According to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors/Ci Portuguese Housing Market Survey the Algarve property market remains relatively stable despite the wider Portugal property market downturn.
The Portuguese property index shows that activity and confidence in the Algarve
property market is relatively steady in spite of a general downturn nationwide.
The national activity and national confidence indices for the whole of Portugal
dropped by eight and two points respectively to -33 and -51, while the national
price balance fell from -55 to -59.
Josh Miller, RICS senior economist, said: “In Portugal, it is the demand side of the
equation that is weighing down on prices, with the double digit unemployment
rate feeding through to weakness in new buyer
Weak market conditions are creating some fabulous bargain opportunities for those
people actively looking to buy a home in Portugal. But values in the Algarve are
holding firm, for now.
If you are interested in purchasing a property on the Algarve please get in contact and tell us what you are looking for we will then try source it for you, there are some fantastic deals at the moment.
Investment Property Worldwide Portugal guide Pages
House prices and the state of the property market have probably hit rock bottom, according to banks and building societies.
Property values are about to level out and then show a modest increase, says the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), which speaks for all Britain’s major mortgage lenders.
Mortgage availability is also ‘broadly stable’ and has remained at around the same levels for two years, adds the CML.
The housing market analysis is based on the latest economic figures released by the government and the Bank of England.
The CML backs a Treasury forecast that suggest house prices have bottomed out and will stabilise over the next 18 months or so before beginning to rise in line with wage inflation.
“Despite the weakness of consumer sentiment associated with ongoing pressure on household incomes and the uncertain economic outlook, there are no signs of significant house price falls,” said CML chief economist Bob Pannell.
“Values continue to be strongly underpinned by the limited volumes of new build and forced sales. While current survey data suggests that house prices nationally may be drifting modestly lower in nominal terms, the prevailing view among economists is for house prices to stabilise through 2012 and then revert to growth of four to five per cent per year from 2014 onwards.”
Meanwhile, research by the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), the trade body representing lenders that market products through brokers, has revealed 34 per cent of intermediaries believe standard mortgage business levels will improve during the fourth quarter of the year, with 26 per cent expecting business levels to increase between three per cent and seven per cent.
IMLA chairman John Heron said: “This positive attitude from intermediaries is a reflection of the general improvement seen recently in the mortgage market. The pickup is slow but market conditions are gradually improving, particularly in the buy-to-let and remortgage markets.”
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The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), which represents almost 1,200 pension schemes with combined assets of nearly £800 billion, called on the Coalition Government to urgently boost confidence in the pension system or risk seeing millions of Britons slide into poverty in retirement.
In an annual survey, the NAPF found that the number of people who do not have confidence in the pension system outweigh the number of people who do. It is the first time in the survey’s four-year history that the balance has been in negative territory.
Of some 900 working adults surveyed, almost half said that they are not confident in pensions as a means of saving money. This compares to just four in ten who said that they are confident.
Last year the number of people who were confident outweighed those who were not by 5 per cent.
The NAPF also found that only 35 per cent of people think that a pension is the best way to save for retirement. This has fallen from 45 per cent one year ago.
Conversely, investing in property and ISAs has grown in popularity as a means of saving for retirement.
Joanne Segars, chief executive of the NAPF, said that faith in pensions has slumped at a time when it should be growing. She said that the decline is particularly worrying because from next year millions of people will be auto-enrolled into workplace pensions which they clearly have “so little faith in”.
According to the NAPF’s Pensions Confidence Index, three in ten Britons rate a pension as the most important benefit associated with their job, down from four in ten last year.
Ms Segars said: “Politicians have to boost confidence in pensions, or people will simply opt out. We need a pension framework that the public can believe in and rely on.
“We urge the Government to do more to fulfil its own pledge to reinvigorate pensions. It must get on with reforming the state pension by setting a simpler, single tier system. This would set a clear foundation for retirement on which people can build their workplace pension and savings.”
The NAPF said that the economic downturn has eroded faith in pensions, and the recent sharp stockmarket falls have also put many people off.
Hidden costs and the increased retirement ago are also behind the lack of faith. On top of this, squeezed household incomes and rising inflation mean that to too many Britons pension outlays can “seem like the weakest link” and are therefore cut.
“The Government must stress the importance of saving,” said Ms Segars.
Ros Altmann, director-general of Saga, the over-50s group, said a growing number of people had turned their backs on pensions after a series of scandals and amid increasing uncertainty over their jobs.
