Portugal’s Algarve – A Haven for International Buyers

With an affordable cost of living and great year-round sunshine, Algarve and Portugal are booming.

Demand for the properties across all price ranges in 2017 in the Algarve and Portugal as a whole, has been on the increase. Favorable tax conditions and fiscal benefits helped boost the residential real estate market, while recent reports highlighting the desirability of the area, particularly for retirees, has brought the area into focus.

The Algarve, situated in the South of Portugal, has been voted the best place in the world to retire for the fourth consecutive year by Live and Invest Overseas. The report states that their rating is based on great weather, with over 300 days of sunshine, an established expat community, top-class medical facilities and an affordable cost of living. Added to this is the fact that a great deal of English is spoken, thanks to this area being a favorite of the British for a long time. Properties are well priced—even those on the ocean—and a new retiree residency program that rolls out the red carpet for foreign buyers has been introduced.

Easy Access to Transportation

There is relatively easy access to transport hubs from the United States, Britain and all European countries, and the area offers a well-developed first-world infrastructure. I was fortunate to visit one of the leading golf course developments in the area recently, comprising 1,500 residential properties and covering over 1,000 acres with a pristine beachfront. Vale do Lobo was founded in 1962 with two championship golf courses, a tennis academy, wellness center and a community center with more than 15 restaurants, medical facilities and shops.


A Year-Round Destination

Vale do Lobo is the ultimate year-round destination. The development offers apartments and villas from $400,000 up to beachfront mansions selling in excess of $5 million. Vacant lots near the beach are still for sale and average approximately 8,500 square feet, selling for around $1.5 million. Homes to be constructed on these lots have a total construction area of between 4,000 and 5,000 square feet. Mortgages for property in Portugal are normally available up to 75 percent of the bank’s valuation and run for periods from 5 to 30 years.

Many International real estate companies are active in the area, including RE/MAX, Sotheby’s, Keller Williams, Savills and Century 21. Property management is an important part of every real estate office with a large percentage of absentee owners in the area.

The Global Peace Index for 2017 rates Portugal as the third safest country out of 93 countries recorded after Iceland and New Zealand. Condé Naste Traveller also declared Lisbon to be the most underrated city in Europe. Putting all things
together, this helped make Portugal a real estate hot spot in 2017.


Written By: Peter Gilmour

Chief Foreign Correspondent for REAL Trends