At the beginning of 2018, some UK estate agents noted soberly that the British property market was off to a slow start.
Whether the trend will continue remains to be seen, but other European countries appear to be experiencing their own property market challenges.
Residential property prices in Portugal appear to be recovering. The country’s latest real estate index suggested that they are slowly approaching pre-economic crisis level thanks to increases in both demand and sales.
However, a January 2018 survey of the housing market carried out by Confidencial Imobiliário and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors indicates that the number of new instructions have been declining for several months in a row, especially in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve. This deficit does not appear to be hindering activity too much, with Lisbon and Porto reporting solid growth.
The real estate market in Spain was hit hard when the property bubble burst in 2008, but recent official figures suggest that transaction levels have reached their pre-crisis heights although property prices remain lower.
Nearly 465,000 property sales or purchases were recorded last year, many of them fuelled by Spain’s strong economic growth. It was the highest annual figure since 2008 and represents an increase of nearly 15% from 2016.