For two decades there was no adequate policy to the problem of housing in Portugal, and for those who know the history of the country this policy has been running since April 25, 1974.
Today's challenges are many such as environmental sustainability, construction prices, new technologies and chronic supply shortages.
All this increases the cost of new construction and the lack of streamlining of licensing, as well as the tax burden and the more difficult conditions for housing credit.
Seeing the measures that have recently been put forward by the Government under the 'More Housing' program, I reserve some doubts as to whether the mechanisms chosen will work in practice.
Because the current problems in housing prices in Portugal are due to the lack of construction and licensing of the same in the last 14 years. And due to the housing laws promoted by the ruling parties.
Because as soon as there is a supply of enough houses, prices remain affordable to wages. On the other hand, we cannot require house prices to remain low when the offer for sale is on a rental basis. They are scarce at a time when immigration, technology hubs, tourism, digital nomads, and many others have brought more population to Portugal.
That is why there is an urgent need for new construction as soon as possible, with innovative technology, less dependent on labor and conventional techniques. This increase in supply would be important to boost the real estate market in Portugal. And with that there will be further stabilization of housing prices.
Finally, to remind policy makers that it is necessary to think about housing needs several years in advance, to achieve a new vision on this matter so decisive in the development of the country.
Author: Paulo Lopes