Real Estate Market Portugal

Reflection on the main problems of the Real Estate Market – Portugal

We made an analysis of the pertinent article in the Público newspaper, where Rita Alarcão Júdice and Micaela Giestas spoke about the “Mais Habitação” program and the real problems that affect the construction sector and, consequently, the real estate sector in Portugal.


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It was with this title that, on March 13th 2023, Rita Alarcão Júdice – coordinating partner of the Real Estate and Tourism practice area – and Micaela Giestas – senior associate in the Public law practice area – co-wrote an article in the Público newspaper, in the Real Estate section, where they reflected on the real problems that devastate the real estate market in Portugal – the construction and real estate sector – particularly with regard to the real reasons for having reached the current housing crisis.

Both were masters in putting their finger on the problem, pointing out the real causes that provoke this hell of lack of projects that generate the increase in house prices, because building is not immune to the law of supply and demand. If supply is scarce and demand is high, the price goes up.

House prices don’t rise because of the lack of projects, but because the projects arrive to the City Halls and there they “get stuck”, they sink into a hell of bureaucracy, of institutions that don’t understand each other, with obsolete information systems, among others, projects that can take years to be approved. 

And what Rita Alarcão Júdice and Micaela do, in this exceptionally well written and thoughtful article – because it points out the facts in a simple way even for those who are not inside the sector -, is to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.

If only the decision makers in Portugal surrounded themselves with those who work in the sector, know the sector because they know its pains!

"Over the last decades, delays in urban licensing are pointed out as one of the main context costs to the effectiveness of a true urban rehabilitation policy of our cities and to the economic development of our country"

Rita and Micaela state.

“…It is clear that the legislation needs to be changed, improved and innovated. But it is equally clear that this mechanism is not enough. It is therefore necessary to invest in a (sustainable) planning culture, in a more dynamic and flexible territorial plans, in the standardisation of procedures and in the availability of means, in the allocation of resources to training and in greater transparency and proximity between the various players.

Finally, and in the opposite direction, there is at least one matter in which any change is too late: the change of the General Regulation of Urban Buildings (RGEU), diploma that has introduced so many obstacles in the construction activity and in the urban rehabilitation in particular. After the experience of the exceptional regime of urban rehabilitation, it was about time to try to create a regime that would reflect the need to simplify the existing regulations and would focus only on ensuring the main concerns with the safety of the building.

Therefore, let us seize this will to legislate and put it, without flags or publicity, at the service of practice, technique and, thus, the sustainable future that we all want”.

It’s all said! Congratulations, Rita Júdice and Micaela Giestas.

Rita Alarcão Júdice is an associate of WIRE Portugal, where our CEO Isabel Dias Rodrigues is vice-president.
Rita En

Rita has a Law Degree from the Catholic University of Lisbon Law School.

As a lawyer, Rita is a partner in the PLMJ law firm and co-coordinator of the Real Estate and Tourism practice area.

Rita has more than 25 years experience as a lawyer in the real estate law practice area.

Rita is a member of the Executive Committee of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Portugal.

Micaela EN

Micaela Giestas is a senior associate in the public law area and has 8 years of professional experience in the areas of urban and regional planning law, including administrative litigation.

Micaela has a Master’s degree in Administrative Law from the Coimbra University Law School and a post-graduation in Administrative Litigation from the Lisbon University Law School.

Micaela was a legal adviser in the office of the Councillor for Planning, Urban Development, Urban Rehabilitation and Relations with the Citizen at the Lisbon City Council.