Paulo Lopes Picture: Martine Auvray by Pixabay
Portugal less than one percentage point away from reaching its target for renewable energy!
The share of the cake in renewable energy of all the energy consumed by the European Union has risen to 18%. According to Eurostat, in Portugal that slice is at 30.3%, less than one point from the target. Of all the energy consumed in the European Union in 2018, 18% came from renewable sources, 0.5 percentage points more than in the previous year. In Portugal, the share of renewable energy in the total cake stood at 30.3%, less than one percentage point from the target set for 2020 by the Executive. It should be noted that the community target was to have 20% of energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. By 2030, the European Union wants to see this share increase to 32%. By 2018, 12 of the 28 Member States had already achieved their national targets: Bulgaria (achieved a share of 20.5% when the target was 16%), the Czech Republic (achieved a share of 15.1% when the target was 13%), Denmark (achieved a share of 36.1% when the target was 30%), Estonia (achieved a share of 30% when the target was 25%), Greece (18%), Croatia (achieved a share of 28% when the target was 20%), Italy (achieved a share of 17, 8%, when the target was 17%), Latvia (reached a slice of 40.3%, when the target was 40%), Lithuania (reached a slice of 24.4%, when the target was 23%), Cyprus (reached a slice of 13.9%, when the target was 13%), Finland (reached a slice of 41.2%, when the target was 38%), and Sweden (reached a slice of 54.6%, when the target was 49%). In addition, four other European countries were within one percentage point of their national targets, namely Portugal. According to Eurostat, the Netherlands (6.6 percentage points), France (6.4 percentage points), Ireland (4.9 percentage points), the United Kingdom (4 percentage points) and Slovenia (3.9 percentage points) were the furthest from its target. According to data also published by Eurostat this Thursday, 8% of the energy used to power transport in the European Union came from renewable sources in 2018. Sweden has established itself as the European country with the largest share of renewable energy in the transport sector (29.7%), followed by Finland (14.1%), Austria (9.8%) and the Netherlands (9.6%). Portugal managed to secure sixth place in the European table, with a share of renewables of 9.04%. Source: https://eco.sapo.pt/2020/01/23/portugal-a-menos-de-um-ponto-percentual-de-atingir-meta-para-energia-renovavel/ Picture: Free-Photos by Pixabay
Brits, Germans or French… who visits Portugal the most?
The numbers of tourists coming to Portugal keeps increasing as the British take the lead on being the nationality who visited more the country. They are, then, followed by the Germans and the French. A reciprocal relation, one might say, as topping the Portuguese most visited destinations are France and Germany, despite Spain still being the most visited. According to Eurostat, 14% of the tourists visiting Portugal come from the United Kingdom, spending an average of 75 euros per night and staying an average of 9 nights. Following the British, we find Germans taking second place (9.3%). German tourists in Portugal spend an average of 104€ per night and stay an average of 10 night in the country. The third in the podium are the French (7.2%), staying an average of 9 days and spend an average of 103 euros per night. In a lesser number, the Spanish come also visiting Portugal, despite preferring France and Morroco. 1.5% of the Spaniards chose the neighbouring country as their holiday destination, spending an average of 99 euros per night and staying an average of 5 nights. Source: Lusa
7 real estate trends: 2020 and beyond
Influenced by a multitude of factors and operating in regular cycles, the real estate sector has always been one of the most dynamic, but in recent years the changes have become progressively dramatic with the next decade poised for an even more significant transformation. Two decades ago, the way to recognise agents’ success and the service given to customers was through being an experts in their local market. Nowadays the simple understanding of your own market is no longer enough; it is also essential to be on par with current and emerging and ever-changing global trends in order to maintain the advantage of an increasingly competitive market. Hence we believe that the key global trends that real estate professionals need to know to stay on top are: 1. Urban sprawl and growth of second-tier cities Growth of existing cities is likely to be more prevalent in emerging economies, notably Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. In developed economies, we will see significant growth in medium sized or second-tier cities, as the continued increase in prices in the top-tier cities forces more people to seek better value for themselves. 2. Changes in government policies and economic growth Government policy and economic growth are key factors, but its local implementation has been especially significant in recent years, with a number of proposals for changing policies related to the environment and economic change and slowdown around it. Notable changes to property tax laws are also included in this section. While we have little control over political and economic decisions, an in-depth understanding of them will allow us to plan a better strategy to protect ourselves and our customers. 3. Demographic change With life expectancy now higher than ever, the overall share of people over 60 is expected to exceed that of people under 15 by 2050. They are also more active at this age than previous generations and consequently will have very different property requirements, which will have a remarkable impact on industry, especially in more developed countries. 4. Millennial market share Home buying by the millennial generation is expected to peak next year, then this generation will represent the largest market share for the next decade. Not only will their first home aspirations boost prices for single-family homes in many markets, but their unique lifestyle needs will continue to change many aspects of the real estate industry. 5. Alternative life Cohabitation, especially in the most expensive cities, is increasing. This is also becoming more common in the workplace, with a report published by WeWork in October last year revealing that in London co-working is rapidly becoming an established trend, with 17% of offices now on a flexible basis. 6. New technologies It has been known for some years that smart home technology is considered the "next most important thing", it is already common both in renovations and new constructions, that many homes are already managed by Alexa or Siri. The new watchword over the next decade is expected to be "affordable homes" and both property developers and investors will be forced to consider the growing smart home robotics industry, which includes features and appliances such as vacuum cleaners and mobile assistant robots. 7. Green is still the new green Sustainability is becoming increasingly challenging and this is unlikely to change given the projection that by 2050 the world will need 50% more energy, 40% more water and 35% more food to sustain the growing population. It is therefore imperative that the design of all new properties is based on "green" or ecological principles, including renewable energy technologies and waste reduction. We summarize thus that real estate was already subject to an expansive number of external influences such as interest rates, house prices and other economic trends. Now having to take into account a varied number of new emerging trends may seem scary, but it shouldn't be. This is a challenge for all of us who work in this business, and it only scares those who are not interested in the need of their client. But as the Greek philosopher Socrates has said; 'The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on the fight against the old, but on building the new.'" Text: Paulo Lopes Picture: Quinn Kampschroer by Pixabay
