The housing crisis in Lisbon is caused by one of the worst cases of rapid, violent gentrification. Lured by programs to attract foreign investment, new real estate developments and tourist accommodations have multiplied throughout the city. A third of houses in Lisbon’s historical center are listed on websites for short-term rental services such as Airbnb. Over the past twenty years, Lisbon has become one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe. This has created what some critics have called the “perfect storm for the real estate sector”. Lisbon’s real estate market is defined by analysts as one of Europe’s “most dynamic”. But at what cost? Around 10,000 people live in a precarious housing situation. According to data from the national statistical institute, reported by Bloomberg, prices of homes rose 13% between the first quarter of 2021 and 2022. On this episode of Europe Talks Back, host Alexander Damiano Ricci meets with Mariana, a Lisbon local, and Sarah Gainsforth, freelance journalist, to discuss the housing crisis in Europe.
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