How can it be that there were fewer houses sold in Portugal in 2020, but prices go up?
Let's try to answer this question by reflecting a little bit on what it is, and how the real estate market Portuguese. The truth that is told there are more houses for sale on the market, but as absurd as it may seem, they are still not enough to satisfy demand. This demand is fuelled by existing liquidity, negative rates and the savings of households. And while 2020 was a recession, national real estate grew in value, sold less, but with higher prices. Data released by the National Institute of Statistics confirm that there was a significant recovery in the summer. And as a result of this recovery in the summer of 2020, the price of real estate grew again to 8.4%, even taking into account the reduction in the amount of transactions by 5.3%. However, in response to this phenomenon the average value of the properties transacted was €151,000, which meant an average increase of 8.4% for each transaction. As a whole, €26.2 billion was recorded in real estate transactions, 2.4% more than in the previous year. Several national economists and fund managers explain this situation by continuing a financial environment favourable to real estate investment, with ample liquidity provided by financial institutions and households and also derived interest rates at minimum levels, which are reflected in a loss of capital of households rather than the growth of savings. Summing up the context that led to this somewhat surreal evolution, it remains that the national supply does not correspond in any way to demand, both nationally and internationally, for the property in Portuguese lands. Author: Paulo Lopes
Have you ever heard of Home Staging?
As promised, I'm back with a very fashionable topic in recent years, Home Staging. In a nutshell, Home Staging will not only help your property stand out, but it will also be a great tool to conquer a wider range of potential buyers. It consists of refurbishing a property prior to sale using a limited and reduced budget with the aim of selling faster and at the highest price. Normally, the amount invested in Home Staging should not exceed 1% of the sale value, but may vary between 0.5% and 4%. There is no fixed value for this type of intervention because it can vary according to the type of property. Initially I strongly advise you to enlist the help of a Decorator, Home Stager or Interior Architect to prepare a budget for you. In addition to advising you, they will accompany you throughout the process and can also give you some innovative and fun DIY (Do It Yourself) ideas. This way, you will be able to enhance the different areas of your property in a "Low Cost" way. Some of the tasks can be done by you or even with the help of friends or family (always under the supervision of the professional you have chosen to accompany you in this project). If you prefer to leave everything in the hands of the professionals remember that any expenses not foreseen in the initial Budget should be previously discussed. Attention, Home Staging should not be used to hide defects or imperfections of the property. Its goal is to enhance and standardize, in other words, depersonalize the space so that each visitor can imagine himself living in it. We can do this as follows: removing some of the furniture and rethinking its arrangement; highlighting room areas; harmonising colours and materials; working on the luminosity of the different spaces; implementing a more appealing and less personal decoration (which may appeal to a wider range of people). One of the key points of this type of work is renovation that focuses more on the kitchen and bathrooms. These are the rooms with the greatest impact on visitors and which may decide a sale. They are also the rooms that require the most attention and imply greater expense. The aim should be to modernise and get rid off any signs of mold or water damage. What are the advantages? Home Staging has been gaining followers internationally, not only because it makes the sale happen faster and at the best price, but also by offsetting the investment by generating more visitors and more potential buyers, avoiding a negotiation far below the value. I believe that in Portugal it will only be a matter of time for Home Staging to be sufficiently valued and understood so that it can finally become as popular here, as it is in the rest of the world. In the next article I would like to give you some tips on how small changes can give a new look to your home. Autor: Dalila Silva
The value of a customer profile
In our business we regularly use the expression "from people to people". We do not know its origin or authorship, but we recognise it as a motto for our profession. We bring this truth to life in the various branches of our work, whether it's a simple phone call, during a property visit, or simply the moment when a potential client first crosses our agency's door. When a client seeks our help in finding their new home, there is a whole range of information that we need to obtain. We must leave the client at ease and not invade him with our questions, being aware and knowing how to conduct this task, so often misunderstood by our interlocutor. Some of the most important aspects of the client profile are related to financial, personal and other more intimate information, such as dreams and emotional needs. Establishing an empathic and close relationship with the client is essential in this action, but it is also extremely necessary that the client understands that the more information he provides us with, the better we will do our job. There is no point in going on visits without first understanding what the person is looking for, how we can effectively help them, and even if there is financial capacity for that, avoiding disappointment. It is also our job to balance the dream and the need. They are not always compatible, but we can always offer alternatives. It is in this exchange of information and unique details that we, as real estate consultants, can make a difference in the market: we are more effective. We will certainly be one step closer to the final goal of those involved, while at the same time exponentially increasing the degree of customer satisfaction. In short, it is important to be the first to be aware of this need in order to know how to convey it. In an activity that is "from people to people", helping is only possible if we put into practice this ability to question, understand and guide, always focusing on the common goal: finding the perfect property. Good work and happy sales! Text: Lurdes Duarte Pictures: John Schnobrich; Kraken Images; Cytonn Photography (Unsplash)
