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Lisbon City Council Discusses Possible Allotment in Former Barros Factory
16 January 2019 The Lisbon City Council is discussing the possibility of approving an allotment on the grounds of the former Barros factory, in the parish of Olivais. The new allotment would comprise 13 lots, including 249 dwellings, with areas for commerce, services and parks. The request for licensing the allotment, submitted by UPI Parque Oriente - the Portuguese arm of the Union of Partenaires pour l'Investissement (UPI), includes 13 new buildings with a maximum height of 28 meters and a total area of more than 27,000 m2. The land would also include 8,370 m2 of area for services, 5,160 m2 for retail and 2,136 m2 for other facilities. A two-floor, underground parking lot with 480 private parking spaces and 362 public places is in the proposal, along with 708 meters for public parks. A city councillor, Manuel Salgado (PS), submitted the proposal, which the municipal executive will discuss at a meeting on Thursday. According to the proposal, the urban planning operation is "subject to the payment of urban planning compensation in cash, due to the lack of a concession to the public domain, and delivery to the municipality is expected as compensation in kind to be deducted from the amount paid, and in the terms of evaluation of the Municipal Direction of Patrimonial Management, of lot 9 destined to collective facilities." The document does not specify what the collective facilities may be. The allotment was given an unfavourable opinion by the Department of Mobility and Traffic Management. However, the city councillor’s proposal states that the urbanisation works can resolve perceived problems. The traffic department’s opinion states that a mobility and transport impact study is required, adding that one of the proposed streets must be altered, making it a two-way street. The department also recommended that the public park must include an entrance from Avenida de Padua. The former Barros factory, located at the intersection of the avenues Padua and Infante D. Henrique, is subject to a detail plan which the municipality approved in 2008. As DI previously reported, the former textile factory, next to Parque das Nações and the Cabo Ruivo subway station, was acquired in 2017 by the French company Union de Partenaires pour l'Investissement (UPI), a real estate developer founded in 1994. The firm has a number of rehabilitation projects and luxury buildings around Paris. Original Story: Lusa / Diário Imobiliário Translation: Richard Turner  
Housing Prices to Fall in 2019
6 January 2019 Last year was defined by record sales, but also by increasingly speculative prices. Industry leaders believe that during 2019, prices will fall to more realistic levels. After alarms concerning housing prices sounded last year, the market is expected to stabilise in 2019. 2008 represented a record year not only for the number of transactions but also for prices. While 2017 was said to have been "the best year ever," 2018 saw those records broken once again, to the point that several experts began drawing attention to the possibility of the existence of a real estate bubble. However, several market players contracted by SOL were unanimous in their forecasts for the coming year: "After the excesses of the past year, the market is preparing to settle down, there are property owners who are already open to the idea of lowering the price they are asking for their home,” says Ricardo Sousa. The CEO of Century 21 recognises that in some of Portugal’s major cities, notably Lisbon, "speculative and quasi-irrational prices" were becoming increasingly evident, due to "an excess of optimism on the part of property owners who believed they could sell their properties at certain prices.” However, Ricardo Sousa believes that the scenario has changed: "The overwhelming majority of property owners are now open to lowering their prices by up to 10%," as sales times have been increasing. Nevertheless, the executive believes that the coming rebalancing will have a greater impact on the market for existing homes, starting in the second half of the year. His explanation is simple: "A series of new construction projects are in the pipeline and will inevitably force the price of existing homes down. However, most are not yet finished, and the effects will only be felt starting in the second semester," Mr Sousa told SOL. That change, according to the executive, will largely respond to the needs of the middle class. "So far, we have only been talking about the need for social housing and luxury homes, while the overwhelming majority of the Portuguese fall in the middle," he said. Until the new homes start to come on the market, Ricardo Sousa believes that many families will continue to be forced to move to the suburbs, both for buying and renting. "Until supply has fully readjusted, we will continue to see a huge gap between supply and demand in the market. This is causing families to move to peripheral areas of the city, which is occurring throughout the country,” the executive stated.

Price correction

The head of the Portuguese Association of Realtors and Real Estate Agents (APEMIP) also believes that prices will fall this year. "I have repeatedly said in various public forums that housing prices will not, and cannot, continue to rise forever. It is natural and possible that we will begin to see corrections to housing prices because prices can only increase to justifiable levels, where there is still demand at those prices" he told SOL. However, Luís Lima also noted that the excessive housing prices are not found all over the country. "Portugal is a country with significant regional asymmetries, including in the real estate market. We can say that there are areas of Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve that are in the midst of 'small real estate bubbles,' but we can’t extend that to all of Portugal, because it is not true.” As such, Mr Lima believes that the price corrections will be limited to the major urban centres. "This deceleration can be seen, for example, in the parishes of Lisbon where [new] Local Accommodations have been suspended, but prices will continue to rise in other areas. It is only natural that little by little, we will witness price corrections in areas where they those prices have risen above desirable levels," the executive concluded.

