France, Portugal to top European real estate in 2020

Real estate markets in France, Greece, and Portugal are expected to outperform the sector in the eurozone this year amidst a slowdown in prices in the region, according to ING.

"House price growth slowed somewhat in most eurozone countries in 2019, but still remained strong. Overall, we expect that growth will cool further in 2020," pointed out ING in a report.

Price growth in France and Greece is seen outperforming levels seen in 2019. In France, house prices are expected to accelerate slightly (to 3.6 percent in 2020 from 3.2 percent). In Greece, the report said, "there was a clear turnaround in 2019 and we expect that the recovery will continue in 2020," with prices forecast to advance by nearly six percent.

The heavy load of non-performing loans still weighing on Greek banks and pushing them to continue deleveraging is the only notable negative in the sector, ING added. The Greek government’s plan to exempt house sales from VAT for the next three years should also help propel the current recovery in house prices also in 2020, it added.

"The ongoing economic recovery, if unspectacular, is helping to fuel a housing market which was heavily battered during the crisis years," said ING.

Portugal is another top performer for Europe this year. Property prices in Lisbon are seen growing by 6 percent this year, but the market there is on a downward trend, after prices jumped by more than 10 percent and 8 percent in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

The other countries examined in the report were: Germany, Spain, Nederlands, Belgium, and Austria.


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