UK housing market enjoys rapid recovery 1 month after the end of covid-19 lockdown
International real estate consultancy Knight Frank reported last week in a press release that home buying offers are being accepted at record rates in uk property markets as the traction returns and price pressure slows down in the first month since market lockdown measures were lifted. The number of offers accepted outside the capital was the highest ever on week ending 6 June, up 52% compared to the average for the past five years. In London, the figure was 34% above the average for the past five years and the third highest weekly figure in 2020. Restrictions on property transactions in the UK were lifted on 13 May, after an eight-week period in which physical viewings stopped and demand remained silent. As the UK came out of the lockdown and the impact on the labour market was becoming clearer, the housing market and its performance improved. The number of new potential buyers continues to increase. For markets outside London, the figure was the highest since May 2018 and was 14% above the five-year average. In London, the figure was 54% higher than the average of the last five years, but lower than the levels recorded earlier this year when the post-election bounce had an impact. The price is reason that markets outside the capital are currently hitting record highs. Reflecting that, prices outside London have been more realistic for a longer period and are therefore now showing more resilience. House prices outside the capital peaked in the third quarter of 2007, however they remain below this high point and growth has been moderate in recent years. Meanwhile, London prices are now between 20% and 40% above the peak of the pre-financial crisis of 2007, as shown in the chart below. This price differential has been coupled with a trend for more buyers to seek outdoor space. While virtual viewings for properties in London were 13% below the five-year average in the week ending 6 June, outside London there was a 13% increase. Relatively tight supply levels have also put a brake on price pressure in the first month since the housing market reopened, but more equilibrium is expected to return in the coming months. https://www.worldpropertyjournal.com/real-estate-news/united-kingdom/london-real-estate-news/london-real-estate-news-knight-frank-2020-london-property-market-report-covid-19-impact-on-london-property-sales-damian-gray-shaun-hobbs-11989.php Text: Paulo Lopes
Real Estate - What is the strength of Real Estate compared to other forms of investment?
The sharp drop in the stock market in February-March has shown that the real estate asset can continue to be a safe haven. The lower profitability of real estate also mitigates any immediate impact on prices, since it manifests itself in existing ones, which are much more volatile. An investment in real estate is never made to last only one year, but in most investments, a form of capital investment that yields long-term returns, sometimes during twenty or more. We recall that between the last crisis of 2008 and the present one only twelve years have passed, and that even if the properties will suffer some decrease in price we still have 8 years to recover! The certainty of historically low key interest rates, thanks to the European Central Bank (ECB), is also a supporting factor. The rates of housing credit in Portugal take into account that of Treasury bonds (the 10-year OAT), which remains close to 0.5 %. Then there will be strength and capacity for a brief recovery. The weekly newspaper Expresso published on 23 May, in a major article, stated that the residential heritage of families had not stopped increasing since the 2011/2013 crisis. And that its acceleration was particularly evident in 2018 and 2019, having risen by almost 19% in the last two years. These data come from the annual series of household wealth recently updated by Banco de Portugal. These make it possible to assess, at market prices, the wealth held in housing and adjacent land by households resident in the country. The turnover rate of the residential market in Portugal has remained constant in recent years, excluding the 2008 crisis phase. It has also been seen that private wealth in Portugal at the end of the 1980s was 70% and now no longer accounts for 50%. However, new factors have emerged and long-term leasing will grow, a natural consequence of which will be more real estate transactions for this purpose. The rate will persist in the long term, even with the impact of a fall resulting from two months of inactivity. With a forced confinement for more than two months, the housing needs of households remain unchanged. In any case, the price inflation, feared at the beginning of the year, will be avoided! Coronavirus has calmed the residential market. Buyers will probably put themselves in a position of weighting, sellers who are not in a hurry will be tempted to withdraw their property from the sale. A drop of 10 to 20% in prices may come about, above all and especially in compulsory sales caused by divorces, inheritances, reinforcement of equity capital and financial liabilities such as credits. A faster recovery of the housing market after the crisis is also possible if the stock market remains volatile and buyers feel they can buy at more attractive prices than in early 2020. The big unknown here remains the real behaviour of banks in designing credits, despite the clear incentives of the ECB. The new function of real estate has expanded and gained even more significance in the face of the health crisis. Remembering the popular saying "Better a bird in the hand than two in the bush", meaning that with the instability of the stock market real estate investment has always been safer than the promises of brokers, and thus a safe haven for my capital. It may also have the function of a retirement savings account applied to real estate and real estate funds, as they have been the most resilient during the health crisis, and whose effect, compared to stock market-based funds, is even stronger than before. Being aware that money is protected by acquiring and maintaining property, and also having a comfortable home that provides physical protection, especially against the virus, makes us understand that the idea of a property has been reinforced. Thanks to teleworking, a cottage less than two hours from your place of professional activity can also become an office, a balance between pleasure and daily work. Our starting point as a Casaiberia company will be the preparation for the reinforcement of sales from September onwards, when we believe in a significant resumption of activity, and take advantage of the summer period to quantify the magnitude of the consequences of the crisis, leaving behind the issue of the temporary reduction of prices, as time remains timely. Text: Paulo Lopes Picture: Jason Goh by Pixabay
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