Approximately 50,000 British nationals now permanently reside in Portugal and
many more have chosen to buy a second home in the country. Portugal ranks among the top three countries chosen by us Brits, along with France and Spain.
Portugal is very safe and, in particular, safer than Britain. It has an exceptionally low crime rate: Lisbon was judged the safest capital in the EU in a survey by the UN and Gallup (London was judged the most dangerous).
The choice of landscapes is endless; from mountains and vineyards in the north to sandy beaches on the southern shores of the Algarve. For years this southern coast has been one of Europe's most popular holiday destinations and is the place of choice for most British second homes. However, the shores of the Atlantic, north of Lisbon on the 'Silver Coast', are now attracting an enormous amount of attention amongst buyers looking for more rural retreats away from the tourist hubs of the Algarve - at more realistic prices.
Portugal has many enchanting religious festivals, pilgrimages, carnivals and fairs. In fact, given Portuguese friendliness, you will find yourself part of these festivals as you are carried along by the warmth and enthusiasm of the crowds - sometimes literally!
Most people are also attracted by the relaxed and unstressed way of life in Portugal and the culinary delights are legendary... and affordable. Overall, there are countless reasons that have influenced people's decision to buy property in Portugal.
Article taken from: Overseas Buying Guide For Portugal - Rightmove overseas
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Popular holiday destination Lagos in Portugal´s Algarve region ranked number one on TripAdvisor.com’s list of ‘15 Great Cities to discover in 2012’.
Any rise in tourism could help drive demand for rental homes in Lagos, which in turn should appeal to buy-to-let investors looking to buy property in Portugal.
The latest RICS/Ci Portuguese Housing Market Survey shows that the lettings market in Portugal is benefitting from a weak sales market, with tenant demand growing.
Lettings expectations recorded a significant rise in December 2011 and remains firmly in positive territory. Rental expectations are generally most popular in the Algarve where lettings activity is among the highest nationwide.
As far as Lagos is concerned, tourists and holiday homeowners are attracted to its friendly locals, superb beaches, modern marina and eclectic nightlife. It has long been a very popular holiday destination, whether it is a fun packed family holiday, a golfing break with some buddies or just a relaxing, cultural break, the region has a long rental season.
With the opening of the A22 motorway, Lagos is only a 50 minute drive from Faro airport so more tourists are travelling further west for their holidays to the Algarve.
Property developments in Lagos are generally really popular and attract a lot of foreign buyers, particularly Brits.
If you are interested in investing in Lagos email me your requirements and I will try source them for you – LINK to property page
Tourists and the editors of the largest travel site in the world advise taking a holiday in Lagos, the fun western Algarve city has earned itself first place on their list of "15 top holiday destinations"(12-01-12).
TripAdvisor used its networking reader-travellers to come up with a list of their top 15 growing destinations worldwide.
"The heritage and history of the city and its beaches and the lively bars," puts Lagos ahead of renowned destinations in Asian, South American, South African and Europe, beating cities such as Hua Hin (Thailand), Tallinn (Estonia), Moscow (Russia) and Bucharest (Romania), which are all in the top five.
The opening of the last stretch of trans-Algarvean motorway from Alcantarilha,west to Lagos ten years ago had a marked influence as the fun, and now accessible tourist destination started to fill up.
Journey times from Faro airport had been cut noticeably and for those holidaying in
Lagos the Atlantic west coast became accessible for day trips. Nearby Golf course developments such as Boa Vista and Parque da Floresta settled into a leafy maturity that drew tourists from the traditional central Algarve resorts of Vilamoura and Albufeira. The development of the marina area in Lagos helped put it on the international map for beach fun and plenty of nearby restaurants and nightlife.
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The Algarve Coast of Portugal is currently tipped as a property 'hot spot' by investors due to the range and quality of property available in sought after locations suitable for both up market holiday homes or permanent residential use.
The current worldwide financial crisis has had a notable effect on prices in Portugal resulting in some unbelievable discounts being offered on some excellent properties creating ideal opportunities for investors and buyers in general. It is generally agreed that the market is unlikely to drop any lower and that now is definitely the time to invest and buy in Portugal.
