Investment in construction up 4.8% in 2020, “only activity with growth”

  • Lusa
  • 5 March 2021

Investment in construction increased 4.8% in 2020, a year in which total investment in Portugal fell 4.9%.

Investment in construction increased 4.8% in 2020, a year in which total investment in the country fell 4.9%, standing out as “the only branch of activity with growth” in Gross Value Added (GVA), sector associations highlighted on Friday.

“Investment in construction (GFCF – Gross Fixed Capital Formation) stood out with a growth of 4.8%, in a year in which total investment (GCF – Gross Capital Formation) registered a variation of -4.9%, year-on-year. Also in terms of GVA, which registered a variation of -6.4% on average, construction stood out as the only branch of activity with growth, with a variation of 3.3% compared to the previous year,” the associations of Civil Construction and Public Works Industries (AICCOPN) and Construction, Public Works and Services Companies (AECOPS) said in a statement.

According to them, these figures confirm “the high resilience of the construction sector” which, in a year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, “resisted and exceeded estimates”.

With regard to the volume of new loans granted to individuals for house purchase, they made up 11.38 billion euros in 2020, which corresponded to an increase of 770 million euros (+7.3%) compared to 2019.

The total licensing of building and rehabilitation works, meanwhile, recorded a “slight drop” of 3.4%, as a result of a stabilisation in new construction (-0.5%), while permits for rehabilitation work retreated by 10.3% year-on-year.

The data for January of this year indicates that the value of residential property – analysed by the median value of the bank appraisal carried out within the scope of mortgage lending – maintained its growth trend, with a 6.1% appreciation in year-on-year terms, to 1,170 euros per square metre, which corresponds to a new all-time high.

In public works, the total number of contracts signed in January under construction contract tenders (considering all the information reported in the Base Portal up to 15 February) increased 26% year-on-year and recorded a year-on-year change (using the information relating to 2020 made available up to 15 February of that year as a basis for comparison) of +76%.

As for public works tenders promoted, they decreased by 29% but, despite this slowdown in monthly year-on-year terms, the average for the last three months shows a growth of 14% compared to the same period of 2020.

Regarding cement consumption in the domestic market, in January 2021, and after an “expressive growth” of 10.6% in 2020, there was a “slight decrease” of 2.8%, year-on-year, to 262,200 tonnes.