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Licencing is currently real estate investments’ greatest challenge
16 October 2019 | Ana Tavares

Real estate developers and investors operating in Portugal have identified, without hesitation, the delay in licensing processes as the main challenge to their activity, in a market that is healthy and has a growing demand.

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This was one of the main conclusions of SIL’s Investment Pro conference, which took place on the 10th of October, as part of SIL – Salão Imobiliário de Portugal (Portugal Real Estate Fair) – , co-organized with APPII, aiming at centring the debate on investment in Portugal and bringing «new faces and new players to SIL», stated Hugo Santos Ferreira, executive vice-president at APPII at the event.

In a debate moderated by António Gil Machado, from IP, under the motto «The greatest challenges for national investors», the participants agreed that bureaucratic issues are the ones which cause the most delays and most affect decision taking.

Jose António Martín Borregón, from Arcano Partners, believes that «stability in regulation is the key element for investment in Portugal», and that the greatest challenges are «liquidity traps» and licensing.

«Licensing can be distressing and it forces us to be careful», stated Claude Kandiyoti, from Belgian Krest RE Investments, a company which is betting strongly in creating housing offer for the national market, with several big projects on its plans. He stated that the bureaucratic systems «need to be reformed in Portugal», and that «we need to be conservative, and look carefully at the prices’ increase».

Pedro Silveira, from Grupo SIL, shared that «the problems foreign investors face are the same as ours, namely licensing». William Tonnard, from Optylon Krea, also identified licensing as the most obvious obstacle to the company’s activity, which is mainly the short-term rentals market. «Stability is crucial for us to keep investing».

In agreement with this question and anticipating the debate for the coming years, Filipa Abreu Teixeira, from Vanguard Properties, stated that «the quality of the products will be much more determinant» in a future where there will be «much more new construction. Portugal was forgotten for too long. The market’s fundamentals changed in terms of structure, and that created new opportunities», stated Claude Kandiyoti.

Good news for retail real estate

Prospects are also positive for retail real estate. Nelson Rego, from Prime Yield, highlighted, during his presentation, that Portugal remains a very competitive country, namely in the office segment, being the country where you can rent the most area for 3.000 euro per sqm, for example.

On the other hand, there is land available to develop new logistic projects, street commerce is more attractive and there is also more interest in the hotel sector. These are «very good news concerning investment, which should surpass 1.000 million euro (in this segment alone) until the end of the year».