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Property Report September

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.

This quarter of the year is always a busy one for most estate agents. Well, that has certainly been the past trend anyway, and hopefully this year won’t see any change to this!

After the busy summer the Algarve calms down, and a lot of people have had some time to reflect on their potential property purchase here, it’s a time to really focus on what is available.

We tend to have a lot of clients coming over on weekend visits to really get a better idea of what is available, and not just in terms of the property but financially as well.

It’s no secret that financing has become somewhat restrictive for a lot of buyers, and we are experiencing a greater number of potential buyers looking to find out before coming over, what they can expect to qualify for when it comes down to mortgaging.

As the banks have become more selective this is providing a new challenge on how to obtain the best possible options for our clients.

Now there are certainly plenty of options out there for buyers – it’s just knowing where to look. This is now not just limited to banks in Portugal. To get the best deals it sometimes pays to look around at different European banks for funding, and this is how we are able to obtain financing for clients that would normally find it difficult when relying on the Portuguese banks only.

There is still no clear end in sight of this economic fiasco. However, as time ticks by there is the inevitability of moving closer to light at the end of the tunnel.

After surviving the mass hysteria of 2009 and 2010, when pretty much all potential buyers were reluctant to spend a penny in the fear something would happen causing their funds, or even their property to be worthless, we are certainly much more assured of there being some kind of resolution sometime soon.

It has been said in the Portuguese political circles that come next year there will be a shift to returning to positive growth and the 2015 being touted as the year that we will again be back to “normal” once more.

These are all positive signs, and for buyers and sellers of property alike they can’t come soon enough.

For our part, a shift in the lending criteria would be a welcome respite as it would give the Portuguese banks along with estate agents a more stable platform to market properties to the overseas investors.

Currently they are applying for mortgages in their home countries and are paying in cash here, which is of course great for a seller fortunate to be in this type of transaction.

However, there is a much smaller pool of clients to draw upon that fall into this category.

Prices have remained relatively stable over the last few months, with a few developers offering special summer price’s to try and get some interest going in their properties as they look to close out developments by the end of the year, and this has been quite successful in a lot of instances.

As we move into October I would expect prices to remain constant for the main.

The bank repossession properties are popping up on occasions also, which is something that has enticed a lot of potential purchasers as they feel that there is a true saving there.

As is the case in any time of adversity all anyone can do is make the best of a bad situation, whether this means capitalising on a bargain due to someone else’s misfortune or promoting your property better than anyone else’s.

There are still plenty of people out there looking for their dream home in the Algarve – it just takes a little longer, and a little more work, to find them.

Stephen Anderson is the Managing Director of Infinito Real Lda and has a broad knowledge of the real estate industry in Portugal. He can be contacted on telephone/fax + 351 289 313 325.