“People don’t have confidence in pensions,” she said. “We need to wake up to what is happening to savings. We have moved away from a culture of saving towards a culture of debt.
“If an advisor is advising you to put money into a pension it requires reams of paperwork but, until the credit crisis, it was very easy to borrow hundreds of thousands of pounds you could never pay back.”
In the summer an independent report into the state of pensions in the UK found that almost three quarters of private sector workers will be unable to “adequately exist” when they retire due to a low level of savings and the complex, costly and inefficient pensions system.
The report by the Workplace Retirement Income Commission said that millions of workers who retire after 2020 should expect a “bleak old age”.
Steve Webb, Pensions Minister, said last night: "We entirely agree that more needs to be done to boost confidence in pensions. We’re working on plans to simplify the state pension – providing a firm foundation on which to save ahead of the introduction of automatic enrolment."
By James Hall and Tim Ross, Consumer Affairs Editor The Telegraph.
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Men and women in their early 50s will need to work longer and save thousands more into their pensions – or face a poorer retirement – if the government brings forward its planned rise in the state pension age to 67 a decade earlier than expected.
Pension advisers issued the wake-up call this week, after Iain Duncan Smith, pension’s minister, said that the present timetable for rising the state pension age from 66 to 67 was “too slow”.
Under reforms planned by the previous Labour government, the earliest age at which men and women can claim their state pension had been scheduled to rise to 66 by 2020 and 67 in 2036.
But the coalition government said that it favors a faster rise in the state pension age to 67, reportedly as early as 2026.
“We’ve been clear that the current timetable for moving the state pension age to 67 is too slow, due to the staggering increases in life expectancy and we are committed to reviewing the date,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) this week. “We are continuing to look at how pension ages beyond 66 will be set, including considering an automatic mechanism.” The DWP added that “no decision has been taken yet”.
An acceleration in the state pension age to 67 in 2024-2026 would hit those born between 1958 and 1969 – meaning that people currently between the ages of 42 and 53 would have to wait a year longer than expected to claim their state pension.
Alternatively, to make up an extra £5,312 to cover that ”missing” year of the state pension, a 47-year-old would have to start saving about £10 extra per month from now, in a personal or defined contribution company scheme, according to independent financial advisers Hargreaves Lansdown.
“If they wanted to target a lump sum of £7,500, which is roughly where we expect the new universal state pension to end up, they would need to save around £14 a month,” said Tom McPhail, head of pensions research with Hargreaves Lansdown.
But for a 53-year-old, that extra contribution rises to £50 extra per month from now, to compensate for getting the state pension a year later.
“Someone who didn’t make additional provision in the form of increased saving or chose to retire later would be permanently worse off as a result of the change,” McPhail warned.
They would have to rely on private savings, either by taking more income drawdown from their pension funds in the first year, or from non-pension savings such as individual savings accounts (Isas).
Another alternative is to work longer. Following the abolition of the default retirement age in April, older workers facing an income crunch will not be forced out of the workplace, if they decide they need to earn more to boost their retirement income.
However, female campaigners this week urged the government not to increase the women’s state pension age beyond 65 until 2020.
Proposals in the Pensions Bill, which is due to receive its final reading in Parliament next month, will see 300,000 women born between December 1953 and October 1954 having to wait up to two years longer for their state pension than under the previous government reforms, losing an average in £10,000 pension as a result.
Women’s state pension age is currently rising from 60 to 65 and had been planned to reach 66 between 2024 and 2026. However, under the new rules, this will be brought forward to 2020.
“People need enough time to plan appropriately, whether that means working longer, if they can, or saving extra,” said Tony Attubato, head of dispute resolution with the The Pensions Advisory Service, an independent, non-profit advice organisation. “People really need to think about what kind of income they want in retirement and whether it will be enough.”
This advice came as new research, published this week, showed that nearly 15m workers don’t have personal or company pensions – and will have to rely on the state pension or savings to fund their retirement. Prudential, the pension provider that produced the research, claimed that individuals are missing out on up to £15,000 in tax relief by not contributing to a pension throughout their lifetime.
Individuals who want an estimate of how much state pension they will receive can obtain a forecast from The Pensions Service online at www.dwp.gov.uk/thepensionservice or by calling 0845 3000 169.
By Josephine Cumbo. FT.com full article - LINK.
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The Royal Institute of British Architects has criticised the "shoe box" sized homes now being built in Britain. Ahead of its inquiry into housing needs, RIBA claims that many of the new homes being constructed are too small for the number of people expected to live in them.
