The director general of the consultancy JLL Portugal considers that the pandemic prevented the real estate sector from reaching a new high this year, but it will still be the third best year ever in terms of transaction volume.
“Until the pandemic came, we estimated that  it would once again be the best year in all real estate sectors. What it would be another historic year”, Said Pedro Lancastre, in an interview with Lusa, noting that, despite the current situation, 2020“ will be the third best year ”after 2018 and 2019 in terms of volume traded.
In this context, the official refers to the estimates that point to the commercial real estate reaching 2.7 billion euros in properties traded in 2020 and that the transactions involving the residential segment reach 23 billion euros. In 2019, these segments registered 3.2 billion and 25 billion euros, respectively, in terms of traded properties.
Outlook for the coming year
Looking at 2021, Pedro Lancastre says that portfolio business and signs of recovery that started to feel since the second quarter of this year, after the fall observed in the second quarter, indicate that the next year may exceed the results of 2020.
“Portugal may even be one of the winners in terms of real estate in 2021 and following years ”because it is increasingly“ a country where people want to live, work and study ”. But for this to happen, he needs, “signals that there is a kind of ‘green way’ for investors to settle here” must be given, that is, stability.
In this context, it points to ‘gold visas’ and the need to maintain the regime without the changes signaled in the legislative authorization included in the State Budget for 2020.
Price impact of Covid-19
On the price side, and after easing the upward trend that had already begun to be observed, the pandemic came to impose a stabilization.
“In the most difficult times prices tend to stabilize and that is what is happening”, says the head of JLL in Portugal, who admits that “from now on” there may be “a downward correction, but not in the centers of the main cities”.
Where this downward correction can take place and also reach the centers of the main cities is in the housing lease, because the houses previously reserved for local accommodation are now available for longer term rentals.
Even so, believes it will be a momentary situation, which will end as soon as the pandemic allows the tourist movement to return to its normal pace.
Effects of the crisis on other segments
Stability was also what happened at the level of commercial real estate (segment including shopping centers, offices or hotels) and is also what the person responsible for JLL foresees for the coming times. “If there is pressure to go down, it will be without more peripheral areas or in secondary cities”, he details.
despite the telework become the rule for many workers, Pedro Lancastre considers that such will have no effect on the dynamics commercial real estate. “Working at home is a counter contract. The offices are work spaces and will not be replaced ”, he adds to add that the design and concept of the office will certainly change, but the physical office will continue to exist.
In terms of future trends, Pedro Lancastre also underlines the growing bet and concern with sustainability, especially in terms of new construction.