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Demand for rental properties in Portugal is growing as more Portuguese nationals are forced to rent rather than buy, due to a lack of mortgage liquidity, presenting potential buy-to-let investment opportunities for shrewd property investors.
The latest Portuguese Housing Market Survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Confidencial Imobiliário (CI) shows that the country’s rental sector is benefiting from ongoing weakness in the sales market.
Ricardo Guimaraes, CI Spokesman, said: ‘Tight credit conditions are pushing both
households and home owners to the rented sector. Households can’t access
mortgage finance to purchase a house and therefore home owners in most cases
can’t sell their house. This is resulting in sharp increases in both the demand for and supply of rented accommodation.”
A further bonus for anyone thinking of buying property in Portugal is the fact that residential property prices in the country are falling due to a lack of activity in the sales market, presenting investors with opportunities to negotiate significant property price reductions.
Josh Miller, RICS senior economist, said: “Although sales volumes in the housing
market continue to fall, volumes in the lettings market are booming at the
moment. This is because households who cannot access mortgage finance are opting for rented accommodation instead.”
He added: “Given the deteriorating macro-economic backdrop and tightening in credit conditions that is already underway, the lettings market is therefore likely to
continue experiencing high volumes of activity in the near term.”
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The bad news this week for golf tourism is the decision from the Portuguese government to increase the VAT from 6% to 23% on all golf green fees.
Being a major golf destination this decision is going to devastate the tourist market for many years to come.
Since the start of the recession in late 2008 business has been difficult for many in the Portuguese travel industry, but in 2011 there has been an encouraging upturn with many clients returning from Spain, Turkey and other overseas golf destinations to play again in Portugal.
I am reliably informed that all golf courses were “advised” at the beginning of 2011 that they should charge 23% VAT on their green fees, but as this was never made official, only 6% was charged.
Courses have now been told that they all owe an extra 17% VAT on all the green fees sold during 2011.
Many of the smaller courses on the Algarve will probably have no funds to repay this shortfall and will have no alternative but to close, leaving the courses that survive increasing their fees to pay this backlog of VAT.
Hats off to the government for at least trying to reduce their EU debt, but with decisions like this I hope they will not be too surprised to find many golf courses closed, green fees that no one can afford, and hotels and other accommodation closed down during the buoyant winter golfing months, leaving many thousands without a job.
I can only assume that no one in the Portuguese government has any concept of how important the golf industry is to the economy of the country.
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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.
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Now is the “best time” to invest in Portuguese property as prices continue to fall, according to several real estate firms in the country.
The latest housing report from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ci Portuguese Housing Market Survey indicates that national activity has fallen one point to -49 and national confidence has fallen two points to -61.Fiona Sheffield, co-owner of central Portugal property firm Lapis Lazuli says this should drive overseas purchasers into the market.
“I would recommend buying now; it’s probably the best time for it. Demand has picked up for us since the start of the year. We mainly sell to Dutch, Norwegian and English clients. We are seeing a lot of overseas buyers who used to go to France and Spain now coming to Portugal.”
The news comes as another Portuguese agency, Infinto Real, believes that recent investment in the country could help put it back on the tourism map. Vilamoura, a tourism hotspot on the coast, has received €1.3 million boost to improve pedestrian and cycle routes that surround the resort’s marinas and hotels. Stephen Anderson, Infinto Real’s managing director: “As property prices have dropped, Vilamoura has become more accessible to those looking to make a purchase and these improvements and increased interest as a holiday ‘hot-spot’, are great news for investors whose assets will only appreciate over time as the improvements continue to take shape. Many countries are struggling in these austere times but the trade of national and international tourism, which is predicted to be high this summer, is vitally important to the Portuguese economy. It is important that local businesses and the government take heed of this and make the most of the opportunity to show how much Portugal has to offer so we can attract new and loyal visitors and investors, which could lead the country back to financial health.”
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