The latest monthly market survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reveals that house prices in Portugal were up in January, as the country’s economy expands and unemployment rate falls.

The Portuguese economy expanded for the first time since 2010, with average annual GDP growth of 0.9%. Unemployment has fallen by nearly 2% over the past year to 13.4%, well below its 2013 peak of 17.7%.

Property prices have increased for the first time since the RICS/Ci survey was launched in 2010. RICS says that rising new buyer demand is a sign of the improving employment landscape in Portugal and that for over 12 months, new buyer enquiries have been in positive territory. It also says that the outlook for sales volumes is strengthening and sales expectations are higher than at any previous point in the survey’s four-year history.

While prices are stable in the Porto region, they are now rising in both Lisbon and the Algarve. According to RICS senior economist, Josh Miller, the Portuguese housing market has reached an important milestone. “Whether this trend can be sustained depends on the broader economic recovery. We remain optimistic on this front, but considerable risks remain,” he said.