About 85% of real estate agencies are closed down in Portugal

  • Lusa
  • 1 April 2020

According to a survey released on Wednesday, near 85% of real estate firms in Portugal have either stalled or reduced activity due to the coronavirus pandemic.

About 85% of real estate firms in Portugal have either stalled or reduced activity since the beginning of the isolation due to the pandemic, but more than half are trying to actively prepare for the upturn, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

Prepared by members of the Association of Real Estate Agents (ASMIP), the survey concluded that after 56.5% of companies have lost all contracted business in the last two to three weeks, around 33% are currently at a standstill, while 52% are working part time, concluding past processes without access to new clients.

According to the association, the companies surveyed said they were in a bad financial situation, but for the time being stable, as long as business is not stopped for too long.

The survey revealed that 75% of the companies do not make visits or meetings due to the current state of emergency and a similar percentage is teleworking, with their offices closed.

25% of companies still undertaking visits ensure that these only happen in very exceptional cases, limited to one person, and only to conclude dealings that were already underway.

Among those surveyed, 68% guarantee to have seen businesses cancelled, and of these, about half point to the cancellation of up to 10% of business and the other half to the loss of 20% to 30%.

Regarding the signing of deeds, the survey points to the cancellation of 46% of the total. For half of the companies, the cancelled deeds meant a weight in their ongoing business of 100%.

It was found that 69% of these deeds were cancelled by notaries (32%) and by buyers (37%), the remaining cancellations being divided between sellers and banks, with 15.5% each.

Among the real estate agents surveyed, 56.5% guaranteed to have lost business that had promissory contracts already signed.

When asked whether the use of multimedia platforms would be sufficient to maintain the interest of customers in house searches, almost two thirds (65%) of respondents rejected this possibility, with 98.4% referring to lower customer demand for acquisition by this route alone and 75.8% referring to the same in the case of leasing.

In this context, 60% of the companies guarantee that they are already taking measures to achieve a return to business, although the overwhelming majority point to the existing uncertainty.

ASMIP’s survey showed that only 35% of companies plan to use the support created by the government and 38% are still considering this possibility, guaranteeing the remaining 27% do not intend to do so.

These data were obtained in a survey conducted between 25 and 30 March to the universe of 650 ASMIP’s member mediation firms, and one-fifth of the sample responded.