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Page created: Friday, 7 July 2017 16:07 GMT | Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2017 15:15 GMT

Central Region  Housing price  National Action Plan for the Circular Economy  Pedrogão Grande

Housing prices had the highest growth rate since 2009

The Housing Price Index rose 7.9% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017. In the same period, a record number of homes were sold, mostly existing dwellings. In June, an important urban rehabilitation investment was announced in Porto.

In the first quarter of 2017, the Housing Price Index (IPHab) grew 7.9% year-on-year, representing the highest growth rate since 2009, when INE – Statistics Portugal began collecting these data. The price of existing dwellings increased by 9.2%, a change rate similar to that recorded in the previous quarter, and that of new dwellings increased by 4.2%, the highest rate since the first quarter of 2016. In the first three months of the year, 35 178 dwellings where transacted, the highest number in a quarter since 2009, corresponding to a year-on-year increase of 19.4%, the highest number ever in a quarter. The value of sales increased by 25.9% year-on-year, exceeding 4 300 million euros, of which 3 400 million euros were related to existing home transactions.

Saudi investment fund MEFIC Capital and English real estate asset management company Round Hill Capital signed the joint acquisition of a 7.8 hectare (78,061 square meters) land near the university campus of Asprela, in the city of Porto, where they intend to invest 100 million euros in a project of urban rehabilitation that includes residential construction for 1 200 students, 200 residential apartments, a hotel, commercial areas, office space and parking. This is the largest investment in a single urban rehabilitation project in the city and should be completed in five years’ time.

Fires devastate Central Region of the country

On June 17, 2017, a major fire broke out in the Center Region, affecting 11 counties. Until now 64 people were dead and more than 250 injunred. The fire was only considered extinct a week later. The losses total 497 million euros.

The fire that broke out in the counties of Pedrógão Grande, Castanheira de Pera, Ansião, Alvaiázere, Figueiró dos Vinhos, Arganil, Góis, Penela, Pampilhosa da Serra, Oleiros and Sertã constitutes the biggest natural catastrophe in the recent history of the country. According to the Emergency Events Database of the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, it was the 11th most deadly forest fire in the world since 1900, the year in which this database began to be compiled.

According to a report prepared by the Government, 491 houses were totally or partially destroyed, 43,200 hectares of forest burned (equivalent to 43 thousand soccer fields or 4.3 times the city of Lisbon) and 374 jobs are at risk. In financial terms, the Government accounted for 497 million euros of losses, 193 million of which require an immediate response and are related to private dwellings, forests, economic activities, agriculture and infrastructures.

Civil society moved rapidly by sending tons of all sorts of goods to firefighters and affected populations, and raising financial aid to assist citizens and affected areas.

An independent technical committee has been approved by the Parliament to determine what happened, and is to be composed of 12 technical experts, six appointed by the President of the Assembly of the Republic, and six by the Council of Rectors of the Portuguese Universities.

Government starts public consultation of the National Action Plan for the Circular Economy

12 June 2017 marked the starting of the public consultation of the National Action Plan for the Circular Economy through the joint work of the Ministries of Environment; Science, Technology and Higher Education; Economy; and Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development.

The Circular Economy is based on three fundamental concepts: reduction, reutilization and recovery. This economy aims to replace the concept of “end of life” of linear economy, by new circular flows of reuse, restoration and renewal, in an integrated process. The Circular Economy rejects the causal relationship between economic growth and the increase in resource consumption. In this way, consumers switch to users and pay only for what they use.

The Environment Minister, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, however, said that this dynamic is not yet deep rooted in the community and argues that “this is a matter in which we must educate a lot” and considers therefore “fundamental the awareness of people through campaigns”.

Friday, 7 July 2017 14:30

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Friday, 9 June 2017 9:37

Lisbon, June 8 (Lusa) – Portugal's prime minister, António Costa, and various other members of the government are to participate in events to mark 10 June, the Day of Portugal, Camões and Portuguese Communities, in what was on...

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