DURING the first half of 2013, Algarve real estate agents are reporting an increase in the number of international cash buyers who are taking advantage of price reductions across the region – according to Algarve property website, Meravista.
Reports the website, recent months have seen property prices slashed by up to a third in some parts of the Algarve, as desperate vendors realise they need to drop their prices to secure a sale. In response, the market has seen an increase in cash buyers keen to bag a bargain.
However, according to Meravista many vendors have re-calculated a bottom-line asking price based on their financial commitments and, for some, the means to relocate to a new home. They simply can’t afford to be knocked down any further and aren’t willing to accept offers less than five per cent below the advertised price.
It seems that savvy British buyers recognised the opportunity to buy in May, when the GBP/EUR exchange rate hit a half-year high. Equally, the rise in interest from Northern Portugal and Northern Europe, indicates that market conditions are attracting new buyers.
As we approach the half-year mark, Meravista asked Algarve estate agencies: who’s buying property in the Algarve?
Julie Russell of Russell & Decoz in Moncarapacho, East Algarve comments: “The majority of our clients this year have been English, but we have also had buyers from Belgium, The Netherlands, Scandinavia and France. The French are new to us.”
Artur Cardoso from Casas do Sotavento, close to the Portuguese/Spanish border in Castro Marim, adds: “In the areas of Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo Antonio the Portuguese are still buying. Though, we had a number of French and Belgian buyers in the first half of the year.”
Sarah Locke from Tavira House and Home has seen a rise in retired buyers: “Lately our clientele have been retirees looking for more than a holiday home. Predominantly they have been Swedish and Norwegian, as well as British. Most are paying in cash.”
Further west in Alvor, Portimão, Luís Goncalves at ERA tells us that his buyers are mainly Portuguese: “About 70 per cent of our sales right now are to people from Porto and Lisbon, or Portuguese living abroad. They see that now is a good time to invest because of the low prices.”
Along the coast in Lagos, David Westmoreland of B&P Properties notes: “Earlier in the year our clients were predominantly Swedish, with a few French and Germans. Now buyers are primarily English/British. It tends to be cyclical in this way. The Germans, French and Scandinavians are inclined to holiday during the early and late times in the year, and the English during the summer months.”
Dilia Gamboa of Avenida Propriedades in Lagos, offers sales and rentals. She also has a European clientele: “Lately we have been seeing Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Germans and some French. These clients are not merely coming to rent in the Algarve; they are interested in buying as well.”
Anita van Huson, co-founder of the Meravista website concludes: “It’s clear that as we move into the busy summer period, it’s still a buyers’ market and the reduced prices are attracting new bargain hunters. There are countless stunning Algarve properties for sale Many are true steals at their discounted prices.”
Conceived, designed and developed over the course of 18 months, Meravista was launched in March. Meravista is a property portal focused exclusively on Algarve property in Portugal, targeting buyers across Europe.
Anita van Huson
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