How to increase the chances of selling your house
In my first article here on Casaiberia' Blog I decided to follow up on the post "Polishing and presenting! How will I sell my property!", written by Paulo. Since we are entering my universe, Interior Decoration, I would like to talk to you about some very important details to keep in mind when we decide to put a property up for sale, especially when it is the house we live in. As Paulo said, small repairs are, without any doubt, essential. Most of the time we can fix them ourselves without too much difficulty. If this is not the case, or if you are not sure what the real issue could be and how to solve it, call in professionals to prevent further damage and greater expense in the future. Avoid hiding major problems and talk about them openly with prospective buyers if you are unable to fix them. We all love our home - it is our nest that we have created little by little, surrounded by memories of moments, people and routines, which are reflected in objects we own such as photographs on the wall and pieces of decoration. But remember, what makes it our home may influence the buyer's ability to view the property as his: A potential buyer is looking for a space where they can build their own Home. My first piece of advice is to depersonalise your home as much as possible. Hide objects that are undoubtedly very important to you, but which will not have the same meaning to others. Buyers want to see the areas, so show the spaces and not the things you have there. It will be easier for the future buyer to project themselves into those spaces as their own. Take advantage if you have a basement, a garage or a separate space where you can store some furniture and objects that visually overload the spaces, or even consider selling or donating some of those objects? Nowadays there are several online platforms where you can do it in a simple and fast way. Keep your home clean and tidy, and open the windows before your visit to freshen up if it is a nice sunny day, and/or the curtains to let in the light. Be ready to answer some questions that prospective buyers may have regarding sun exposure and brightness of different spaces. I would also like to underline the fact that it is very important to know your house and know how to talk about it. You can do this with your Real Estate Agent so that he/she can also argue with the future buyers, or if you are present at the time of the visits answer for yourself. Show that you know the areas of each space, and don't hesitate to talk about improvements that you have made over time. Finally, if the occasion presents itself, do not hesitate to talk about moments that you have spent in your home such as "love to read a book by the fireplace" or "love to get together on Sunday as a family around the huge table in the dining room". If you are a couple with children, talk about the swing in the garden or the space you have for a pet. The aim is to create empathy as it adds value to the house (chimney = comfort, huge table = conviviality and space, swing=happy child, garden=happy dog). In the next article I will tell you more in detail about Home Staging (modernization and remodeling of spaces), what it consists of, and how to do it. With some investment, we can add value to your home (before selling, or after buying). Author: Dalila Silva
General guidance on the new residence permits for UK nationals under the Withdrawal Agreement by SEF and UK GOV
Portuguese Borders and Immigration Agency (SEF) and the British Embassy in Lisbon launch a joint information campaign The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) and the British Embassy in Lisbon have today launched a joint information campaign to remind UK nationals who are living in Portugal, or plan to by the end of the year, to register for residence if they have not already done so. UK nationals who live in Portugal and who intend to remain here after the end of the year, as well as those who, by 31 December 2020, arrive in Portugal with the intention to reside, should register with their local Town Hall (Câmara Municipal) to get their Certificate of Registration. Registration should be made so that UK nationals can demonstrate their rights are protected under the Withdrawal Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom. This includes the right to work, access healthcare, education, and benefits, after the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. Any residence documents already held by 31 December 2020 will continue to be accepted after the end of the transition period. More information will be available shortly on substituting current documents for new residence documents which state the holder’s status as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement What is the new residence Permit? The new residence permit will be issued to UK nationals residents in Portugal before 31 December 2020 and confirms their status as beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union. This new residence permit replaces the EU residence documents previously issued (Registration Certificates issued by the town halls and Certificates