The opinion is of Francisco Salgueiro, representative of the application of the city to EMA, who spoke last Tuesday during the Semana da Reabilitação Urbana do Porto, and he added that "next November 20th we will know if Porto will be the host city of EMA. We believe we have serious reasons to welcome the agency.
In order to host EMA the candidates had to present a building with more than 27,000 m2, and according to the responsible "Porto presented 3 possible locations, three locations that fully meet the requirements". Also, Portoa's relatively recent choice by three major banks, the stock exchange and insurance companies, "demonstrates Porto’s capacity to host large companies", and this gives confidence to investors.
Demand is higher than supply
João Nuno Magalhães, CEO of Predibisa, a consultant that operates at Porto, confirms that investors’ competition is growing: “We have requests for some streets that are the double of the supply available", at a time when there is "very little housing rental offer", he exemplifies. Moreover, and although trade activity is still much lower than that of Lisbon, "we believe that the growth of tourism will leverage not only the valuation of the property but also the increase in demand".
But he warns that “it is necessary to regulate the market and create more transparency through more specialized resources and to encourage promoters to create better and more attractive office spaces”.
Currently, offices, local lodging or student residences and street retail are some of the segments that offer the highest returns.
Admission to Porto is still very competitive
To Luís Corrêa de Barros, CEO & Partner of Habitat Invest, Porto is helped by the fact that the price of admission is “still low”. The growth of tourism and the “support and speed in the processing of projects with the Porto City Hall, the international distinction and recognition” of the destination are playing in favor, despite the fact that it is “a smaller and less international market with less purchasing power, with a higher risk premium compared to Lisbon”.
Many investors are looking for offices in Porto, but “it is necessary to modernize the stock", believes Pedro Seabra, Partner of Explorer Investments, who also agrees that "the real estate market of Porto is growing, but it’s just in the beginning".
Pedro Coelho, Chairman da Square Asset Management, refers that "the transformation is reflected in downtown", and that tourism first leveraged the hotel sector and then the residential sector, "just like Lisbon". In the near future, the challenge lies in the offices, which will see a “huge qualitative leap".