QP Savills are one of the biggest property agents in the Algarve with a long history and unrivalled expertise in dealing with top properties across the coast. QP have been the Savills agents in the Algarve for over 20 years and have four local offices.
Text Kerstin Buechner, Director QP Savills
As property agents, we are particularly lucky as we are part of Savills. Savills is the largest global property player in terms of residential property and we benefit greatly from being part of this network of over 600 offices worldwide as it affords us an invaluable global perspective on our industry. And, of course, this is so important to our property market, as it does heavily rely on foreign investment and especially so at the top of the market on which we have focused our efforts for over 20 years.
During the most recent regular Savills webinars, the results of their latest sentiment survey were released on how COVID-19 is changing the residential property market. It showed that 78% of buyers pre-COVID were in fact still as interested in buying and over 90% of sellers still interested in selling. This sustained level of interest from both bodes well for the resumption of transactions as restrictions ease. Another interesting point was that the top of the market is projected to recover very quickly compared to the mass market.
The survey also suggested that 86% of people surveyed said that they believed there would be a substantial long-term increase in the number of people working from home and that there is a noticeable increase in demand for properties with a) faster Internet, b) more outdoor space and c) a separate room for a home office or two, as the kitchen island will just not do. And as people ponder what requirements they need in their homes, they are also re-evaluating from where they might be able to work from home.
Portugal and the Algarve have had so much good press over the past few years and never more so than during this pandemic. In 2019, Portugal was voted Best Place to Retire, Best European Destination, received countless golf awards and was voted the third safest country in the world! Golden Visas, tax benefits for non-habitual residents, safety, sunshine, etc., have all contributed to its allure. The fact that we have been largely uninfected by COVID-19 has certainly added to making the Algarve a very attractive proposition for many.
And we can see this clearly in the increased amount of interest we have received since March 2020. And now it seems we are attracting a whole new group ofbuyers, i.e.: people wanting to work from their home in Portugal. And why not? Local Internet providers can compete with the best. Stable connections with 100MB and even up to 1GB of data are now available to more and more of us. Enough for any household regardless of how many teenagers are in residence. And, Faro airport has never before hosted so many private jets as during this spring and early summer – a great indicator of the type of interest the Algarve is attracting.
This is further demonstrated in the size, quality and style of properties being developed in the area. And we are not just talking about properties within the Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo areas but across the coast. Over recent years, some of the most magnificent properties have been built by families already wishing to live here. The Algarve has proven to cater extremely well to young families. The quality of education, safety and lifestyle are hard to beat and now parents can work from home here too. For their homes, nothing but the best design and materials will do, and our Savills colleagues from around the globe agree; these are some of the finest properties they have seen. Property prices are still below top prices achieved in other regions but they are increasing.
How has business changed? Need is the mother of invention and virtual tours and webinars are now the norm. Our sales director at the new Marriott branded W Algarve, where we are the exclusive sales agents, recently presented the new development on a live webinar to which over 350 interested buyers signed up from around the globe, and I wonder if we would have been able to get this type and size of audience together pre-COVID.
How will the property market fare? The long-term effect of this pandemic is as unknown as the virus itself. However, this crisis is very different in so many ways than the last one in 2008. Banks were largely to blame then and even if you wanted to buy, money was in short supply. Today vendors are not strapped for cash and banks are rolling out the red carpet to buyers and lending with exceptionally good conditions.
The secret is out, Portugal has much to offer and the Algarve especially caters so well to the foreign community and, as we write this in June just days after lockdown restrictions have eased, the pent up demand for local properties has been set free and is keeping us on our toes. Sales are once again being agreed in the same numbers as before.
We Algarveans know how amazing living here is. Forget the climate and all the other wonders we enjoy for a moment and remember the days of commuting to work for hours each day, traffic and crowded public transportation, office hours and lousy northern European weather.
The new norm and working from home will come with many benefits.
If you are looking to buy or sell a property in the Algarve, or would like to sign up to our regular articles and posts please contact us!
Ref 83244QP, Quinta do Lago, €11,400,000 for sale by QP Savills
Top photo: Ref 95456QP, Monte Rei, €3,500,000 for sale by QP Savills