of Permanent Residence issued by SEF – Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service). The current residence EU documents will be accepted after 31 December 2020 and until the new residence permit is issued. After registering on this Portal and submitting the form, the UK nationals can download digital proof of their registration – a document, with a QR code – which can be printed and used when travelling to prove residence in Portugal. Who can apply? UK nationals who are living in Portugal before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, and UK minors who are family members of residents as set out in the Withdrawal Agreement. UK nationals who come to live in Portugal after 1 January 2021 may need to require a residence visa and should follow the relevant application process. Family members of UK nationals who are third country nationals must follow the usual process of renewing their residence card. When can I apply? If you already have a residence document from Portugal, you can register for a new residence permit now on this Portal. After January 2021, you will be asked to book an appointment to provide your biometric data (photo, signature and fingerprints) for your new residence permit. Appointments can be scheduled from 1 January 2021 onwards and will take place at a Town Hall (Câmara Municipal) that is offering this service near to of your residence area. What is the deadline for exchange? The registration to exchange you residence document on this Portal will be open until at least the end of June 2021. Thereafter you will need to schedule an appointment directly with SEF to exchange your residence documentation. Useful Links Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community 23/2007 Act covering the immigration rules for third country nationals Commission Implementing Decision of 21/02/2020 Fonte: SEF e Sul Informação
Skyscanner says the Algarve will be the most coveted European destination by British tourists for 2021
Skyscanner says the Algarve will be the most coveted European destination by British tourists for 2021 After vaccinations have begun in the UK against Covid-19, tourists from the 4 UK countries are already planning their 2021 holiday. The Algarve Region is the first choice of the majority and occupies the first place in the list of most sought after European destinations. According to a study published by the portal and travel company Skyscanner earlier this month, Faro is the European destination most desired by UK tourists. Following the start of the covid-19 vaccination campaign in the UK, her majesty's citizens have been revealing a growing interest in leaving the country in the spring and summer of 2021. As there was a 48% increase in interest within a week (2 and 9 November) in the number of searches conducted by the British for travel between 1 April and 31 August next year. Let there be faith! In view of the circumstances of the political current affairs between the United Kingdom and the European Union, resulting in a decrease in the value of the pound, and what is still predicted with a Brexit without a trade agreement. There is still a lot of water running through the Arade until next spring and next summer to draw conclusions. But they seem to us in a certain way good indicator for tourism and the Economy of the Algarve next year. Source: Jornal de Negócios
What should I pay attention to when buying a used property or renovating old buildings?
Old houses and flats are usually cheaper than new buildings but very often the most important things such as energy efficiency and living comfort are missing. These properties are also mostly located in long-established and naturally grown areas. In addition, the construction time is manageable, and the charm and price do the rest for it. The problem is that most old houses then have a charm, but the rooms are too small and too low, the energy efficiency is lacking, old pipes such as water and electricity and old bathrooms. Usually require significantly more repairs than initially thought and you were therefore also planning to increase the costs. How can I start this adventure in anticipation and better prepared? What do I have to do, and with whom should I consult before taking this step? An architect or civil engineer should look at the property in advance and prepare an expert opinion on what the building substance and any invisible costs can be incurred. For this, a short on-site and in advance assessment is usually sufficient, and a matter-of-fact discussion with the professional afterwards. Is it important that an old house or apartment energy is efficiently renovated? Yes, because it is always worth it. Since today every property must show an energy certificate at the time of sale, this question is also a question of the buyer's question, which he can also claim at the price negotiation. Here, too, you can call in a professional in advance to be sure what costs you can incur with insulation and other insulation measures such as new windows or air conditioning, for example. Funding is available for this purpose through the Portuguese Environmental Authority (Fundo Ambiental, Ministério do Ambiente) What about the purchase of a listed property? If we buy a listed building or property, it is important to note that all renovations must be coordinated with the appropriate authorities in advance. It should be noted that there are many requirements regarding the refurbishment, and these rarely leave room for interpretation. New windows and doors have to match the architecture and are mostly custom-made, but there are subsidies such as IFFRU ('REAS DE REABILITA'O URBANA - Portal da Habita'o (portaldahabitacao.pt)) The Portuguese Tax Office has also provided tax relief for owners and self-users. Author: Paulo Lopes
Porto and the Northern Region are in the sights of investors, and may be the fastest to return to normality after the pandemic!
