Whether it’s the golf; the warm year-round weather; the laid back way of life; the spectacular beaches or the fabulous fresh seafood, wine and port, Portugal has been attracting British tourists for decades. As a place for an overseas property, Portugal is hard to top. Rather than attempting to appeal to all and sundry, the Portuguese property market seems custom-made for the more discerning, conscientious and mature property investor. Making a quick profit on property in Portugal is almost unheard of: property owners in Portugal are just that – people who have been attracted to the wonderful weather and lifestyle and have decided to buy a holiday home there.
From the rugged beaches of the Algarve to the lush green hills of the Douro, Portugal has more variety than you might imagine. The Algarve coast, while accounting for 90% of all foreign property ownership, is still dotted with traditional Portuguese towns and villages and, just a few kilometres inland, the landscape is given over to citrus and olive groves, while the previously smooth roads become cobbled and time appears to have stood still. It is this juxtaposition of modernity and tradition which appeals to so many.
Capital City: Lisbon
Area: 92,391 sq km,
Time Zone: GMT
Country dialling code: +351
Currency: Euro (€)
Located at the western tip of Europe and buffeted by the Atlantic, Portugal’s climate is, on the whole, milder than Spain’s but warmer than France’s. The Algarve boasts one of the best climates in Europe, with mild winters and warm summers, where the heat is rarely too oppressive. Further north the weather is wetter and cooler but extremely agreeable throughout the year.
Property prices in The Algarve have always risen steadily rather than rapidly, so if you are looking to make quick profit on property in Portugal, you should consider the Silver Coast or Lisbon instead. Because of the exceptional golf on offer and the benign year-round climate, rental demand in The Algarve remains steady throughout the year, so if you are considering buying-to-let then this is a good place to invest.
The Algarve also boasts a fine selection of high-end properties, with the ‘golden triangle’ of Quinta do Lobo, Vale do Lobo and Vila Sol golf resorts attracting wealthy investors. Villas here can fetch in the region of €3 million upwards thanks to their exclusive location, excellent build quality and discreet, secure design. Elsewhere on The Algarve, Vilamoura, Tavira, Albufeira and Lagos offer a good range of mid to high-end properties, with two bedroom apartments retailing for as little as €175,000.
Lisbon, the country’s capital, boasts a wonderful lifestyle, fantastic architecture and some good property opportunities: prices are lower than in The Algarve and rental demand is high. Porto, further north, has a similar market, while the Silver Coast, located in between the two cities, is being touted as the new up-and-coming property investment region, with a number of new developments cropping up there. If you are looking for capital growth, this is the region to target.
The Algarve, with Faro airport, is one of the most accessible locations in Europe, well serviced by every low cost carrier you could imagine. Most UK airports have daily flights to Faro throughout the year, often at extremely low prices. Flights to Lisbon are less popular, but are available from the main UK airports such as Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester.