Thursday, 11 June 2020

It’s definitely NOT coming home

Euro 2020 should have been starting this weekend but, for reasons we’re all familiar with, the tournament has been postponed. In fairness, it probably would have culminated in yet more heartbreak for England fans, but even the tiniest glimmer of hope has been taken away until next year. Instead then, and to bring the focus back to property, I thought I’d take a look at how our property prices compare to some of the European nations we should have been facing on the football pitch.

Portugal will, by default, remain the reigning European champions for another year and they can also boast about their property market for a couple of reasons too. At 1,312 Euros per square metre (EUR 1,402 for flats and EUR 1,162 for houses), property prices in Portugal are amongst the cheapest in Western Europe. They are however going through something of a boom, having risen by 7.8% in 2019.

Compare that to us Brits, who have to pay an average of 2,649 Euros per square metre for our property, whilst only having seen house price growth of 0.3% in 2019, and it seems Ronaldo’s chums have a couple over us in the property stakes too.

Portugal’s property prices weren’t the top riser in Europe last year though. That honour goes to a few people’s dark horse for the European tournament, having also topped their qualifying group…Poland. Property prices there increased by 11.4% last year, which was something of a shock having stubbornly remained below their 2010 average for nine years.

That surge in 2019 meant Poland’s property prices finished the decade slightly higher than they started it (by just 1.7%). Still, that’s a better performance than property prices for the football heavyweights Italy (-17.4%) and Spain (-23.6%). The European nation having had the worst decade though is Greece, the shock winner of Euro 2004, whose property prices are 34.7% lower than they were ten years ago.

At the other end of the table, Austria had the highest house price growth of the nations who were due to participate in Euro 2020. Relatively steady growth throughout the decade led to a 90.5% increase overall. Iceland might yet surpass them though, should they come through the play-offs and reach the tournament, as property prices there more than doubled in a decade, with growth of 104.9%.

It doesn’t seem right finishing without mentioning perhaps our greatest footballing rivals, Germany. They have had a steady decade of house price growth, with prices up 74.1% (the fifth highest in Europe), culminating in a 10.7% increase in 2019 (enough for third place overall). Having been drawn in the ‘group of death’ against France and Portugal for the Euros, I’m sure they’ll be hoping against another third-place finish!

So, we’ve another year to wait until maybe…probably not…but maybe! might just come home. It’ll be interesting to see what affect the Covid-19 pandemic will have had on property prices across Europe by the time the tournament finally gets underway. 

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