By: CECÍLIA PIRES
AGGRESSIVE MARKETING strategies used in the Spanish property sector to attract investors must not scare Portuguese developers as residential buyers are still looking for the quality and lifestyle provided by the exclusive brand of the Algarve.
According to Simon Perks, Deputy General Manager of Santander Totta in the London Branch, “the Spanish marketing should not be a concern for Portuguese developers” as this is a mass tourism destination.
In his opinion, “Portugal is synonymous with quality and British and Irish non-residents view the country as a good and solid investment” when the time comes to buy the holiday home of their dreams.
Simon Perks is one of the Santander Totta experts for the expanding non-resident market segment of the bank and he is presently in the Algarve for meetings with local business partners.
“At this time of the year, I always come over to meet with local clients and analyse the market perspectives for the rest of the year,” he told The Resident in a short interview held in-between meetings.
The London branch of the Portuguese Santander Totta bank has been operating for 25 years, with the last 20 strongly focused on non-resident investors looking for properties abroad.
Although Santander Totta offers “loans everywhere in Portugal, including Madeira (Porto Santo) and Azores, around 90 per cent of our business is based in the Algarve.”
He adds that generally, “when buying in Portugal, our British and Irish clients make their choice of quality of life. They know where and why to buy here after visiting the country several times on holidays”, he said.
In this expert’s perspective, “Portugal is a smaller market than Spain and therefore the prices of property are higher and the market more exclusive.”
In addition, he says, “Portugal presents itself as an exclusive country for property investors and our clients do like that.”
The bank’s loan system is based in London “from where we provide a mortgage scheme to enable people to buy properties in Portugal,” Simon Perks said.
He adds that “all documentation is in English, so it is very familiar to the client as it is based on British regulations. There are no problems either with the language or with the scheme as we do understand better what our clients want.
“Lending money is lending money and everybody has its rules. But the requirements for lending money in Portugal are not familiar for the British or Irish citizens,” he said.
The bank offers four types of loans – capital repayment, capital repayment with an initial period of up to three years interest only, residual and five year interest only.
For more information, visit santandertotta.co.uk
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