Portugal Property News

Positive indicators and increased confidence in Algarve prime residential tourism market

92% of leading Algarve property agents report higher confidence levels in 2013 and a growing trend to market stabilisation - 10-10-10 Algarve Residential Tourism Survey 2013.

The first survey of 2013 found a positive mood in the market and that activities of ‘bargain hunters’ had dropped considerably in the first four months of the year.

This unique research found that enquiries, offers and transactions were all up in the first quadrimestre of 2013 compared to the end of 2012.

The latest 10-10-10 Algarve Residential Tourism Survey was completed in May 2013, covering the first quadrimestre (four months) of 2013, researching market confidence, performance and trends in the market using a detailed research questionnaire. Data was gathered from leading real estate agents across the Algarve.

Interest from ‘end users’ is continuing to increase across the market, accounting for 80% of all enquiries. Villas and apartments are still the most popular property types and 77% of respondents reported enquiry levels up.

Vendors asking prices are starting to reach levels that would attract buyers in the most popular areas. Asking prices on the coast and in large scale developments seem to have stabilised, whilst all other locations and areas again experienced a reduction of between 5% and 10%.

Growing sales volumes are fuelled by a returning traditional British market, complemented by buyers from ‘emerging markets’, stimulated by new innovative tax and legal structures. The British accounted for 55% of purchases, the Swedish 10% and the Russians and Chinese achieved 15% between them indicating that the Golden Visa Scheme and the Non Habitual Regime are probably stimulating demand. 30% of demand came from 10 different geographic markets.

Overall 47% of respondents reported that the number of completions was higher in the first quadrimestre of 2013 with only 15% reporting a fall. The higher end of the market in product type and price point appears to be more active - detached villas represented 46% of all sales and volumes were up by 17% compared to the end of 2012.

The inclusion of higher value large scale integrated golf and beach resort developments in the survey has led to some interesting results with 21% of sales being over ?2 million, 11% between ?750,000 and ?2 million, 33% between ?250,000 and ?750,000, and 35% of sales were below ?250,000.

The trend to market stabilisation noted during 2012 seems to be continuing in the first quadrimestre of 2013 evidenced by no change in prices for apartments on the coastal strip and prices for stand-alone detached villas decreasing by just 2%. Comparatively prices for detached villas and mansions in recognised resort developments increased by 8% and 5% respectively, albeit a much smaller market segment.

The dominance of ‘end user’ purchasers continues as speculators move out of the market and the number of properties bought as a holiday home increased again during the first quadrimestre of 2013 compared to the end of 2012, accounting for 42% of all purchases.

Other key purchasing motives remained stable with primary residence and retirement related buying again accounting for nearly 40% of transactions.

As in 2012, apartment and villas formed the majority of new vendor instructions and in terms of geography, the supply of properties coming onto the market in remoter locations and north of the EN125 remained steady at 13% of the total, however interest in these areas is negligible.

In terms of lead generation the internet is a very important part of the vendor market’s business strategy accounting for 27% of all leads, walk-ins and word of mouth account for 50% and 18% are generated by overseas agent contact.

The Algarve market continues to be positively impacted by these key developments: the return of the core British market, new emerging markets driven by favourable and innovative legal and tax structures, increasing availability of mortgage financing and a destination product proposition that is now highly price competitive.

Agents have reported new positive market indicators:

“We have felt consumer confidence is higher and have noticed the type of buyer currently investing in property is almost exclusively the end user. It's not about buying and selling for a quick turnover/profit as buyers are interested in holding on for the next 5-10 years at least.”

“Clients have reached the point that they are not prepared to put their lives on hold for a potential change in the market, they would rather buy now and start to enjoy their new property sooner rather than later.”

According to Andrew Coutts, CEO of ILM Group "The opportunity for the market is to implement an Algarve destination marketing programme and to innovate further real estate product offerings."

Source: www.ilm-group.com