• Demand and sales indicators turn positive

• Sales expectations point to continued growth

• Tenant demand also rising

The April 2021 RICS/Ci PHMS results are signalling a more positive trend coming through across the sales market, with respondents citing a pick-up in both new buyer enquiries and sales volumes. In the lettings market, tenant demand growth appears to be gaining traction, leading to an easing in the downward pressure on rents seen over the past year.

At the headline level, a net balance of +11% of survey participants reported an increase new buyer enquiries during April. This is up from a reading of -11% previously and marks the first positive reading for this indicator since July last year. In terms of the regional breakdown, trends were slightly flatter in Porto compared to a more noticeable uptick in both Lisbon and the Algarve.

Meanwhile, new instructions coming onto the sales market continue to decline, evidenced by a net balance of -8% of contributors noting a fall. That said, the latest reading does represent the least negative return in nine months, with Lisbon in particular seeing a steadier trend emerging of late.

With regards to newly agreed sales, a headline net balance of +12% of respondents saw an increase during April, up from a reading of +2% last time round. In fact, the April figure is the strongest since 2018 having been stuck in negative territory throughout much of the past three years. Looking ahead, sales expectations remain modestly positive, returning a reading of +18% in April compared to +22% last month.

Alongside this, the latest net balance for the survey’s measure of house price growth came in at +1%, slightly up on -5% beforehand. Nevertheless, a reading so close to zero remains consistent with a broadly stable trend in house prices at the aggregate level. Going forward, a net balance of +33% of respondents now anticipate prices will climb higher over the year to come (an increase on +16% previously).

In the lettings market, tenant demand picked up at the fastest pace in April (net balance terms) since prior to the onset of the pandemic. At the same time, new landlord instructions fell modestly. Notwithstanding this, for the time being, rental growth expectations remain marginally negative, albeit to a significantly lesser degree than earlier in the year.

Source: Confidencial Imobiliário

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