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Right time to buy in Portugal?

Discussion in 'Portugal Property' started by propertyseeker, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. propertyseeker

    propertyseeker New Member

    Hi; we're planning to buy an apartment around Cascais in the near future and was wondering if now's the right time to do so? It seems there's a lots of sellers out there and only a few buyers. If an asking price is say 120,000€, how much should we offer? Thanxx.
  2. Vinte

    Vinte New Member

    Hi there. I´m Portuguese living in an area near Cascais and answering to your question I must say it depends much on the house of course.
    Cascais is a big area and it has a large range of prices. You have from the most expensive condo´s in Portugal to regular apartments (some of them in not very recommended areas). Everyone that lives in this area refers to it just as Cascais, but they don´t really mention the exact place where they live.

    I don´t know if i´m being explanatory.

    What I mean is that this area is not easy to evaluate just by some information (price/photos/...). You must see for yourself or know someone in the area that can advice you well on how much to offer and even if the business worths.

    If you go to areas far from the big cities (Lisbon and Porto) the prices/areas/conditions are more homogenious. I mean in Cascais, for instance, you can have an apartment that costs 150000€ and only 2kilometers away you can have one that is evaluated in 300000€. In the center of Portugal or Alentejo you don´t have this difficulty.

    I hope I´ve helped. Sorry for the mistakes in my English :p

  3. Vinte

    Vinte New Member

    Oh but giving you a tip, on your particular question.

    If the price asked is approximated from the real market value of the propriety, or else if the person is not being greedy our "robbing" you, you should try to low the price in 5000~10000€.

    It´s just a tip in the dark. It´s depends on the house.
  4. propertyseeker

    propertyseeker New Member

    How will the housing market perform in Portugal 2008?

    Thanks for your kind replies Vinte.
    We're actually looking for a specific area in the Cascais area. We been quoted a price of around 120.000 € for an apartment. When we offered to pay cash, no mortgage necessary, the seller sounded very keen and was quick to point out, that yes, the price was definitely negotiable. It seems the apartment was bought by a company for the sole reason of doing place up and sell it for a profit. One of our Portuguese friends who live nearby went to take a look at the apartment and he says it way overpriced. Our friend himself bought a place with his wife and received 15% discount for paying in cash. We're not in a rush to buy a property or any other one for that matter, so let's see if it's still on the market in three months time. If it's still available, our friend told us not to offer more than 90.000 €. I'll let you know how our negotiations turn out if and when we purchase it.
  5. Vinte

    Vinte New Member

    That´s what I was talking about. Some properties are way overpriced indeed. Specially if it was bought to extract some money of it.
    The 120000€ price is the price asked for public in general or to you in particular?
    Some people tend to get the idea of selling everything for a higher price when dealing with foreign buyers.

    Yet, I would be surprised if the owner lows the price to 90000€ but if your friends say that it´s very overpriced it´s possible.
  6. mad_zzzb

    mad_zzzb Member

    Is 120.000 € a fair price?

    I advise you to go to a Portuguese Real Estate site (with english versions) and try to find properties similar to the one you are interested a see if the prices is overrated or not.

    One of the simplest ones is this

    BCI Real Estate: Properties, Flats, Villas, Houses, Lands, Plots, Farms, Buildings, Offices, Shops and/or Warehouses for sale or rental in Portugal

    Just choose Lisboa and then Cascais and off you go.
    By the description and photos you should be able to have some arguments to negotiate.

    Maybe you'll even find a better house for a better price!
  7. propertyseeker

    propertyseeker New Member

    Lots of interesting properties.

    Hi there. Thanks for the link mad zzzb. There's lots of interesting properties listed in Cascais area by the look of it. We've decided to wait until
    October this year before buying anything, giving us ample time to look around.
    Regards, Paul.
  8. Seb Lacroix

    Seb Lacroix New Member


    I don't know about the deal you are willing to make. I don't know the area but what I can tell you if that right now in Portugal you will see lot's of Vende-se signs ( on sale). If it's a right time to buy, you never know the future but at least as a buyer you are on the dominant position so you can make some good deals.

    To give you my personal experience, last year I was looking to buy 1 flat for myself in Aveiro ( 1h south from Porto ) and one for my father. I know I wanted to buy them in a very small area because I was going to rent them to University Students ( about 13 000 university students in Aveiro ). I took one month visiting flats in an area of 2 kilometers. I made about 40 visits to finally buy the two flats at very good prices. Regarding to all the flats I visited my flats where between 10 000 to 15 000 euros cheaper than the AVERAGE market prices. Regarding to the money invested, 95 000 euros and a 113 000 euros investment that's quit a good save of money. ( Enough to buy the furnitures, pay the taxes and still go for a ski trip :)

    So my ADVICE is don't visit only from one agency. If you can do it by yourself, take a bike, walk, take 1 month and visit, visit and visit. ( From agencies, from individual, and ask in bars, pubs, restaurants in case you really like one special place, street, building).

    My friends and network here are now asking me to "work" for them so I am kind of an Independant real estate consultant. As they don't know the market, they don't have time, I do it for them as if it was again for me.

