Year-on-year, mortgage lending from Portuguese banks has surged, as they support an ever more confident property market recovery.

According to Bank of Portugal data, new mortgages surged almost 52% to €1.29bn in the five months to the end of May 2015, compared with the same period last year. That’s the highest figure since 2011, when Portuguese banks received a bailout from the EU and IMF.

“The bailout period left many Portuguese out of the market because banks stopped lending,” says Nuno Durao, the Lisbon-based head of international estate agent Fine & Country. “Foreigners have been the main drivers of the real estate market in recent years, but there are signs the Portuguese are returning.”

The overseas market is huge in Portugal, with foreign buyers accounting for 90% of the €730million invested in Portuguese property last year.

House prices in Portugal rose 0.8% in the first three months of 2015, the sixth consecutive quarterly year-on-year increase.