Record year

However, with or without a real estate bubble, the truth is that the market is riding high. Figures speak for themselves: last year the number of transactions increased by between 15% and 20%, according to APEMIP. From January to September 2018, 132,270 homes were bought and sold, 19% more than in the same period of the previous year, with the third quarter accounting for 45,935 transactions. The market for existing has gained an increasing share due to the lack of new homes coming onto the market. According to the latest data, housing prices in Portugal rose by 6.6% during the fourth quarter of last year, and the price per square meter is already above 2,100 euros, according to Idealista’s price index. According to the report, every region in the country saw a quarterly increase in housing prices. However, the study highlighted the North, where prices rose by 9.2%, followed by Alentejo (+5.8%), Lisbon (+5.2%), Central (+5%), Madeira (+2.8%) and the Algarve (+1.6%). Lisbon continues to be the most expensive region, with the price per square meter reaching 2,847 euros. Prices reached 2,064 euros/m2 in the Algarve, with the North (1,704 euros/m2) and Madeira (1,597 euros/m2) coming in third and fourth place in the ranking. The Centre (1,083 euros/m2) was still the least expensive region, followed by the Alentejo (1,166 euros/m2). Lisbon still leads the ranking of the most expensive districts at 3,262 euros/m2, followed by Faro (2,064 euros/m2) and Porto (1,919 euros/m2). The lowest prices are in Guarda (609 euros/m2), Castelo Branco (694 euros/m2) and Bragança, where the square meter costs 697 euros. Election year to have an impact Regarding 2019, Luis Lima admitted that the coming election is bringing some uncertainty to forecasts. "There is always some economic, social and political instability that arise and may have repercussions in the market." However, the executive added that he hoped that the real estate sector would continue to grow, albeit at a potentially slower pace. Such a deceleration would be, in his view, "natural in economic cycles and will also reflect the absence of supply on the market to meet the needs of most households." On the other hand, APEMIP’s president is now more optimistic about the rental market. "By the end of 2018, I was very frustrated by the Government's inability to act effectively with regard to the rental market, but at the end of the year we were awarded a 'surprise' that, finally, effective measures will be taken to boost affordable and long-term rental contracts, giving me some hope for the rental market this year," Mr Lima told SOL. The executive, however, added a caveat: given the serious housing problems in certain areas of the country, "the measures will not be a miraculous cure for the 'disease'. They can bring some security to property owners and can boost supply in the market." Original Story: Sapo Online - Sónia Peres Pinto Translation: Richard Turner  
After Rossio, Jackyl Invests €28 Million in Oeiras
11 January 2019 A year after buying a set of properties in Rossio, the UK-based Jackyl has now acquired a plot of land in Oeiras with more than 180,000 square meters. Britain's Jackyl recently bought a plot of land in Oeiras for 28 million euros. This is the company’s second acquisition in Portugal, after having acquired a set of buildings in Rossio in February of last year. In partnership with ByBrook Capital, Jackyl successfully completed the acquisition of a 186,000-m2 plot of land in Oeiras for 25 million pounds (€28 million), the company announced in a statement sent to ECO. "This is our second deal in Portugal this year, and I am very satisfied with this," says Blake Loveless, Jackyl’s founder. According to market sources contacted by ECO, the land is located between Alfragide and Carnaxide. "This deal was due both to positive market momentum - including its potential for growth and relative value - and to its very specific and unique characteristics." Portuguese and international companies such as PLMJ and VdA (law firms) and EY participated in the transaction. When contacted by ECO, Jackyl declined to comment on the transaction. It is not the company’s first foray into the Portuguese market Jackyl's first acquisition in Portugal came last year in February when it acquired buildings 96 to 122 on the Praça D. Pedro IV in Rossio from a private investor. The firm did not disclose the value of that investment. Luxury flats and large, ground-floor stores are in the works for the properties. "We are excited about this building which, given its location in one of the most interesting markets in Europe, is our first acquisition since Jackyl’s launch this year," Mr Loveless said at the time. "It is in line with our strategy to acquire unique, well-located and significant buildings that benefit from a dominant presence in the major European cities." ECO learned that Jackyl is not in the process of negotiating any other acquisitions in Portugal at the moment, but the company is open to any new opportunities that may arise. Created last year, Jackyl is currently active in five cities - London (its base), Paris, Madrid, Lisbon and Nassau. In May of last year, the company acquired 39 flats in the South Bank Tower in London, in what was its second transaction. "Our goal is to make our mark on the London real estate market, and there is no better way to start this than to acquire this impressive tower along the iconic River Thames," Loveless said at the time of the acquisition. Last year, the company achieved a turnover of around 500 million euros in Europe, including its assets on the Praça do Rossio in the South Bank Tower. Original Story: Economia Online - Rita Neto Translation: Richard Turner