Villa in Fazenda Santiago to illustrate the property market in the Algarve.

QP Savills on the state of the property market

Text by 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. This affords us an invaluable global perspective on our industry, which is so important as our property market heavily relies on foreign investment — especially so at the top of the market on which we have focused our efforts for over 20 years.

There have been a couple of glitches in our market over the past 20+ years. 9/11 and the financial crisis of 2008 were both significant and made many of us sit up and hold our breath. However, business never came to a standstill for us at QP. Prices may have dropped slightly and recovered slowly, but as usual in the property market, it’s not for those who are in it for the short term and all that is now long forgotten.

This pandemic has been entirely different. On Friday, 13 March 2020, business came to a halt. 50% of our agreed sales were cancelled or put on hold and no new sales were agreed for over 2.5 months. A trying time for all of us on so many levels. Personal, professional and for many of us, for the first time we were actually afraid for our lives and for that of our families and friends.

A testament to our species and our ability to adapt, come 1 June 2020 and the end of lockdown, life desperately wanted to return to normal. And so it did. With one unexpected difference. People did not just come out of lockdown, they stormed out and, to us, it seemed like people had been given a new lease of life and were anxious to make the most of it.

Over the past three months, our four offices have sold over €100 million worth of properties in the central Algarve. Never have sales been so good. Not only is the volume up, but prices are on the rise too. Our average sale price over the past three years has hovered between €1.6 and 1.8 million. Currently, it is up at just over €2.1 million. Speaking with colleagues, many agree, the market is buoyant and the amount of property for sale is dwindling.

The property market in the Algarve has gone from strength to strength. Over the past three years, we have sold a number of large properties in the Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo area for over €180,000 per square metre. This is an important milestone for the country’s property market and represents values not seen before nationally. Price tags of over €10 million are now more and more common, with standards of construction and design able to compete with the best in the world.

We were keen to try and discover why our property market is currently outperforming that in other competing areas such as Spain, France, Italy and the Caribbean. Answers from our buyers were varied and it seems that the combination of climate, tax advantages, safety, sporting facilities, schools and an outdoor, healthy lifestyle were all important motivators for our buyers. The pandemic has added another aspect. As banks continue to accumulate debt, many of our buyers have told us that they have a reluctance to keep cash in the bank and are keen to make serious investments. Our relatively stable property market is just one of the places benefitting from this. The price of silver and gold has never been higher and serious art is now also in greater demand. Property remains a favourite, especially so for British and Irish investors and with Brexit here, for many in the UK, a Euro-based asset has even more of an allure.

Further fuelling the local property market are entirely new buyers from new continents. We are currently dealing with an increasing number from the USA and Hong Kong as well as ex-pats from Dubai not wishing to return to chilly northern Europe. Many of these are looking to retire here and or spend a good part of the year here. Interesting is the fact that ex-pats from Spain are now also relocating to Portugal due to the changed taxes in Spain and who are also attracted by our popular NHR scheme.

More and more people are travelling again and as if there was a need for more good news, banks are keen to lend money and the conditions to borrow have never been better. And we can see this clearly in the increased amount of interest we have received since March. Not only are new buyers investing in property here, but we are also observing how the current climate is motivating people to change the homes they already have on the coast. With the intention of spending more time in the Algarve, people are up-sizing to bigger and more comfortable properties or moving to a better location. We are also seeing an increase in young families moving to the Algarve. Safety has never been more so on the list of priorities than right now.

The increased interest in making serious investments here 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 who have relocated to the Algarve, enrolled their children in local schools and who work from home, from here! 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.

To view any of the spectacular properties from our varied portfolio, please visit our website or give us a call!

QP Savills are one of the largest property agents in the Algarve with a long history and unrivalled expertise in sales of top properties across the coast. They have been Savills associates for over 20 years and have four local offices.

Owners, directors and sisters (and usually best friends) Kerstin Buechner and Alison Hojbjerg could not be more proud of their team of 23 Special Agents, as they have become known. Alison remembers, “When we started over 20 years ago out of a small office in Quinta do Lago we were three people and all shared one computer.” All these years later, and with a lot of hard work, commitment to excellence and providing a truly first-class service, things are a little different. With a careful yet determined strategy for growth, their impressive 500 sqm head office in Quinta do Lago is now joined by an office in Vale do Lobo, another in an impressive historical building in the centre of Loulé and their newest location is a waterfront office at Marriott’s new W Algarve, where they are the privileged, exclusive agents tasked with selling the exciting new W Residences.

With more and more demand for property in the Algarve and prices on the rise, many buyers who may have focused their attention on the Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo areas are now looking further afield.

For this reason, we opened a beautiful office in the centre of Loulé and our team there has been focusing on top properties across the coast. If you are currently thinking of selling, please do give us a call. We are really happy to come and discuss the market, offer you a market appraisal and give you all the information you need to make the right decisions. We not only cover the Algarve well, but we are also backed by over 600 Savills offices across the globe, so your property will be seen by all the right buyers.

Kerstin comments, “Portugal’s allure has not escaped the attention of international developers and hoteliers. Marriott, one of the world’s most recognised and successful hospitality operators has arrived and is opening the fabulous 5-star W Algarve.”

Located waterfront to some of the most iconic beaches on the coast including Evaristo, Marriott’s W Algarve is the most exciting new development to arrive in the Algarve and listed in Forbes to be one of the most exciting hotel openings worldwide! The resort will have 134 stylish hotel guest rooms and suites, extravagant 5-star facilities and a full range of culinary experiences. The development includes 83 branded W Residences which we launched in early summer 2019 and the project is currently the fastest-selling development in Europe. Due to open its doors in April 2021, sales started well from the launch and the project has attracted an unprecedented amount of enquiries. What is also really interesting is the profile of the buyers. The buyers are generally well-travelled young families who appreciate top-quality facilities and services and couples in their 50s and 60s looking for a fully serviced residential community with everything at their doorstep.

Prices start at €595,000 and go up to €2.850.000 for the larger units. Call us for more information!
Quinta do Lago: (+351) 289 396 073 | [email protected]
Vale do Lobo: (+351) 289 009 810 | [email protected]
Loulé: (+351) 289 155 930 | [email protected]
W Algarve Residences: (+351) 926 699 200 | [email protected]

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