APB says foreigners are on the hunt for credit in Portugal

  • ECO News
  • 5 February 2018

Increase in housing credit in Portugal is mainly justified by foreigners' search for loans, according to Faria de Oliveira, president of the Portuguese Banking Association (APB).

Credit granted to families stands at maximums of the decade: over 13 billion euros were made available by the Portuguese banking in the first 11 months of last year. However, that high level of credit granting does not worry Fernando Faria de Oliveira, president of the Portuguese Banking Association (APB), who identified housing and foreigners as the main responsible for that growth.

Home loans are standing at their peak since 2010, representing 60% of the total amount of credit made available to families in the first 11 months of last year. In total, banks granted over 7.4 billion euros for that purpose, 29% above what was registered in the previous year.

“We must understand why home credit had a significant increase”, Faria de Oliveira started out by stating, in an interview to ECO. Then, he disclosed that credit granted to non-residents in the country was responsible for that evolution. “Home credit was mostly granted to foreigners”, APB president specifies.

We must understand why home credit had a significant increase. Home credit was mostly granted to foreigners.

Fernando Faria de Oliveira

APB president

Connecting foreigners to the acceleration of credit granting might seem surprising, but Faria de Oliveira stated: “There is no doubt that the market of housing acquisition, namely in the large centers of Lisbon, Oporto and the Algarve, has been highly requested by non-residents in our country”.

It is a fact that more foreigners are seeking Portugal not only as tourists, but as home buyers. Some come tempted by golden visas, which give them a free pass for entering Europe; others decide to invest in Portuguese real estate; others choose to come to Portugal after retiring.

According to APEMIP (Portuguese Real Estate Professionals and Brokers Association), 152 thousand homes were sold in Portugal last year. From that total, around 25% ended up on the hands of foreigners, Luís Lima, president of APEMIP, told the Portuguese newspaper Diário de Notícias. According to him, the largest buyers were Brazilian and French citizens.

PUB