Head to Portugal for your holiday home in the sun

Home | Contact Us | Our Services | About Us
Europa Mortgages - Spanish Mortgage in Spain
Need help with your mortgage? Use our 24-Hour Helpline - Call (+34) 637 451 649
Mortgage Services
Mortgage Enquiries
Mortgage Guide
Mortgage Calculator
Interest-Only Mortgages
Spanish Commercial Finance
Financial News
Documentation Required
Euribor Information
Mortgage Resources
Spanish NIE Numbers
Foreign Currency
Foreign Currency Exchange
Foreign Currency in Spain
Practical Steps
Overseas Mortgage Payments
More Advice on Currency
Spanish Property
Spanish Property
The Village
Spanish Property Rentals
Buyers Guide
Inheritance Tax
Useful Spanish Phrases
Need a mortgage in Spain? Get more information now.
Head to Portugal for your holiday home in the sun

News Article Date: Monday 27th of July 2009

Prices in Portugal are down less than in neighbouring Spain, but pick your spot carefully. Buying in Portugal is much more complicated than in much of mainland Europe. Britons seeking a bargain holiday home in the sun may look to Spain or France, but they shouldn't ignore one of Europe's more salubrious locations. If you reckon Portugal is merely an upmarket version of Spain, think again; it has a different philosophy to its Iberian neighbour. In 1993, laws were passed to restrict overdevelopment in designated coastal areas, mostly on the Algarve in the south, so demand sometimes exceeds supply. Although prices have been on a rollercoaster, they have fallen less than in any part of Spain. By far the most popular holiday home area is the Algarve, due to its 280 days of sunshine a year and because large numbers of budget flights access nearby Faro airport. But that makes it Portugal's busiest region, too. The Estoril coast south of Lisbon is also popular, while the northern coast is increasingly in favour. Foreigners tend to buy new homes, which are generally of a higher quality than in Spain. Expect to pay 120,000 (104,000) for a small apartment (twice this for a sea view), and 1m for a family-sized detached villa near a beach. Brits considering the Algarve should bear in mind that, historically, it is a region where property prices have seen much more dramatic ups and downs than the wider national market. Go back to the 1960s and the Algarve was visited only by small numbers of Portuguese holidaymakers, but by the end of that decade, luxury hotels and golf courses began springing up. In the early 1970s it was popular with British holiday and retirement home buyers. All development came to an abrupt halt after the 1974 revolution, according to Dr Michael Ball, the author of an annual Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors review of European housing markets. "Investors lost a fortune and tourism to the Algarve practically ceased by 1975," he says. The pace of development went back into overdrive in the late 1980s, with well-heeled British buyers flocking there. Algarve prices plummeted in the early 1990s and shot up again at the end of the decade, before another dive in 2003. The Global Property Guide website reports prices in the Algarve fell 4.4% over the 12 months to last September, after a tiny rise in 2007 and a 6% increase the year before. Looking at Portugal as a whole, prices slid 4.8% in the year to last September, with the Alentejo and Centro regions hit hardest. "With the economy hurtling into recession, the Portuguese housing market is expected to continue its downward price spiral until end-2010," says the site. Some potential buyers may see that as good news, others as a reason to steer clear. Buying in Portugal remains more complicated than in much of mainland Europe. First, you need a tax card and number from the local council in the area where you wish to buy, and you must nominate a Portuguese address for documentation; usually the selling agent will act as this contact. Second, very few Portuguese finance houses lend to foreign buyers, so most Britons must arrange a mortgage at home. Third, many flats especially those built before the legal changes of 1993 are run by residents who set up committees to organise services like cleaning and maintenance; so it can be hard for foreign-based buyers to get involved. Set aside 2% of the purchase price for legal fees and 1% for Portuguese land registry charges. Add 1% each for turning on utilities and arranging a Portuguese mortgage. Stamp duty can be 7.5% if you buy at an auction, and there is transfer tax on secondhand homes of up to 10%. The Portuguese estate agency profession is regulated, so individual agents are more qualified and more professional than in Spain, but charges are unregulated when you come to sell, the commission can be a whopping 10%, though you can haggle. Most agents list properties by square-metre floor size; some include outdoor patios and some don't, so check to make true comparisons. All mortgage debts and local taxes are property specific. This means the previous owner must clear them before you buy, otherwise you inherit them. Anyone wanting a pure investment and long-term tenants (professional renters, not holidaymakers) should furnish their properties, but remember there is little demand in resort areas, so stick to Lisbon and Porto.
Send us a mortgage enquiry for your mortgage requirements in Spain, France, Portugal, Cyprus, Florida, Dubai and Turkey Click here to send a Spanish mortgage enquiry
Follow our mortgage blog the latest news and often irreverent views Click here to follow our overseas mortgage blog Thanks for reading

- • -

For advice and a free quotation please fill out a Spanish mortgage enquiry.

Home | Mortgage Enquiries | Our Services | About Us | Contact Us | Mortgage Resources
Europa Mortgages - Tel (+34) 637 451 649 - Fax +44 207 681 1265
© 2004-2007 Europa Mortgages SC (CIF - G92654250). All rights reserved. No unauthorised copying permitted.

Web Design in Spain by abOriginal