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Picking The Right Portugal Property Spot

July 24, 2009Article by Ray Withers

Algarve property prices in Portugal are not down as much as those in neighbouring Spain, where some areas have experienced catastrophic falls, but like buying property anywhere, you still need to consider location, location and location to get the best deals.The Algarve is one of Europe’s desirable holiday hotspots, thanks to an average 280 days of sun a year and quick and easy budget flights to Faro from many UK airports.

Another attraction is the Algarve often has a demand for property that outstrips supply because laws forbid overdevelopment in designated coastal areas that has enabled planners to keep tight rein on development.

Although property prices have fallen on the Algarve, they have not dropped as much as any area in neighbouring Spain.Second homers and expats look for new homes. Expect to pay €240,000 (£208,000) for a small apartment with a sea view, half that for the same apartment without the views and €1m for a family-sized detached villa near a beach.

Some buying points to watch for include:

* Estate agency selling charges can be up to 10% of the property value

* Properties are generally listed by floor area and some agents sneak in outside patios to make the property look bigger and some don’t, so check what you are buying and compare like with like

* Mortgages and taxes are property are tied to properties not owners, so your lawyer must make sure you are not inheriting any hidden debts when you buy

Buying fees are 2% of the purchase price for legal costs and 1% for land registry fees. Connecting utilities can cost 1% and arranging a Portuguese mortgage, while stamp duty can reach 7.5%

One development that is currently ticking a lot of boxes for British buyers, according to UK Portugal property specialists is Condominio-Panorama.Built high on hills overlooking the city of Lagos with wide-ranging views over the area and out to sea.

The newly released development is low risk for expats looking to retire or second homers as the flats are already completed and ready to move in, so there is no ‘off plan’ risk of the project halting.Prices start at £242,000 for two-bedroom apartments. Other larger properties include three-bed apartments, duplexes and penthouse suites.


Ray Withers

Ray has over 17 years’ experience in the international property market and bought his own first international property investment back in 2002. Aside from running Property Frontiers, Ray has been involved in residential, hotel, student and commercial property investment and development in both the UK and overseas and co-wrote "Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide". As Founder and Trustee of the Frontiers Foundation, Ray is directly involved with many of its projects to ensure they have a direct and tangible impact in individual communities across the globe. He is passionate about property, travelling, scouting out new opportunities and finding time to spend with his young family.
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