The British were eager to return to Portugal. Passionate about the sun, the sea and golf in the Algarve for several decades, they chose the region as a privileged destination to buy a house. In recent weeks, tickets to Faro have risen by between 400% and 1250%, and several airlines have dramatically increased the weekly number of flights. Belfast, Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, London-Stansted, Manchester and Newcastle are some of the cities with direct links to Faro International Airport.
September being the month of the year in which the British most look for the Algarve (last year there were about 800 thousand overnight stays in that month alone), nothing is yet lost for the British. The sun continues, the high season of golf starts again and nature tourism, as well as sea walks, are far from being close to the end. And the Portuguese real estate market, especially in the luxury segment, is becoming more and more attractive.
Home search in Portugal beats Spain and France
Those who thought that the UK's announced withdrawal from the European Union (EU), which will become official on the last day of 2020, coupled with the global pandemic, had taken away the ambition of the British to make investments abroad, were wrong. Even when the health rules changed their minds, making it difficult for them to leave the country, the demand for houses in Portugal has not declined. On the contrary, the number of people who expressed a desire to buy houses and apartments increased.
Brexit is one of the major contributors to this increase, according to the British press: around 20% of potential buyers have an urgent need to close deals, fearing that the rules will change from 2021, when England and the EU are already cut. In Portugal, which remains among the top 10 countries in the world to enjoy reform, and which offers various programmes to support and empower foreigners, as the golden visa are unlikely to do. Moreover, given the criteria that dictate investors' change of country, it can be seen that Portugal has prevailed, for several consecutive years, as the country best placed to live and buy house, a scenario that will not change in the post-Brexit period.
The explanation is extensive but simple. Three quarters of people looking to buy houses abroad do so for health reasons - and Portugal is one of the countries in the world with the best National Health Service. A substantial proportion of buyers justify moving to a country with a better climate, i.e. more sunshine - and the Algarve is one of the few regions in Europe that benefits from 365 days of sunshine a year. Some also want to live in a safe country - and Portugal is the safest country in the EU and the third safest in the world. There are also those who are looking for good property investment, and the value for money in Portugal is recognised by all competing markets as unbeatable. Finally, there are those who, together with all the factors already mentioned, are looking for dream homes. And, also in this segment, Portugal has consolidated itself as one of the strongest real estate markets in the world, as proved by the sustained expansion of LUXIMOS Christies International Real Estate.
In this way, the foreign press concludes in several articles it has widely dedicated to the subject, it is not surprising that Portugal is today, contrary to what happened in the past, a much more sought after destination than Spain or France. In fact, in the popularity ranking of safe investment and healthy living, any country in Europe loses to Portugal.