Ryder Cup 2018 bid raises profile of golf property prospects in Portugal

Golf resorts in Portugal are set to become increasingly popular with property investors if the country succeeds in its bid to host the Ryder Cup in 2018, it is claimed.

Portugal’s Algarve has always attracted a high number of real estate buyers with an interest in golf. Now it is one of six nations – the others are France, Germany, Holland, Spain and Sweden – to bid to host the prestigious bi-annual golf tournament between Europe and the United States.

Indeed it has hosted an impressive number of tournaments this year alone, some 700, including 59 European Tour events, 10 European Challenge Tours and 10 European Senior tours.

Others point out that Portugal attracts property investors who want a more stylish atmosphere than Spain, a rival for the Ryder Cup bid. John Reilly, managing director of BuyAbroad.com said it is now regarded as an upmarket destination.

Portugal is the place to own a property if you are a golfer according to Serge Cowan, managing director of Unique Living, a London based property agency marketing luxury homes in prime locations.

‘Easy accessibility from the UK with a short flight time of around two hours and a wide choice of carriers, makes the Algarve a natural home for golfers,’ he explained.

‘Currently, prices have never been so competitive, so those buying now will own a home that in a few years time will have almost certainly shown a profound increase in its value,’ he added.

But even in the high end market buyers still seek a good price, according to James Harrison, sales director of Pestana Golf Resorts, and they can still find that in Portugal.

‘Buyers want the location and the price to be right and they don’t necessarily rush into making a decision. Many of our buyers have played golf at our resorts, they talk to owners on the course, in the bar, and then they might buy several years later,’ he added.

Spain is regarded as the main rival on the golf list. But its once thriving golf industry is particularly affected by the economic downturn. In Alicante and Murcia there are 20 golf courses, many with related property developments that have felt the pinch.

The construction of several golf resorts has stalled, leaving hundreds of investors wondering when their properties will be finished.

One is the Santa Ana de Monte golf resort project at the town of Jumilla in Murcia. A few show homes have been completed, others are only at the foundation stage and where there should be greens there are just empty fields.

The developer, San Jose Grupo, is under court-supervised administration. ‘We expect, within the shortest time possible, to hand over the first properties sold, along with the first golf course,’ it said in a statement but when pressed for dates none were forthcoming.

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