Construction Holds Steady in March

The pace of construction held steady in March, even with the impact of the confinement measures.

According to an analysis by the  Association of Civil Construction and Public Works Industries (AICCOPN) and the Association of Construction, Public Works and Services Companies (AECOPS), the slight change in cement consumption (-0.2% y-o-y) in the first two months of 2021 reflects the stabilisation. The slight rise follows a y-o-y increase of 10.6% in the previous year.

Based on the sectoral statistical information available up to the end of March, it can be seen that construction activity remained stable, even with the impact of the containment measures, which placed a significant burden on the sectors that power construction, namely real estate sales.

AICCOPN and AECOPS’s report analyses recently released data relating to home sales in the fourth quarter of 2020,  which saw new historic highs with 49,734 homes bought and sold for a total of 7.534 billion euros which translates into year-on-year increases of 1.0% and 8.7%, respectively.

The overall growth trend for property prices remained unchanged in 2020, with the house price index appreciating 8.6% year-on-year in the fourth quarter. Residential bank assessments continued to a new peak, with a 5.7% increase year-on-year.

January saw a slight fall in the issuance of construction permits by Portugal’s municipal councils, with an overall drop of 17.3% due to reductions of 10.9% in residential buildings and 32.0% in non-residential buildings.

The analysis also stated that the public works contract market remained positive in the first two months of 2021. The study reported a total of €543 million in public works tenders, up 2% y-o-y. Taking all of the data in the Base Portal, the number of signed public works contracts fell by 3%. However, comparing data on March 15 of this and last year, growth increased by 23.7%.