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Real Estate investment in Portugal trebled during the 1st quarter
04 May 2020 | Ana Tavares

Commercial real estate investment in Portugal practically trebled during this year’s first quarter when compared to the same period last year, for a total 1.470 million euro.

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This is the highlight from JLL’s Market Pulse, issued last week, according to which the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic in March did not affect the quarterly numbers.

During this period, several operations, which were already at advanced negotiation stages by the time the virus hit Europe, were concluded. Retail had a 55% share of all real estate investment, the hotel segment had a 26% share, with the sale of 50% of Sierra Prime’s shares of a 6 shopping centre portfolio and the sale of Hotéis Real Group’s portfolio, standing out.

The office segment represented 17% of all investment, with the spotlight going to the sale of the 52.000 sqm PREOF’s portfolio.

Pedro Lancastre, general manager at JLL Portugal, explained that «the real estate market started the year with such vigour that the activity lockdown which took place on the last 15 days of March due to the pandemic, did not impact the quarter’s positive performance. This is a positive indicator for the post-Covid-19 recovery, which we believe will start during the third or, at the limit, during the fourth quarter».

On the other hand, he warned that «we must be aware of the as of yet unfelt consequences of the current situation. It is undeniable that the coming months will have significant slowdowns in terms of both investment and occupancy, as well as new deals. At the same time, the sector will have to face new challenges which will demand adaptation from the market. Such is the case of remote working, which imposed itself disruptively due to the pandemic, but which is certainly a trend which will affect the future of the real estate. The greater use of technology and digital channels in real estate sales has also come to stay ».

During this period, office occupancy increased 7%. The note is also positive in terms of housing. Considering the universe of sales carried out by JLL, the trend is for robust growth, according to the consultant. Retail also registered good levels of activity during the first quarter.

Pedro Lancastre finished by saying that «even in times like these so adverse and of global lockdown, we have the feedback from investors and buyers, both domestic and foreign, who maintain a high interest in the Portuguese market. They are aware that we are going through a complex situation, but they see it as temporary, besides which, it is something that affects the whole world. It is not exclusive to our country».

He is convinced that «investment will return and business will recover in the second half of the year. Portugal tread a solid path in terms of international positioning during the last decade, which will not be annulled by this virus».