Interest returning to Portuguese property market with enquiries up and distressed sales down

Portugal property market on the rise to recovery

Interest in the property market in Portugal is increasing with the number of enquiries rising on average 17% month on month in the last four months, it is claimed.

According to Infinito Real, a Portugal based company started and run by property investors, the recovery is underway in the country which has not had the kind of property crisis that afflicted neighboring Spain.

The company has had a busy start to 2010. Volumes have increased steadily in recent months and hit a high of just over 500 in January compared to half of that in 2009.

The appeal of Portugal as a destination to invest or buy a holiday home is that the market has never become overcrowded as it has in parts of Spain, according to managing director Stephen Anderson.

With the end of the recession in sight, owing to the UK market showing steady increases for the last seven months, the Portuguese property market has seen a shift in buyer attitude with investors wanting to make a purchase which they like and not just for profit purposes, he added.

Other factors helping the Portuguese property market is more positive press coverage, less focus on the global recession and confidence returning to the markets, he explained.

Stephen Anderson, Managing Director of Infinito Real believes the recent “boom” in business to the Portuguese property market can be attributed to a number of factors.

‘We have seen that a number of buyers who postponed their plans in 2009 are now ready to move which has created a backlog of buyers wanting to move as soon as possible. The small increase in the exchange rate from almost £1 to €1 throughout most of 2009, up to £1 to €1.15 has effectively provided a 15% discount from previous months and has had a profound effect,’ said Anderson.

A further notable change for Infinito Real has been the vast reduction in the number of distressed sales, a forced sale with a discount of at least 20% from the original price. Even though distressed sales have always been available, the economic downturn saw a considerable increase of people in financial difficulty including both individual sellers and also larger developers, he added.

‘Ironically, 2009 was the best possible time to buy a property in Portugal and the worst time to sell. At the peak of the recession we had in the region of 150 distressed sale properties and with high appeal to the majority of investors they sold very quickly. We currently have less than 10 and with the restabilising of the market place I think it is unlikely we will see any further bouts of desperation from developers slashing prices,’ said Anderson.

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