By: CECÍLIA PIRES
THE ALGARVE is still strongly recommended to people who want to invest in a luxury second home or to those who are just looking to experience a new concept of retro holiday with friends or family.
In a report published by the UK newspaper The Telegraph, experts from the real estate sector say the country will hold its position despite the impact of the international crisis generated by the US sub-prime market last year.
This, the newspaper said, is because banks are less exposed to that market and also because the housing boom that oversupplied other countries in recent years, like neighbours Spain and France, did not hit Portugal with the same intensity.
Tourism and real estate experts insist that prices in the Algarve region have “risen faster” than in the rest of the country in recent years.
However, prices only increased by 0.13 per cent in 2007, after a six per cent increase in 2006 (see The Resident edition of September 19).
The slowdown has affected some of the lowest categories of the real estate business but experts believe it is not seriously affecting the up-market developments such as golfing or marina luxury homes.
According to Shelter Offshore, an online publication dedicated to information about investment and life offshore for British people, “golf and marina property in Portugal is certainly worth a little closer inspection” for those looking for a place to invest.
It also says a new trend is in place with marinas overtaking golf “as the key driver at the top end of second-homes market”.
“Anyone who buys now is getting in on a market where there is demand, affluence and affordability – factors seriously lacking elsewhere in the world of real estate.”
The Telegraph report also makes much of what is described as retro-holidaying. “Even time-honoured vacation settings like Carvoeiro and Albufeira are going retro and becoming fashionable again, for holiday makers and real estate investors.”
Included are many other villages in the Algarve, such as Praia da Luz, Ferragudo, Aljezur, Tavira, Silves and Loulé, where tradition is still mixing with safe and friendly environments
Contrasting with the high end tourism concept that is associated with the growing golf and luxury resorts, the retro tourism trends aim to go back to the old fishing villages where tradition and ancient arts coexisted with clean and spacious beaches.
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