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Housing crisis: Number of young Portuguese homeowners has halved in 20 years

Protestors carry a mock house during a demonstration to demand solutions for Portugal's housing crisis, in Lisbon, Portugal, in April 2023.
Protestors carry a mock house during a demonstration to demand solutions for Portugal's housing crisis, in Lisbon, Portugal, in April 2023. Copyright Armando Franca/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Armando Franca/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Verónica Romano
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Over two generations, the percentage of people aged under 25 who own their own home has fallen by around 50%.

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Just over a quarter of Portuguese citizens born after 1997 have managed to secure their own house before turning 25, having obtained it in the past few years.

By stark contrast, around 55% of those born between 1977 and 1986 were already homeowners by the age of 25, acquiring their properties between the late 90s and 2010.

The data published by Portugal’s central bank on Wednesday reflects the real estate crisis in the typically low-income country.

House prices have risen sharply in the past 10 years, which has made it harder for Portuguese citizens to afford a home, especially the younger generation.

In fact, property prices have been climbing since 2014, according to Eurostat. The biggest increase was last year, reaching 12.6%.

In the second quarter of 2023, house prices in Portugal recorded the fourth highest increase (8.7%) in the European Union, according to Eurostat.

Homeownership in Portugal is higher than the Eurozone average

The country’s central bank also analysed the home-owning situation in 2021, based on the latest data available.

Two years ago, 70% of families living in Portugal owned their main residence, 22% rented it and 8% were in another situation - mostly free use, such as a house lent by relatives.

The percentage of people owning the place where they live is higher in Portugal than in the Eurozone average at 62%, according to the central bank.

Differences in the social rental markets, the massive reconstruction post-World War II (a conflict that didn’t harm Portugal’s territory) and the few tax incentives to buy property in certain countries are the reasons highlighted by the institution.

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