The Algarve’s year round warm weather makes it a traditional overseas favourite for UK property investors, however there are hidden wonders to explore within the region aside from merely the well known central area.
The Portuguese property market has made huge progress following the introduction of the ‘Golden Visa’ which permits non-EU students to gain five-year residency if they chose to buy property worth over €500,000, which has encouraged the purchase of prime properties in the region. This extra encouragement to buy has led to an expansion in interest in the area, leading to the discovery of new areas of popularity.
Experts advise that in order to uncover Portugal’s full potential, investors should look east or west rather than merely in the centre. Offering a more authentic feel, these destinations have less developed infrastructure, however have their own positive areas.
The Western Algarve offers a rugged coastline with picturesque beaches littered with tiny coves and inlets. Fishing villages line the seafront, whilst the desirable resorts of Praia da Luz and Parque da Floresta can also be found there. In contrast, the Eastern Algarve runs from Olhão to Vila Real de Santo António by the Spanish border. Rather than sandy beaches, the East boasts countryside, lagoons and the exciting islands of the Ria Formosa Natural Park. The area is far more geared up for a local clientele, offering lively Saturday markets.
In the West of the Algarve, Lagos is the favourite. Its cobbled streets and cheerful nightlife give it a cosmopolitan feel, whilst the nearby villages of Budens, Burgau, Salema and Alvor are all popular with tourists, pulled in by a surfer crowd on the West Coast.
A triplex four-bedroom apartment just 10 minutes from the marina will set back investors just €295,000 whilst a four-bedroom, three-bathroom villa, comes in at €425,000.
David Rowat of Portugal Property explains: ‘Although the market is improving, it is still a buyer’s market with most vendors unaware of the real demand building up. So we are still able to negotiate good prices for our clients. For how long that will continue will remain to be seen.’
Along the more traditional East coast, the market is beginning to pick up after a busy past year. Coming in far cheaper than the central areas, and lagging slightly behind the West coast, the East is a place to find untouched bargains.
Steve Bennett of Buy Portugal said: ‘The east has the feel of old Portugal with some new additions to it, it’s more traditional here. Tavira is the honeypot. It’s a magical city, steeped in history with a Moorish castle, attractive historic centre either side of the Ria Gilão cobbled streets, good selection of shops, restaurants and bars and bustling daily market.’
A four-bedroom property in the aforementioned area will cost investors around €265,000. For an even cheaper offering, the waterside villages of Cabanas and Santa Luzia, offer one bedroomed apartments for €60,000.
For those seeking a pricier property, a beach front villa can be bought for just €5 million in the town Vila Real de Santo António. A favorite at Christmas, the town participates in festivities by laying a red carpet and selling roast chestnuts in the centre.