    If you have any questions, send me and email.

    Take care and enjoy portugal
  9. propertyseeker

    propertyseeker New Member

    Let's see how things are in six months time.

    Thanks for your detailed response Seb Lacroix.
    The thing is; as the exchange rate for the GBP has dropped to a historic low against the EUR, we're definitely going to wait until the pound (hopefully) recovers somehow. As we speak, it's trading around 1.25 EUR to 1 GBP making an drop of around 15%+ since last year. We're definitely not going to look actively for a property in the Cascais area before the end of the year. If properties in Portugal falls and the pound rises meanwhile, it's a win-win situation for us, but that's a gamble we take.
    Like I say; life's one big casino. Our fingers are crossed!
  10. Organics1

    Organics1 New Member

    Hi, I also live very close to Cascais, Infact going down there for a walk tonight as it's a beautifull night. Being involved in property to a certain extent Cascais is an interesting one. People who work in Lisbon are actually moving out of cascais in big numbers due to the traffic ont he marginal and the A5 in peak hours. They are moving closer to Lisbon, areas like Oeiras and onwards. Infact Lisbon city has seen the highest rate in price increases due to this fact. A lot of afluent young professionals are buying up property in the most desireable areas of Lisbon. Anyway back to Cascais the mind set there as with much of the Lisbon coast in my experience is to stick to or very, very close to the asking price, even if it takes a year or two to sell. I recently made a cash offer on a property which has been on the market for a year and a half for €135,000. I offered €110,000 and was told no way. They would only reduce by €500, I nearly Peed myself with laughter. Speaking to a lot of agents this is the done thing, people just hold out for what they want regardless if it's the market price or not. What you also have to remember having a real estate agent to market your property is a relatively new concept here. For many years property was bought and sold from word of mouth. There are a LOT of properties for sale but as I've found out not many "deals" to be had. All I'm saying if that your friend got a 15% discount, he one was very lucky or two maybe some under declaration was going on. However there always exceptions to the rule.
  11. Seb Lacroix

    Seb Lacroix New Member

    My last two weeks looking for a Flat.


    Last two weeks my friends asked me to look for him to help him buy the right flat. Since I have been doing my homework :) . Again, let's share some fresh experiences.

    In the same street, I visited two flats. With 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, one nice living room, a place to park your car, same age ( about 27 years old ). Same Builder. One is on sale for 175 000 euros ( on sale already for the last two years), the other one at 125 000 ( and the owner is willing to negotiate something :D ).

    Why such a big difference.

    The expensive one, the owners decided that they WANT 175 000 for the flat, and they won't sale it at that price ( I bought one three years ago, completely refresh for 121 250 euros. And the market went down. Market price for that 115 000 to 135 000 ( 115 000 is a good deal, 135 000 only if the flat was rebuild inside ( new kitchen, bathrooms, paint, floor, windows etc...))

    And the second owner asked prices in a few agencies to know the market value.

    Now my second example. Same street, two buildings, touching each other. Same area, same view. One with garage ( at least 15 000 euros to buy a garage on that area). One for 140 000 without garage, with a very old aspect, floor, walls, kitchen.... The other one 137 000 with garage, a new kitchen, new floor, new bathroom.

    So I already have some example of prices that are not fair.

    So If you want to buy, and if you would like to make a good deal, get someone to help you, or spend time visiting with various agencies, owners etc...

    In my blog you can find some infos, not lot yet because I only started a few weeks ago.

    Take care and enjoy Portugal.

    And by the way today is the celebration of the "Portuguese revolution". In 1974 Portugal was still under a Dictature.

    Sebastien Lacroix
    Independent Real Estate Consultant
  12. Stefan

    Stefan New Member

    Interesting to read about the market up there. I am not replying on the e mail about purchase or not? Now or later? The only thing to add to all this is that: It is never the wrong time to buy, it is just WHAT you buy and how much you pay for it. This deals you can do anytime when you have a person that really need to sell, no matter if it is up or down in any market in Europe or even on a Global market. To add other issues in like, the poor value on the Sterling, the stock market etc etc, will never end up in a good deal, to end up with a good deal you need to be very active and have the funds ready when ever you find something. Me and my collegeu is going up to the Silver coast and that tour will probably include Cascais as well. Good Luck!
  13. Seb Lacroix

    Seb Lacroix New Member

    Hello Stefan,

    I am glad you enjoyed my post. So you are planning to "invest" in Portugal, Silver Cost. Nice area of course. I guess you already know Portugal. Where are you from? I am from france, but I have been living in Scoltland one year, Barcelona also a year and now in Portugal. As I wanted to live here I already bought a place to stay :)
    In Aveiro. Nice city, the beach is about 10 minutes from car. I started my day by a 25 minutes run in the sand and then went inside the water to try to caught some waves but they were very small lolol.

    It will be nice if you keep in touch about your trip and how things went. I would love to learn from other people experiences ( good, bad) about buying here in Portugal. I am working as an Independent Real Estate Consultant, for now my clients are mostly my Portuguese network and already some international contacts, one from England, one from Sweden and the last one from Belgium. I am always happy to learn more about my job, my business area so please feel free and more than welcome to share your experience with me. If I could help in anything, I will be glad. I am fluent in Portugues ( My mum is Portuguese :), it helps sometimes .