The Portuguese Real Estate is in vogue for foreign investors, who are aiming now various areas of the country. Porto and the entire North region, however, have attractiveness rates sometimes better than those in the Center and South. According to the opinion of several real estate agents and real estate professionals, Porto and the North region have been able to capture in the last ten years more diversified investment and added value attracting talent to the region. Just this week was published a study of the University College of Engineering of Porto, which saw how from Aveiro to Viana do Castelo and Braga have been notorious in innovation and its investment. Thus, demonstrating how Porto and other cities are differentiated, thus also leveraging real estate demand in four indicators: macroeconomic; skills (know-how), good infrastructure and quality of life. Porto has had numerous foreign investment operations and job creation, well above the national average. If we go by the comparative numbers of the city of Porto with the city of Lisbon, the new construction per square meter (m2) is 3,500 euros in Porto and about 5,800 euros in Lisbon. The average gross yield is in the order of 5.9% in Porto and between 3.9% and 4.6% in Lisbon. With the crisis, the prospects created for 2020, has gone from upside down. Because they were on their way to be the best year with growth rates never seen before. But we must be realistic because the estimates for 2020 are far below the forecasts, with a reduction in demand and sales of homes, as could not be ignored given the circumstances of limiting mobility for all, both buyer and seller. However, we believe that by overcoming the pandemic, the recovery is at an accelerated pace and that a clear trend of growth will be seen and that it will fill the loss of recent months. Author: Paulo Lopes
Real estate markets: Lockdown and social distancing reinforce trends
Real estate markets: social distancing from mind The effects of covid19 on the real estate market differ. The office and the residential market is coming out of the crisis robustly, the retail sector has to fight. Where can all this go? Portugal's real estate market is still robust and has even seen some price increases in the summer, as various statistics show - but lockdowns and social distancing measures have triggered or intensified complex processes. Trends like home office or the digitalization of shopping are gaining momentum. This is also having an impact on the real estate market. The national property market has so far come through the crisis in good shape. The reasons for this are the continuing high demand for real estate from the Nacionals and abroad, the low number of existing properties and the restrained new construction activities in previous years. In our opinion, the further development of the real estate market is dependent on the structural changes that the Covid 19 crisis will highlight in the long term. Shutdown and social distancing measures have already triggered or intensified complex processes. Trends such as home office and online shopping, which have gained momentum as a result of the crisis, will lead to a reorientation in the residential, office and retail markets. Nevertheless, we are convinced that residential real estate will remain an attractive form of investment! This is what we conclude from the figures of the last weeks and months, as neither rents nor prices have collapsed on the housing market despite the pandemic. On the contrary: As already mentioned, prices for owner-occupied homes, condominiums and apartment buildings have risen more strongly in the first three quarters of 2020 than in the first nine months of 2019. We therefore assume that demand for residential space for owner-occupancy and as an investment will remain high. We could observe from the many articles in the last months that the importance of the own four walls by Covid-19 has increased significantly, also larger flats and houses are increasingly on the search list of investors. In addition, there is a historically low interest rate phase that will continue and the yield premium of residential real estate compared to other investment options is still very good. Author: Paulo Lopes
Budget allows to charge more IMI for construction land
An amendment to the Municipal Property Tax Code (IMI) is coming to bring into law an internal procedure of the Tax Authority (AT) which, according to the courts, was not correctly interpreted by AT but increased the tax value of the building land. When assessing the tax value (VPT) in 2021, the building land is always calculated using the location coefficient and the allocation for the valuation of the approved buildings that will be built in the future. In short, this is the result of a proposal to amend the State Budget (OE) for 2021, which has long adhered to the internal financial procedure, but which was considered wrong in court. The point is that the application of these new coefficients in favour of AT drastically reduces the final value of the building land and as such, the IMI to be paid by the owners. The proposed amendment to the OE was presented by the ruling party PS and was adopted with the positive votes of the PCP (Portuguese Communist Party) and the Liberal Initiative, against the votes of the PSD and the CDS-PP and abstentions of the other parties. In its explanatory memorandum, the Socialist Party justifies the amendment as implementing a method for determining the VPT of building land in order to avoid litigation with taxpayers and reduce the tax losses of local authorities. In practice, in its interpretation of the law, AT applied the two coefficients which integrate the VPT calculation formula: the location or position and the affect formula. The first coefficient relates to the location of the property and takes into account the services available in the area, the communication routes and the market value of the surrounding buildings; the second coefficient relates to the use of the buildings being constructed (residential, commercial, industrial). Thus, on the building plot, the land is valued, but also the building to be constructed on it, a percentage of which is attributed to the VPT of the plot. According to the consolidated Supreme Court (STA) jurisprudence, AT accepted this in July of this year and gave the services indications to recreate the formula for the valuation of the building land. This amendment, which will enter into force in 2021, now aims to use legislative means to achieve something that the State has lost by judicial means. This is because, contrary to what the STA case law said, the calculation coefficients doubled to the detriment of the taxpayer. This new table aims to amend the text so that AT can again calculate the VPT of the land, as it did before the judicial decisions in favour of the municipalities. In the meantime, experts admit that there will be a wave of urgent requests for reassessment in order to still use the tax procedure in force and in force after the STA decision. This is because the decisive point is the date of registration of the notification, which means that the interpretation of the law will apply to the current date and not to the new date, which will not come into force until 1 January. Source: jornal de negócios Source: business newspaper
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