We’ve still got it!.jpg

We’ve still got it!

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.

May has been an up and down month for property, similar to the weather we’ve been having.

With the start of the month, there were a lot of buyers in the area over the holiday weekends and as such a lot of movement resulting in a better than expected first half.

However, towards the middle and end, there was an increasing cloud of doubt thrown back into people’s mind’s with the Greece situation continuing to cause uncertainty.

Whilst there’s always going to be certain doubts in potential buyers’ minds regarding buying a property here, it’s important that if you’re looking to buy you make sure you’re comfortable doing so before looking seriously.  

As we’ve seen on countless occasions, we only have a limited supply of property, there’s no new builds being constructed here at present, at least certainly not in any prime locations.

If you are looking at a property, whether it’s a bank repossession or a straight forward sale, you will not be the only one.  You may well have a week to think on it, and reflect, but for those thinking to come back in a few months time for the same property, frankly they’re dreaming.  

It’s a sad fact that not only the buyer loses in this scenario but the agent too. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve shown stunning property at almost 50% off, for people to say they don’t think it’s worth the money, and these days it’s hard to reason with buyers as they firmly believe they can demand whatever they want.

We’ve seen a big increase in people looking now, due to the three year record high exchange rate from Euro to Sterling – a big incentive for buyers to capitalise quickly before the UK brings this back down again, which has started happening as the month ends. This has seen cash buyers finding another 20% discount off their purchase price compared to last year.

With the Greeks set for another round of talks in June, this summer should be a great time for sellers to push their property onto the market.

High exchange rate, relative confidence in the market … at least we’ll know what’s happening one way or another and, as the year moves on, I would expect the level of sales to gradually increase.  

The Algarve property market is certainly in a better state than its neighbours’, with far less property for sale and a lot more chance of getting back  in a high demand low supply situation purely based on the number of properties.  

If we can slowly get through the rest of this year, the forecast for the Eurozone to break into a positive GDP for 2013 is the first real sign of a turn around, that could pull us back into a top destination once again.

Not that we ever lost this tag, it’s just a lot of people forgot about it amidst all the bailout and recession talk, words that cause fear whatever context they are mentioned in.