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People, prices and tourism: investors head to Porto
19 November 2019 | Ana Tavares

The competitive costs, the human resources, accommodation and tourism keep attracting international investors towards Porto, where they find a thriving developing city.

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This was one of the main conclusions of the latest Porto Urban Renewal Week (Semana da Reabilitação Urbana do Porto), which took place last Friday under the motto «Os investidores à descoberta do Porto!» (Investors discover Porto!), co-organized by Vida Imobiliária and CBRE.

Porto currently has a new dynamic to attract investment and notoriety. Cristina Arouca, in charge of Research at CBRE, contextualized that around 200 million euro were already invested in commercial real estate in Porto this year, and more operations are expected to be concluded until the end of next month. The office segment alone had more than 120 million euro invested, the highest number ever. With no surprise, 85% of investment comes from abroad. Luís Mesquita, also from CBRE, believes that «investment will keep increasing» in particular in the segments «which offer beds».

An example of that is NIPA Capital. Patrick Grasso explained that «the qualified talent and prices are attractive and were the macroeconomic factors that brought us to Porto, where we have been investing for a year. The quality of living is also very important». Alexandre Mansour, from Optylon, found in Porto «growing tourism, hospitality, culture, it was a mix of factors that weighed in when it came to invest in Porto».

The time to invest «massively» in housing

Despite (and due) to the great demand, there is still not enough housing offer in Porto, a problem that both the public and private sectors ought to solve together. And there are those who believe that «the moment has come to invest massively in housing for the middle class».

That is the case of Rui Ávila, administrator at Grupo Ferreira, who defends that the «best use» «points towards housing and not so much to the hotel segment». Armando Lacerda Queiroz, from Finangeste, also says he believes «in the rental market for all ages», but that the current prices «are a challenge to offering rents people can afford to pay». Manuel Puerta da Costa, Board Member at BPI Gestão de Ativos, recalls that «the offer will not just appear out of thin air, we have to work together».

«Our role is to create the administrative conditions so that investors manage to install themselves in the city», stated Ricardo Valente, councilman for the Economy, Tourism and Commerce at the Porto City Hall. That is the reason why the municipality is focused on creating a new Plano Diretor Municipal (Municipal Director Plan). «We want to end the city’s densification constraints»

Henrique Carvalho da Silva, from Clip Hotel, alerted towards the bureaucratic issues which obstruct the processes «stop investments from moving forward», namely the mid-sized projects. But he believes that Porto «will keep growing».