For every 100 new buildings, 747 are older than 60 years

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In the last ten years, there has been a 1.7% increase in the number of dwellings, much lower than in previous decades.

It is nothing new that there is a shortage of houses in Portugal. Demand is much higher than supply and this discrepancy in the market has raised housing prices to historic levels. Now, the country has also learned that the housing stock is quite aged. For every 100 buildings built after 2011, there are 747 built before 1960. This is one of the data from the portrait of housing in Portugal released yesterday by the National Institute of Statistics based on the results of the Census 2021.

The weak construction dynamics registered in the last decade contributed to this aging. Between 2011 and 2021, there were increases of only 1.7% in the number of homes and 0.8% in buildings, much lower “than in previous decades, in which the rates of change were always above 10% for buildings, and between 16.3% to 25.0% for homes,” says the analysis of the INE. Over the last decade, a little more than 110,000 buildings were built, corresponding to 3.1% of the total housing stock, which now totals 5.9 million homes and 3.5 million buildings. The regions of Lisbon and Porto concentrate 39.1% of the existing homes, with the Lisbon Metropolitan Area accounting for 25.1% and the Porto Metropolitan Area for 14%.

The results of the 2021 Census showed that most buildings do not need repairs (64.2%), but there are still 1.2 million buildings (35.8%) in need of intervention. The study reveals the need for light works in 780 thousand buildings, medium in 335 thousand, and deep in 163 thousand. More than half of the buildings in need of major repair are vacant.

The answers given by the Portuguese to the Census 2021 allowed us to conclude that more than 63% of the dwellings are overcrowded, that is, their size would allow for more residents. As the study adds, about 28.9% had one room in excess and 15.3% had three or more rooms in excess. Overcrowded houses represent 12.7%, with 9.7% of these houses needing one more room and 0.7% needing at least three more. Normal overcrowding was detected in 23.7% of the total usual dwellings.

The analysis concluded that 69.4% of Portuguese homes are used as their main residence, and within this universe the houses have mostly four or five rooms. According to the study, a little more than half of the classic family homes (51.9%) have a usable area between 60 square meters (m2) and 119 m2, with an average usable area of 112.4 m2.

In 61.6% of the owner-occupied dwellings there are no charges for house purchase. In the remaining sample, the monthly expenses derived from home purchase are around 360.5 euros. In rented dwellings, the average rent reaches 334 euros.

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