Why buy Property in Portugal?
Port wine, sardines, tea-towels, the ubiquitous cockerel symbol, sandy beaches, golf, football and the spectacularly expensive legs of Luis Figo: all these are typical Portuguese images and icons - and of course there's more, much more. Mention Portugal in conversation and many people instantly conjure up warming memories of sunfilled days in languid enjoyment of the increasingly popular holiday destination - the Algarve. In 1999, 27 million people visited Portugal, almost 12 million of these as holiday tourists, outnumbering native inhabitants of the country! The vast majority of visitors come from the UK (now accounting for almost 2 million annually), Germany and Spain , and a steady influx from the USA (around 3% of visitors), Canada and Brazil .
They are all drawn to the sun, the relaxed way of life, cheaper prices (although these are changing since the introduction of the euro), beaches, the landscapes of the north, and the good, cheap wine and food.
In addition to this constant transient swelling of numbers each year, thousands have gone on and bought property in Portugal, mostly as holiday, or second homes, but some also as a permanent move, either for retirement, or a new way of life. It is estimated that in 2001 the number of British people who bought property in Portugal rose by 25%. Whilst Spain continues to tempt the greatest number of British ex-patriots, Portugal enjoys growing popularity, especially amongst young families, and the retired, and an estimated 50,000 people now enjoy residence there.
A huge 48% of all tourists to Portugal stay in the Algarve, and indeed many go on to make their homes there, with about 20% of Algarve residents now British. With average sunshine rates of 8.6 hours a day, and a much better all-round climate, it's no wonder the southern coastline is a PR person's dream commodity. For those who have ventured beyond the foreign, ex-patriot enclaves of the Algarve (even by a mere 5 km or so), Portugal has also offered much more than sun, beaches and golf: a varied landscape, a fascinating history, good food, family values, a calm lifestyle, and above all, the warmth of its welcoming people - a true hand of friendship and a feeling of belonging.