Minister promises : new regime to invest in real estate

October 06, 2018 Expresso Ana Batista Marquês de Fronteira
October 06, 2018
Ana Batista
Marquês de Fronteira

This article is an abbreviated version of the original. To read the full article go here.

The Deputy Minister, Pedro Siza Vieira, took advantage of his presence at the Portugal Real Estate Summit - which took place this Tuesday and Wednesday at Estoril - to announce that he would present, by the end of this year, a proposal for a law for the creation of called REIT (real estate investment trust). That is, a new financial vehicle to capture investment in real estate that is similar to a fund, but with more advantageous characteristics in terms of tax and income.

But while these types of financial vehicles are what the market wants most at the moment - because they are considered one of the best ways to attract investors to the country - the various industry players have not been very convinced by this announcement.

"It seems to be a more consistent announcement because there is a date," says Square Asset Management administrator Pedro Coelho. Because the president of the Sil Group, Pedro Silveira, says "the minister would not compromise if there was not something already done".

According to the minister, what is being created "will be a vehicle similar to the Socimi that exist in Spain, that is to say, are companies that will have their capital admitted to the quotation and that capture savings and then invest them in real estate." However, they have a specific characteristic: the participants have to invest "exclusively" in real estate to place in the long-term lease, both housing and office, and preferably at prices more appropriate to the national middle class.

"The Government has already prepared a package to improve affordable and affordable housing, but it is especially important to create long-term rental spaces and we now want to take an additional step in creating these investment companies. With this we are filling a gap that needs a response that the market is not giving. And we also hope that this way we can contribute to the creation of affordable housing in cities, "he said.

In fact, says the vice president of the Portuguese Association of Promoters and Real Estate Investors (APPII), "there are many companies and international funds willing to enter Portugal to make housing for the middle class, but only invest in certain models of vehicles investment they know and feel comfortable with, "as is the case with REIT or Socimi. In this sense, for APPII, this measure of the Government, if it really advances, "is very welcome and right".

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