More estate agents also means a lack of “tight requirements”. This is the conclusion that can be drawn from the huge increase in the number of real estate agents in recent years: since 2013, the number of licences issued by the Institute of Public Markets, Real Estate and Construction (“Instituto dos Mercados Públicos do Imobiliário e da Construção” – IMPIC) has soared by 236% .
According to the SUPERCASA portal, a partner of H URB, which cites data from the public body, at the end of 2013, there were 2908 active licences for real estate companies, but at the end of 2023, there were 9762 active licences, a figure that includes licences for companies with no activity. Last year alone, 1,783 new licences were issued.
Paulo Caiado, president of the Association of Real Estate Professionals and Companies of Portugal (“Associação dos Profissionais e Empresas de Mediação Imobiliária de Portugal” – APEMIP), told the portal that the data shows “a very large increase” in the number of mediators and that this is a symptom of the lack of “tight requirements” that would allow the profession to be regulated. The sector association’s concerns go further and calls for more measures, since as long as the legal requirements are met, the company doesn’t lose its licence, even if there is no activity.
The regulator is currently working on a proposal to revise the law on property brokerage. However, work began in 2021 and no approval has yet been given.
Experts predict that 2024 will be a year when the pace of sales slows, due to rising interest rates and house prices. However, this should not be reflected in a reduction in the number of property companies.