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Real estate projects in Portugal during 2016 reached a total of 1.7 million square metres during 2016, indicating a return to success for the sector and for the construction industry in the country.

According to data compiled by CI (Confidencial Imobiliário), during 2016 there were approximately 1,200 non-residential real estate projects in process in mainland Portugal with the projects covering a total area of 1.7 million square metres.

During the global economic crisis building projects, construction and the real estate industry were all adversely affected, however Portugal is now seeing sustained growth across all of these sectors, indicating a return to success in the country and a renewed confidence by investors.

When comparing the figures obtained by CI for 2015, the year 2016 saw 37% increase in the number of real estate projects in Portugal.  When looking at the total of projects it is encouraging to see that there was a significant increase in new projects being undertaken (from 562 to 688), while there was also a marked increase in the number of refurb projects taking place (up from 279 in 2015 to 468 in 2016).

Unlike other European countries, Portugal has never seen a building boom that has left unwanted property without potential owners, instead the country has followed a supply and demand model which has kept building levels lower but maintained real estate prices to match this demand.  Because of this, many builders are happy to consider refurbishment projects of existing buildings as these projects are in many cases more likely to be approved.  This helps to avoid abandoned buildings and also aids the maintenance of real estate prices.

Of the real estate projects i Portugal in 2016 41% of the projects were for the retail sector (474, representing 41% of the total), this was followed by the building of social facilities and new buildings.

With tourism being such an integral part of the Portuguese economy it comes as no surprise to see that tourism and offices accounted for25% of the total projects.

The largest building project in Portugal during 2016 was the construction of the Ikea and shopping centre near to Loulé in the Algarve, with the project covering a total of 72.5 thousand square metres.