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House hunting in the sunshine

by Stephen Anderson [email protected]

Stephen Anderson is the Managing Director of Infinito Real Lda and has a broad knowledge of the real estate industry in Portugal. Having held senior positions in a number of companies around the world, he now lives in Portugal with his family.

Christmas is fast approaching and that would typically mean a lot less visits from potential buyers looking for a property here in the Algarve.

But this year it seems things are a little different and the expected lull in interest showing no signs of materialising.

Owning a property in the Algarve is certainly something that a lot of people are still really interested in, and rather than spend the winter months in the wind, rain and snow, they’ll be spending a few days over here in the (fingers crossed) sunshine looking at a range of properties.

What we would typically expect around this time are many people putting their plans on hold until next year, and choosing to wait and see Christmas out of the way and review their position in the New Year.

Not this time out though. People are keener than ever to make their way out here and see what bargains are available, capitalising on the ever decreasing stock of luxury property at knock down prices.

Again the last month or so has seen a continuation of previous trends, with many clients looking to make the most out of the distressed property sales or pick up a repossession from the banks.

Now with mortgages being harder to come by, these are often opportune properties to look for, as the banks involved in these types of sales have a vested interest.

So much so that for residents of the country we have many properties with 100% finance available at fantastic rates.

For the non-resident buyers there are also some amazing deals to be had, and the rates can often be 25% better than your average “normal” property sale, which prompts a lot more response from investors looking to buy purely for capital gain.

The last quarter has been awash with investor clients looking to snap up as much property as possible, whether it be with their own financing or via local mortgages, and this has given a boost in some sectors of the real estate market.

As we’re now moving yet another year into this financial crisis, there still seems to be a little uncertainty as to what is going to happen in Portugal, and trying to get a positive message out to potential buyers is often hard as people by nature tend to believe and expect the worst.

With the Algarve, there is not a huge amount that can affect overseas buyers, the increase in IVA is really the only negative aspect as it will cause them to spend more when purchasing any items here, or eating out.

Other than that, there is nothing to be put off about in my opinion. It would seem that a lot of people are also of the same opinion now as the rush of clients over the end of the year shows.

With a lot of countries being set aside for holiday homes and investment, there are just a few of the main stream and already established destinations taking the majority of the buyers, and this is of course good news for the Algarve.

With the enviable weather, ever increasing rental pull, and now unbeatable price there is not many places that hold a patch to our shoreline.

Stephen Anderson can be contacted on telephone/fax + 351 289 313 325.