Written by Ben Taylor,
10th September 2020

The sun’s still shining and estate agents are again showing eager buyers around Portuguese homes. Find out the latest in our Portugal property market update.

As summer draws to a close in the UK, it’s easy to envy those in Portugal. Many overseas residents have a particular fondness for September. The weather is reliable, the sea is at its warmest, and the tourist numbers begin to abate.

Thankfully, there’s no reason not to progress any plans you have to move there. The country is very much “open for business.” Covid-19 can create some minor logistical challenges, but there’s now nothing to stop you viewing properties in person and putting your dreams in motion.

If you want to raise more money to buy the home of your dreams, read How to Pay for a Portuguese Property

More on the property viewings later, but first a look at the property market in general. Everything’s looking rather positive.

Property Values at Record Levels

Unsurprisingly, there have been considerably fewer property transactions than normal in 2020, with the world practically grinding to a halt during lockdown.

Carvoeiro town, Algarve

However, Covid-19 hasn’t done damage to the value of Portuguese properties. In fact, bank valuations hit record levels in July, rising by 12 Euros per square meter. These bank valuation figures are compiled by the country’s National Statistics Institute (INE).

While year-on-year values are no longer accelerating at quite the same rate, this July figure still represents an 8% overall increase compared to 2019. Growth in the ever-popular Algarve is strong, but it’s the north of the country seeing the largest rises. The smallest rises are in the Alentejo region.

Plenty of Interest from the UK

Ever since lockdown began to ease, the pent up demand for properties in desirable areas has been clear to see. Over the summer, Rightmove data recorded considerable increases in searches for properties abroad. Portugal is one of most popular destinations, alongside Spain and France. Portugal specifically saw searches rise by 26% year-on-year.

Potential buyers don’t seem to be wasting any time either. A recent survey of global property buyers found one in four people are speeding up their move plans due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With the chance of future lockdowns, buyers clearly want to get to where they most want to be quickly. The looming end of the Brexit transition period also seems a likely factor for British buyers.

Are you ready to be a “third country national” in Portugal from 1 January? See what that means in How to Live in Portugal After Brexit.

As a side note, while on the thorny subject of Brexit, moves in the opposite direction are down considerably. The number of Portuguese citizens moving to the UK has fallen by 72% this year.

Property Viewings in Portugal: What to Expect

When Portugal entered lockdown, prospective buyers were unable to visit properties. Agents stepped in with video tours and virtual viewings, and these remain an option for those not yet wishing to travel abroad. Agents have reported completing sales based purely on a virtual tour.

However, it’s now perfectly feasible to arrange a viewing trip and see all the properties you wish to in person. For many, it’s all about a “gut feeling,” which makes stepping foot into each property so important.

If you do visit Portugal to view properties, you will find certain Covid-safe measures in place, such as:

  • Wearing masks and gloves.
  • Travelling to properties in your own car or hire car. Agents are not able to drive you around.
  • Not touching surfaces inside properties.
  • Limiting property visits to two people at a time.
  • Conducting discussions with agents outside each property.

It’s worth noting that agencies will be well-versed in these procedures, so there’s really nothing to worry about.

One thing to remember, before booking a trip, is that visiting Portugal may require you to quarantine for 14 days when you return to the UK. This is a dynamic situation that can change at short notice. As things stand at the time of writing, travellers arriving in Wales and Scotland from Portugal must quarantine, but those arriving in England are (currently) exempt.

Where to Look

Portugal’s postcard-perfect Algarve remains ever popular, and so does the city of Lisbon. Not only is Lisbon an alluring city by the sea, it’s also emerging as a thriving hub for entrepreneurs and startups

Don’t forget about Portugal’s other myriad charms. Agents have reported considerable interest in the Silver Coast (discussed in this article). While not quite as warm as the Algarve, the Silver Coast deliver equally beautiful beaches, a wide range of affordable property, and more of an authentic Portuguese feel. It’s definitely wise to compare this area to the Algarve.

And don’t forget the Alentejo, a large region north of the Algarve. This varied area includes coastal resorts and vast inland areas where you’ll find affordable country homes, vineyards and – so you’re aware – some of Portugal’s most extreme temperatures!

After a tough year, that new life in Portugal has never seemed quite so tempting. Perhaps it’s time to make it a reality.

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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