The institute says the average new three-bedroom house is 8% smaller than the recently adopted standard for homes in London, with floor space of 88 sq metres (947 sq ft). That is 8 sq metres short of the recommended space, the equivalent of a single bedroom.
One-bedroom properties, at an average of 46 sq metres, are 4 sq metres short of the recommended size, it adds in its recent report The Case for Space.
RIBA suggests that potential buyers are being short-changed and fobbed off with "shameful shoe box homes".
The London Housing Design Guide, adopted in the past year or so, lays down, among other features, minimum space standards for new properties, based on factors such as the average quantity of furnishings as well as number of occupants.
The RIBA inquiry, to be conducted by Sir John Banham, a former director-general of the CBI and former chair of the Tarmac group, is expected to report by next summer and will feed into the government's proposals to alter planning rules. The inquiry will seek the views of architects, builders, planners and purchasers.
Banham said: ""There are some fundamental issues that need to be addressed to ensure we have more of the right kind of affordable homes in villages, towns and cities … new thinking and financing approaches will be needed."
Anna Scott-Marshall, RIBA's head of policy, said that the organisation's Future Homes Commission would address issues such as housing costs, building quality, design and layout, including factors such as the amount of light in a property.
"We need to look into affordability and the mechanisms that need to be in place to enable people to buy," she said.
Author: The Guardian, 14 September 2011.
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More people are planning to ask their employer if they can continue working past retirement, amid fears that they have not saved enough to stop working and live comfortably.
One in four people aged over 60 still in employment has asked their employers if they can continue to work after the official retirement age of 65, while a further 26 per cent are intending to do so, according to research from MetLife, the pension provider.
A third of those hoping to work beyond 65 said they needed to have more time to build up their retirement savings, with 45 per cent saying they could not afford to retire.
Author - Alice Ross FT.com
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According to official data by the Land Registry Directorate's Foreigner Affairs Unit, foreigners from a staggering 89 countries across the world have purchased approximately 111,200 estates across Turkey with some 35,249 Brits owning 24,848 properties, putting the UK on a pedestal as one of the most popular buyers of Turkish property followed by Germans and Greeks.
Further research suggests that foreigners have bought real estate in 76 of Turkey's 81 provinces with a total of 12,190 properties in the economic powerhouse of Istanbul being owned by foreign nationals.
Meanwhile, in response to buyer demand and according to recent figures from the ReidIn Turkey Residential Property Price Index, the cost of buying property in Turkey is rising steadily with sale prices having increased by 0.83% across the country with a 1.05% rise in Istanbul alone in July this year.
The research also indicates that buyers are searching for new build properties which have been growing in popularity amongst overseas and second home owners showing a 1.2% increase in new build buyers from June to July, 7.29% higher than the same period last year. There are also vast rental opportunities at large across the country seeing rental prices increase by 0.36%.
Author - worldpropertychannel.com
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Investors reacted with dismay that one of the few remaining risk-free ways to hedge against rising consumer prices had been lost as National Savings and Investments, the government’s savings arm, withdrew its popular inflation-linked certificates.
But commercial rivals said that removing the Treasury-backed accounts would make industry competition for retail deposits fairer.
“NS&I enjoys a uniquely privileged position over banks and building societies,” said Adrian Coles, director-general of the Building Societies Association (BSA). “And it distorts the savings market.”
Banks and building societies have suffered a significant slowdown in savings deposits in the first six months of the year, reducing the funds available for lending.
Author - Elaine Moore. FT.com.
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Overseas property buyers are moving back into the Thai real estate market following the country’s peaceful elections held earlier this month.
Longlom Bunnag, chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle Thailand, told OPP that property investors regard the successful elections as "a good sign for the country."
And Patima Jeerapaet, managing director of Colliers International Thailand, agrees noting that buyers are now flooding into Thailand from buyer markets such as Singapore, China, Australia, the Middle East, Britain and Japan.
He added that Russian investors appear to be particularly interested in property in Pattaya and Phuket. Experts in the country describe the Thai residential market as having "high growth potential."
Noel Goh, business development manager at Dalvey Developments, has also noticed that Thailand is becoming increasingly attractive to international investors as it is "shrugs off its political uncertainties."
Author - OPP & Jones Lang LaSalle
Link to article - http://www.opp.org.uk/news-article.php?id=5590&dm_i=H9C,J64C,2EIAM6,1K5WA,1
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