Written by Christopher Nye,
Last Modified: 15th December 2021

The Portugal Property Guides reader survey for 2020 was our most successful ever. (It’s almost as if people had nothing better to do…!) From nearly 800 responses we are able to get a clear picture of the hopes, dreams, plans and concerns of property buyers in Portugal, whether that’s for a holiday home or a complete relocation.

Find gorgeous homes in Portugal via our portal

Here are a few things we thought you might find interesting…

You’re ready to go

Covid couldn’t have come at a worse time. An incredible 29% of readers had been raring to go, with viewing trips booked, when the pandemic struck. The good news is that 52% still aim to buy within the next year.

Indeed at least 10% still aim to buy before the end of this year, especially to get your EU rights maintained. And you can too, with our help. Give Chloe a call on 020 8023 5572, or email [email protected] for some speedy help!

You’re planning for your Portuguese retirement

Two out of three readers are looking for a retirement in Portugal. The average age is about 60, with 39% in the 60 to 69 age group and 10% aged 70 or more. There are plenty of early retirees though, with many readers telling us they intend buying a holiday home for now and then deciding later whether to retire to Portugal too.

Where to buy? The Western Algarve was your top choice

An active, healthy retirement

Retirement in the 2020s is very different to our grandparents’ day. With better healthcare and longer lives, for our readers it’s a time for a new adventure! When we asked what a new life in Portugal meant for you, 65% said “a happy retirement”, 63% said they want a “healthier lifestyle” and 50% want “a new adventure”.

65% said “a happy retirement”, 63% said they want a “healthier lifestyle” and 50% want “a new adventure”.

We know that a large proportion of readers are taking early retirement from demanding jobs in the emergency and health services, schools and civil service. With 60 being the new 40, you’re more likely to be embarking on the Albufeira Half Marathon or surfing the giant waves off Nazaré than sitting in a deckchair on the beach or playing bowls.

A fresh start for couples (or singles!)

71% of readers are buying as a couple. One lady told us that as a new couple on second marriages, with children long left home, this was their chance to have an adventure together.

12% said they were still trying to persuade their spouse to go to Portugal.

However, when we asked what had been holding you back so far from going to Portugal, 12% said they were still trying to persuade their spouse to go to Portugal. No surprise then that 18% are going to Portugal on their own. Moving abroad as a single person is not only doable, but offers new adventure and potential new romance too. See where Portugal came in our list of best places to move as a singleton.

Sorry about all the Brexit…

Despite a slight glitch in the survey that prevented people saying exactly where they are from, we did establish that around 40% were not from the UK.

So firstly, apologies for going on about Brexit so much for the past five years! However, in three months, after the end of the transition period, over 90% of our readers will be “third country nationals” so then we can focus more on how all of us can get to live in Portugal, the visas on offer, health insurance and minimum income requirements.

Find out what you need to consider in our Guide to Living in Portugal After Brexit. Much of the information applies to other non-EU readers too.

You’re not too worried…

Brexit is less of a worry for buyers now, as we seem to be working out how to work around it, just like our North American and Australian readers. Of course, for the 28% buying a holiday home and 4% just investing, Brexit won’t affect them at all. But even for those relocating, while previous surveys showed 40+% worried about Brexit, in this survey only 28% mentioned it.

It was still the top concern, however. After that, 27% were worried about getting affordable healthcare, a quarter worried about the legal process, 19% were still undecided on Portugal as a location and 18% worried that their currency is too weak. (That applies not just to the British pound but to the US dollar against the euro too.)


At Portugal Property Guides we would divide problems into those you can do something about and those you can’t. We asked if it would help your plans if we could introduce you to certain trusted professionals we have worked with before. Two thirds of readers asked to be introduced to an estate agent in Portugal and 65% to a lawyer. You can do that by clicking here.

Currency is a concern

The pound has been in freefall against the euro this week. Had you been buying a €200,000 property in Portugal (which is about the average for our readers) this time last week it would have cost you around £178,000, and this week it would cost you £184,000. If you couldn’t find the extra £6,000 on your completion date the sale could fall through. That’s why we asked in the survey if you understood how to manage the risks of rising and falling exchange rates while buying property.

Thankfully, 63% said they do understand the risks. For the other 38%, please do read The Property Buyer’s Guide to Currency, free to download here.

It’s vital that you protect your budget from moving exchange rates. Find out how in the Property Buyer’s Guide to Currency.

Incidentally, 35% said they would use their bank for the transfer. We really do recommend that you use a property specialist like Smart Currency Exchange, who offer much better service on the whole.

Where you’re buying

It probably won’t be a surprise that the Algarve is the top choice by some distance. But where?

17%       Western Algarve
16%       Central Algarve
12%       Eastern Algarve
4%         Inland Algarve

When we gave a few options for home types and locations, the top choice was “ a seafront home” (an option for 47% of readers), followed closely by a home in the countryside (45%) and “a villa slightly inland” (43%). Further behind was a resort property and city apartment.

For those who do want a city apartment, however, Lisbon was a bit more popular than Porto, but not by far. With the Silver Coast also the top choice of one in ten readers, the 300 kilometres of coast from Lisbon to Porto are attracting well over a quarter of our readers.

Wherever you’re looking to buy in Portugal, we wish you the best of luck.

Download your free Portugal Buying Guide

The Portugal Buying Guide is designed to support you through each stage of buying property in Portugal, providing relevant, up-to-date information and tips from Portugal property experts and expats who have been through the process themselves. It helps you to:

  Impact of Brexit
  Find your property
  Ask the right questions
  Avoid losing money
  Avoid the legal pitfalls
  Move in successfully

Download your free guide to buying abroad

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