If you crave a new life in the sun, or even just a bolt-hole away from Britain’s gloom, it needn’t cost the earth. While property prices are rising in most European sunshine destinations, affordable options still exist – especially in Portugal. While the country’s popular Algarve region has plenty of glitz, glamour and multi-million euro villas, there’s plenty of affordable Algarve homes to choose from too.
Portugal’s Algarve is, in fact, the most affordable sunshine hotspot in western Europe. With 50 square metre apartments available from around £70,000, you can get a lot for your money.
This article looks at what cheap Algarve property you can lay your hands on for under £150,000. For that budget, you have a wide choice of areas and property styles. You may well be pleasantly surprised by the kind of property – and lifestyle – you can bag for such a budget. Of course, go a little inland and the real bargains start.
Is it all about the area?
Some areas of the central Algarve are synonymous with big boats, big villas, and sometimes even big name celebrities. In resorts like Vale do Lobo, Quinta de Lago and Vilamoura, the sky really is the limit when it comes to prestige property. If a gated villa with masses of bedrooms and amenities is what you’re looking for, and what your budget stretches to, these areas will oblige.
However, all is far from lost if you have a smaller budget. You’ll can still find cheap Algarve property within, or just minutes from, these sought-after locations. If you go a little further afield, you can get even more for your money. The example properties later in this article prove that having less to spend still leaves the whole region within reach.
So, while less “obvious” areas may mean lower prices, a modest budget in the Algarve still gives you access to an abundance of choice. There’s still potential for space, sea views, land and easy access to transport and amenities. It all just depends on what’s most important to you.
Wondering where to find £150,000? Read our brand new guide, How to Pay for a Portuguese Home.
How to Save Money on Affordable Algarve Property
With the above in mind, what can you do to track down the real bargains? It helps to consider the various reasons why some Algarve properties come with a lower price tag:
Going Inland: With new residents and tourists often heading to the Algarve specifically for the sun and sea, property right on the coast tends to come with a price premium. That said, £150,000 will still buy you a beach apartment if that’s what you desire.
If you’re willing to go inland a little, however, you will find more options and more for your money. (It’s worth noting, also, that “inland” Algarve can still only mean a 10 minute drive to reach the beach).
Going “Rustic:” If you’re willing to take on a bit of a renovation project, or to settle into somewhere with a less modern feel, your budget with typically stretch further. The Portuguese tend to favour modern homes with modern facilities. As such, if traditional is your thing, you will definitely find some low-cost options.
Going Further from the Airport: All of the Algarve is easily accessible from Faro airport, with nowhere really taking more than 90 minutes by car. However, some of the places that are really convenient – including such destinations as Quinta de Lago and Vilamoura – are generally more expensive.
Being within 20 minutes of the airport is particularly appealing for those who want to take frequent trips in and out of the country (or perhaps even commute to the UK). If this is of less concern to you, you may find your budget stretches further, just by going about 30 minutes further from the airport in either direction.
Bagging the Best Bargains
With so much choice of cheap Algarve property, you’ll probably find plenty of homes you want to take a look at. Here are some things to keep in mind during your search:
- While internet searches can help you get a feel for the area, there’s nothing quite as good as arranging proper viewing trips and truly familiarising yourself with Portugal. There’s considerable variety in the feel and lifestyle of different Algarve towns. As such, the more you know the region, the better placed you are to consider what is truly a bargain for YOU.
- Another benefit of being “on the ground” is being able to meet local estate agents. They should be able to alert you to new properties coming up for sale long before you’d find them online.
- While it’s easy to concentrate on agencies aimed specifically at the “overseas buyers” market, don’t let fear of a language barrier or other concerns stop you from exploring beyond them. If you come across as the “wealthy foreigner” you could be treated as such!
No matter where you choose to buy in Portugal, learning a few key negotiating skills should bag you a better home for your money. Read our guide, How to Negotiate Abroad.
Algarve Property Bargains: Examples
Here are some examples of some of the abundant cheap Algarve property out there. We begin to the west of the region, and then work our way east.