    Take care and enjoy Portugal
  14. M Butler

    M Butler New Member

    Right time to buy in Portugal

    Hi Organics1,

    We have been watching the Portuguese market for 2-3 years now and it does not seem to have been moving much. Prices staying the same and the same properties on the market.
    Interesting what you say about Cascais. You would think if there was a mass exodus that would affect house prices.
    We are intending to visit the area with a view to looking at property. Where are the best areas to buy?
    How are the flights between Lisbon and Hurghada???

  15. Organics1

    Organics1 New Member

    Hi Margaret,

    It depends what you are looking for and for what reason (holiday, rental, permanent stay). If you are going for one of the new builds in Cascais (or anywhere else) then you will be paying a premium as with any new build.

    However look around and there are deals to be had but it does take time and a lot of searching. The biggest problem I am finding is that un-like the UK where agencies are heavily regulated by the OFT, NAEA and Ombudsmen, that isn't the case here. Talking as a retired ex London agent it is now near on impossible to buy a property through your company in the UK. Again this is common practice here, well from what I have seen and heard so far. My take on it here is that once the property hits the agents web-sites or windows it's no longer a deal as either they would have bought it themselves or passed it on to one of their developer buyers. I know I shouldn't tie everyone to the same brush but I'm just talking from personal experience. The vendors basically give a price that they want and don't really care who buys it. The properties I have bought have been either through word of mouth, seeing a personal ad, through an auction or what's called "carta fechada" sealed bids. This is usually when the local council is taking the property from the owner to pay for some kind of un-paid taxes or duties. As I stated earlier this takes time and off-course trawlling through the local papers everyday which if you're only visiting you won't have time to do.

    I can't really give you advice on areas as I don't know what you're looking for. I'm not an agent just an individual who likes investing in property.

    I haven't even started to look at how I can get to Hurghada but will do once I secure a place. I have been there a couple of times now and so I know it reasonably well. I guess I'll probably have to fly to Morrocco and the change there or one of the other euro cities which have direct flights.

    Hope this helps and let me know if I can be of any more help.

    Kind regards

  16. M Butler

    M Butler New Member

    Sounds like a lot of work but we have had to do the same in Egypt. Looks as though the system is pretty similar as Estate Agents are a relatively new concept in Egypt. Most properties are not even advertised, so you have to find another way into the market unless you are buying in touristic areas of course which sounds a bit like Portugal.

    We were originally looking to move to Portugal to live for most of the year and have looked at various areas but never quite made it to Cascais but we intend to do so. However, given that we have just lost a villa here, I caught my hubby looking again at Portugal. The exchange rate is not really up to buying in Euroland at the moment for Brits but that's not to say that we won't still be looking to the future, say in 2-3 years. So, anything we would be looking at would be to live in and it would probably a villa with a bit of a garden and a pool.
    We have seen websites for some developments south of Lisbon which looked nice and will probably visit them when we do come to Portugal again.

    You can fly here via Madrid, Vienna, Brussels, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and possibly Majorca believe it or not.

    Thanks for the info,
  17. Organics1

    Organics1 New Member

    Hi Margaret,

    Oh no! did you lose the villa in El Gouna? Sorry to hear that.

    In terms of Cascais, trying to find a nice detached Villa with some land, possibly pool or tennis court will set you back quite a bit. If I won the lottery I would buy a plot of land in Quinta Da Marinha (have a look at it) and build a stunning house. It's the Beverly Hills of Cascais :)

    However my favourite area of all is Sintra. It has a great mixture of countyside, historical buildings and nearby beaches. I'm in the early stages of building a 300 sqm modern architecture house with with pool and garden (waiting for planning concent). It will be going on the market as soon as the 3D pictures are done.

    Let me know when you're over as I have no problems in spending a couple of days with you showing you around the different areas.

    Best Regards

  18. M Butler

    M Butler New Member

    Yes, we have heard that Sintra is beautiful. We will be waiting until the pound/euro exchange rate settles before we come over.
    Thanks for your kind offer and I would extend the same to you although my expertise at the moment is around Cairo. I would hope to be extending that to further south shortly.

  19. Organics1

    Organics1 New Member

    Hi Margaret,

    A friend of mine is heavily involved in the currency markets and tells me that there is a bit of a rumour flying around at the moment regarding the Euro/Sterling exchange rate, which is that they are trying to strengthen the Euro so much against the Pound so that it becomes the 1 for 1 scenario or very close to it. That way the UK will have no excuse but to change to the Euro. I know this is just a rumour but I'm a big believer in there being no smoke without fire. So just keep a close eye on the rate.

    Thanks for offer but as I have family in Cairo (Heliopolis) I know it quite well and to be honest I try and stay as far away from it as possible ;)

  20. M Butler

    M Butler New Member

    Well, that bit of information does not surprise me in the least.

    I was meaning if you come to Hurhgada but you may have family there also.

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