The pandemic gave families the time and opportunity to reflect on their lifestyle choices and it made moving abroad a reality for many. Portugal's border agency SEF reports that over 10,000 visas have been issued since 2012, attracting over €5.3 billion of investment.
While the turn of 2022 by no means spells the end of Portugal's Golden Visa, it marks a real turning point in its lifecycle. The scope of investment opportunities in Lisbon, Porto, and other high-density areas will be drastically reduced given the scarcity of high quality, investment-friendly stock which falls under touristic classification for living, such as Martinhal Residences."
Kerry McClinton-King, business development director at Six Senses Residences
“In 2022, we’re expecting the continued rise of community living. Increasingly, we’re seeing more, and a wider range of, on-site amenities and facilities at new developments which are within easy reach for purchasers and provide spaces for connecting with others.
In addition, what previously would have been a second home is now becoming a co-primary residence, with owners splitting their time more evenly between their properties – something we’re also expecting to see more of in 2022 – meaning more consideration needs within the design of properties to ensure there are the right kinds of spaces and we are creating the right kind of environment, like work areas and fast internet connectivity, responding to the rise in flexible working.”
Alan Bell, sales and marketing director at Reward Properties
“Despite the fact that travel restrictions were in place for the best part of the year, we’ve seen steady levels of enquiries from international buyers, and we expect this trend to continue well into 2022. Portugal is considered to be one of the safest countries in the world to live in and the second safest in the EU, and the success of its Covid-19 vaccination programme has further increased its desirability.
Next year, we expect to see a growing appetite for sustainable homes, with eco-friendly features becoming increasingly important for investors and owner-occupiers alike. We also anticipate continuous demand for properties in areas with a rich cultural offering and a variety of amenities, like Lisbon’s Marvila. After many months of on-off restrictions, people are hungry for experiences, and buying in such locations allows them to enjoy easy access to a variety of dining and entertainment options right on their doorstep, whilst also providing a degree of privacy.
As a Portuguese property developer, we deal with high volumes of overseas buyers, and for us, Covid-19 is one of the biggest challenges of 2022. One of the reasons why Portugal is so appealing for foreign buyers is the lifestyle it offers, and disruptions to the travel and hospitality sectors prevent people from making the most out of this bustling destination.”
Dean Markall, Sales and Marketing Director at Martin Grant Homes
“2021 has been the sequel to a truly unpredictable 2020, and while it seems ludicrous to even try to predict what 2022 may bring, there are some growing hints that we may still see struggles yet. While we treacherously coin phrases like post-pandemic and return to normality, the industry is facing even wider challenges – not least a shortage in materials across the board which may stunt the industry’s attempts to build the volume of new homes needed.
2022 will also see the beginning of Help to Buy’s shutdown, a scheme so successful that it has propped up the housing market since its inception. There is no doubt we will see a ricochet effect across the country as the rug is pulled out from underneath us, although hopefully the introduction of schemes such as Deposit Unlock and access to 95% mortgages will minimise any impacts.
However it’s not all doom and gloom as we have also seen new hotspots emerge across the country, with the East Midlands performing exceptionally well and experiencing its very own boom this year. Northampton in particular is a hidden gem in the Midlands, and with no dominant second homes market, prices are generally within budget for local first time buyers and second steppers alike. No longer is London the centre of the housing market, instead I suspect we will see new powerhouses form in 2022.”
Simon Cox, Managing Director and Founder of independent land agency, Walter Cooper
“Firstly, I think demand will still outweigh supply for house buyers. If we believe what we are reading, then interest rates will rise, so money will become more expensive to borrow, which will lead to a drop in demand in the latter part of the year where house prices will stall slightly due to affordability. However, as construction plays catch up, this will help us meet our new homes targets and boost supply. You take from one hand and give with the other, so all in all I think it would be surprising if things were markedly different than where they are now.
Affordability will be one to watch over the next 18 months. I don’t think the First Homes scheme that is replacing Help to Buy will work in the south east because its capping peoples prospects to sell on, putting them at a disadvantage to become second steppers."
Edward Heaton, founder and managing partner of buying agents Heaton & Partners:
“This year saw some unexpected living trends in the prime sector. A resurgence in demand for indoor swimming pools, which after the amazing summer of 2020 looked as though it might be a thing of the past. Incredible pool complexes with slides from bedrooms and retracting roofs are definitely back on the agenda.
Lockdown spurred a renewed popularity in games rooms, cinema rooms and teenage dens kitted out with all the bells and whistles. This separated space for adults and children will stay for 2022, with homeowners feeling increasingly less focussed on open plan living. I have also noticed a growing trend for people to be planting small vineyards at their homes with the dream of being able to serve their own wine to friends in a few years’ time."