Sterling prices based on exchange rates on 14th May 2019.
Lagos – £146,678 (€169,000)
If you only expected to see apartments on this list, think again! Less than £150,000 will bag you this three-bedroom villa just minutes from the desirable city of Lagos. The city is popular with everyone from foodies to surfers, and is home to some of the Algarve’s very best beaches. It is a little further from the airport than some other resorts, but it’s still only an hour via the motorway, and also accessible by train from Faro.
The most amazing thing about this property is that it includes a self-contained basement annex with its own kitchen and outside space. This means you have the potential for permanent living, complemented by an Airbnb-style investment to bring in some income!
Portimão (Praia de Rocha) – £140,602 (€162,000)
At only 200 metres from one of the Algarve best-known and popular beaches, this one-bedroom apartment in Praia de Rocha has been comprehensively refurbished in neutral tones. It’s a place where getting settled would be simplicity itself. Click on the image to see the property.
Praia de Rocha is a thriving resort offering everything from luxurious beach clubs to high-end restaurants. The city of Portimão, largely untouched by tourism, is just up the road, complete with large shopping complexes and traditional restaurants.
Albufeira – £138,866 (€160,000)
If you want to truly feel like you’re on holiday for every moment you’re in the Algarve, this one-bed apartment in Albufeira will be perfect for you. As a holiday home to rent out too, it definitely ticks all the boxes. Located on a holiday condominium, the facilities go way beyond the standard outdoor pool. There’s also an indoor pool, a spa, a gym, and extensive gardens.
Albufeira is one of the most well-known resort areas in the Algarve. There are extensive facilities and great transport links, with journeys to and from the airport taking about 40 minutes.
Vilamoura – £121,319 (€149,000)
You may remember we highlighted Vilamoura as one of the less affordable areas of the Algarve. However, it’s still possible to find bargains. This one comes in well within the £150,000 budget, and is just ten minute’s walk from Vilamoura’s popular marina. Here you will find multi-million Euro yachts, luxurious restaurants, and Portuguese footballers enjoying their summer holidays!
The property is a one-bedroom apartment on a quiet condominium complex with a shared pool. A large balcony provides plenty of space to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle.
Cabanas-de-Tavira – £117,168 (€135,000)
The popular resort village of Cabanas-de-Tavira sits on the sparkling Ria Formosa natural park, and boasts one of the Algarve’s finest island beaches. The village is popular with overseas residents, who enjoy a sunshine resort feel but also have the convenience of Tavira itself – a small and picturesque city – just a few minutes away. The village is within 40 minutes of Faro, by both road and rail.
This one-bedroom apartment is spacious and includes a balcony large enough for barbecues and outdoor dining. There are restaurants and bars just moments away. Cabanas is very popular with tourists, so you’ll have no problem renting the property out for the long summer season.
Moncarapacho – £151,885 (€175,000)
This traditional Portuguese home nudges just over the £150,000 mark, but serves to demonstrate just how much you can get for your money by going slightly inland.
Moncarapacho is incredibly convenient, and just 20 minutes east of Faro airport. Stunning island beaches at nearby Olhão and Fuseta are only ten minutes away, yet the town feels quiet, rural and traditional.
The house is on a huge plot of land, and is currently configured with two bedrooms and a separate annex. There’s bags of potential for remodelling and extending.
Montegordo – £112,829 (€130,000)
If you like the idea of being right in the middle of plenty of action, this apartment in Montegordo is somewhere where you’ll never get bored. A beautiful sandy beach is just 100 meters away, as is a casino and a wide range of bars and restaurants. The location really serves to prove that choosing a cheap Algarve property needn’t mean you have to make compromises.
Montegordo is located at the far eastern end of the Algarve. It’s the last Portuguese resort you reach before you get to the spanish border. This means it’s perfectly feasible to cross a border (and a timezone) for a relaxed tapas lunch and still be home long before sunset! The town is popular with overseas residents and day-trippers from Spain, and is less than an hour from Faro airport.