Millionaire expats buying into Algarve resorts

Published:  11 Feb at 6 PM
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British retirees planning to emigrate to Portugal are sitting on their hands rather than snapping up properties.

Real estate agents along Portugal’s Algarve coastline are losing British expat buyers due to Brexit-led uncertainty about sterling’s value. However, the lull in done deals seems only to be affecting reasonably-priced properties under 500,000 euros, whilst luxury pool villas set in small estates are still finding buyers who can afford to ignore the poor exchange rate. In spite of Brexit, Portugal in general and the Algarve in particular are still favourites with British retirees and second-home owners, with the total numbers of Brit residents now standing at 26,513, an 18 per cent increase over the figure for 2017.

According to one real estate agent working with British nationals looking for less expensive homes, inquiries have practically evaporated, with a growing divide between the ultra-rich and those simply looking to retire and enjoy the country’s 300 sunny days a year. The director of another company working with expats told the media not all British property investors are seeking a holiday home, as many are attempting to decide whether or not to emigrate before March 29. Inquiries have increased, but most potential buyers are sitting on their hands and waiting for concrete news on Britain’s future outside the EU.

In general, most realtors expect business to pick up again once Brexit is a done deal one way or the other, with one real estate specialist enthusiastically marketing ultra-luxury ocean-front villas with all the trimmings in a resort featuring several golf courses and all the other necessities required by the mega-rich. The properties are selling for 2.2 million dollars, with Brits amongst the most important buyers. The developer is certain his resort will sell out, but predicts purchasers at all price levels who need to borrow will be hard hit by Brexit’s effects.
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