THE rapid growth of the Internet in recent years has changed the way people search for residential and investment property. This is particularly true of overseas property investments, where distance makes the Internet the natural first port of call for many overseas property hunters.
In May, the second of three annual Algarve estate agent surveys which monitor the Algarve property market, was released by the ILM Group.
The majority of respondents reported an increase in completions. They confirmed a greater level of activity at the high end of the market with an overall increase in sales volumes of 17 per cent.
The survey concluded that 55 per cent of buyers are from the UK, with ten per cent coming from Sweden. A further 30 per cent of demand came from 10 different geographical regions. Thanks to the new Golden Visa option offered by the Portuguese government, the industry is seeing new emerging markets including Russia and China.
Statistics from the UK demonstrate that approximately 80 per cent of all property searches begin online. Clearly, when people are looking for property abroad, the internet is the most logical place for the hunt to begin.
These findings clearly highlight the need for easy-to-access, reliable online information about property for sale in the Algarve, in order for the region’s real estate agents to maximise the growing sales potential.
Anita van Huson, co-founder of Meravista, a property portal dedicated to Algarve property, believes that the Meravista website fills the gap: “For some buyers out there, it will be the first time they are considering investing in Algarve real estate. We need to ensure that when they search online for property for sale in the region they can easily find what they are looking for. It’s common sense really, if they find a property they like online, they will follow through and contact the agent.”
Algarve estate agent, Richard Mills, of Azul Properties based in Boliqueime remarks on the site: “There is no doubt that today´s internet-savvy property buyer wants to have as much information as possible available directly on the websites they use.”
Richard adds: “One of the big advantages that the modern sites such as Meravista have, is that they provide a great deal of detail, including geographical locations on a map. This allows buyers to make an accurate assessment of the properties for sale, and narrow their search down.”
Anita continues: “Meravista is in its infancy but is going to great lengths to market the website to users across Western and Northern Europe, including forthcoming releases in Portuguese, French, Dutch and German, with the aim of reaching buyers in their own country, in their own language. This will help to put Algarve property firmly in their sights as a viable investment.” In the meantime, a strong online SEO and media campaign is helping to bring Meravista to the buyers.
Janaína Busch of Rosario Busch Properties in Quinta do Lago comments: “At Rosário Busch Properties we trust that our clients will find our properties online with Meravista with the help of their map based property search.”
According to Richard “There is no doubt that when it comes to searching for a property in the Algarve, the sites such as Meravista that put the maximum amount of information at a purchaser´s fingertips will become the most popular.”
Anita concludes: “There are many portals out there which have listings for the Algarve. The problem with most is that they lump the Algarve in with all their other international locations in their marketing. The Algarve property listings are not being marketed in their own right. This is how we realised that Meravista could bring a new strategy to the Algarve property marketplace.”
Conceived, designed and developed over the course of 18 months, Meravista was launched in March and is a property portal focused exclusively on Algarve property in Portugal, targeting buyers across Europe.
Company headquarters are based in Santa Barbara de Nexe, in the Algarve.
Anita van Huson
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Contact: Darren Paterson