By: CECÍLIA PIRES
MOST second home buyers in central and eastern Algarve prefer the coast, the majority look for apartments for short holiday periods and many want to rent out their properties during the rest of the year, a survey revealed.
The 2008 Portugal Residential Tourism Market Intelligence Monitor, a survey carried out by consulting company ILM-THR, also concludes that potential investors in second homes in these two regions of the Algarve are from the UK (39.5 per cent), followed by Portuguese (16 per cent) and Irish (10.8 per cent). They are also younger investors, with 51 per cent being under 54.
Most potential purchasers start by researching on the internet and make a buying decision based on climate (67.7 per cent), property price (10.4 per cent), culture and local population (4.6 per cent). The average budget varies from 115,000 euros and 515,000 euros and most prefer two or three bedroomed apartments (46.2 per cent). The majority have no intention of renting the house (50.1 per cent), while 45.4 per cent do.
The study says that timeshare and similar systems such as fractional ownership still have a future as buyers target lower prices while the available offer is at higher prices. Therefore, the survey concludes, buyers may tend to opt more for timeshared solutions in the future.
It also discovered that the central Algarve accommodates more tourists from the northern European countries, while the eastern region is visited and lived in by more Portuguese and Spaniards.
Albufeira is the top destination for younger tourists, while places like Alcoutim, Loulé and Olhão are favourites for the over 55s.
The British are the second largest group of second home owners in the Algarve with 29.5 per cent of the share. Portuguese owners represent 41.1 per cent of the total market but it is the Scandinavians who buy the most expensive homes, with 35.5 per cent admitting an expenditure range between 515,000 euros and 735,000 euros.
Higher security levels, more entertainment facilities and commercial areas, more day and night activities, organised tours and the promotion of the local cultural heritage were highlighted as some of the improvements that second homers believe could benefit the Algarve region in the future.
Under the preferred activities, the beach leads, followed by relaxing, walking and reading. All of them are ahead of golf or sailing, the top two leisure priorities identified for the region’s current investment activity.
The survey was carried out between June 9 and July 7 in key areas of the central and eastern Algarve as well as in the airport.
A total of 4,036 tourists were interviewed by ILM-THR staff. From these, 38 per cent were staying in hotels, 26 per cent were staying in owned homes, 18 per cent in rented houses, 14.3 per cent in family or friends’ houses, two per cent stayed in time-share/quarter-share houses, 1.6 per cent in other accommodation and 0.1 per cent did not answer.
For more information, please email [email protected]
Do you have a view on this story? Email: [email protected]