The Algarve is still a very popular place for Britons to earn a second home, as it takes under three hours to fly there, has year round attractions and a long season including at least six hours of sunshine every day in December and January. However many homebuyers still find it essential to be near well maintained golf courses, even though just 40% of them play golf as being near good facilities gives better rental yields.
The number of enquiries for property in the Algarve has increased significantly with recent figures showing a 55% year-on-year increase the number of searches on property websites. The mortgage industry has also noticed an increase in the number of people asking for funding, with the top end of the market proving popular.
Vale do Lobo is one of the more exclusive areas in Portugal as the resort which includes a golf course and spa, and is three times the size of Monaco and is considered to be one of the most established resorts in Europe. Although the number of sales decreased here due to the recent downturn, property owners didn't reduce prices and as a result were not as affected by the crisis. The resort consists of 1500 homes but has expansion plans due to take place over the next decade which includes 500 new homes.
The Eastern Algarve is a lot cheaper than the rest of this region with property prices here starting at less than £100,000. While some people might be cautious about buying property in Portugal fearing that prices may crash in the same way that they have done in Spain, strict building regulations in Portugal have limited supply as it has a much more conservative attitude towards house building, and its economy is not so reliant on construction.