International investment in Portugal: property sales in the Algarve see an upturn thanks to technology

International buyers continue to invest in the Algarve, with some buyers looking for super-luxury properties, while others are leaning towards traditional Algarve life.

Engel & Völkers
Engel & Völkers
30 March 2021, Redaction

One year after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate sector in the Algarve is witnessing an upturn. International real estate investors, in particular, are speeding up the process of buying property in Portugal and are making use of new technology that has come about largely due to the pandemic. According to Engel & Völkers, a German real estate company specialising in luxury property brokerage, foreign clients investing in the Algarve region of Portugal have been closing deals in half the time compared to the pre-pandemic period, completing the transaction using only virtual tours and visits.

"This profile of investor is familiar with virtual tour technology and sees no obstacles in moving forward to purchase, even without visiting the property in person. To get this far, there has been a complete investment process in technology to transmit the usual confidence to clients, but remotely", Vasco Fernandes, Managing Partner of Quinta do Lago, stated in a press release.

Another trend is related to teleworking. The relationship between homeowners and their homes has changed, and housing has become the centre of daily life. In this sense, the sector is witnessing a transformation in the objectives of real estate investment in the Algarve: there's less focus on profitability - through rentals, for example - and more demand for homes that guarantee privacy, security and quality of life.

"Managing businesses remotely and working remotely is a trend that could become consolidated in the post-pandemic period, and which is already having an effect on the real estate sector. The demand for long-term rentals from international clients has skyrocketed and right now demand is much higher than supply", stated Sandra Matos, E&V Lagos' Office Manager. Real estate experts also state that they are seeing a desire for quality of life among clients, as well as a preference for villas with private gardens and country houses in good locations. This criteria means that the western area of the Algarve (Lagos, Aljezur, Vila do Bispo) is attracting the attention of many international buyers. "Space, privacy, low population density areas, small open air markets or nature are words we hear every day from our international clients," adds Sandra Matos.

The Algarve: buyers looking for super-luxury to traditional Algarve life

Engel & Völkers Lagos
Engel & Völkers Lagos

Properties for sale in Quinta do Lago - a region of the Algarve known for its luxury lifestyle and extremely exclusive atmosphere - are characterised by their location close to the sea and unobstructed views of the countryside. Villas are built in plots of over 3000m2 and feature heated swimming pools, outdoor spaces, garages for more than two cars and four to five bedrooms per property at least. British, German, French, Portuguese and lately also American buyers are seeking to invest in this region looking for privacy, security and quality finishes. Here there is still a demand for properties with guaranteed profitability, holiday homes or even investment projects.

In the Lagos area of the Algarve, foreign buyers come mostly from Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and the Scandinavian region. Foreign clients searching in this area have an appetite for properties located in the countryside or in small towns, with villas surrounded by nature that provide space, privacy and access to the simplicity of life in this part of the Algarve, something further encouraged after Lagos joined the international Slow City network. This network characterises cities by the preservation of local traditions and promoting quality of life in terms of sustainability of people and nature.

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