Iberian countries top list of favourite retirement destinations for UK-based sun seekers

Iberian countries top list of favourite retirement destinations for UK-based sun seekers

Portugal Spain United Kingdom , ,
  • 26% of Brits plan to retire to Spain (MGM Advantage)
  • Las Palmas, Mallorca, is cheapest Spanish city for cost of living (Numbeo)
  • Portugal’s Algarve is best destination to retire to (Retire Overseas Index)

The world is a vast and exciting place. From the mysteries of the Far East to the natural beauty of New Zealand and the endless variety of India, it is a planet that is ripe for exploration. But when it comes to retirement, it is those destinations much closer to home that regularly top Brits’ list of desirable locations, with Iberian countries proving the most attractive.

According to Silver Travel Advisor, 80% of the UK’s wealth is held by the over 50s. They are wealthier than ever before and expect to live longer: the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs puts life expectancy for UK residents at 80.45 years. That’s plenty of time to soak up the sun after cashing that final pay cheque!

Retiring to Spain

A poll by MGM Advantage found that 26% of Brits planned to retire to Spain. While it seems unlikely that a full quarter of those in their golden years will decamp to the Costas (figures from Brits Abroad show that it is closer to one in ten Brits who lives overseas), Spain is certainly a hugely popular destination with British retirees. Some 761,000 UK British citizens live in Spain, according to Brits Abroad, accounting for 13.8% of the total number of Brits residing overseas.

Martin Dell, Director of leading Spanish property portal Kyero.com, explains the country’s continuing attraction in the eyes of British retirees,

“Retirees these days have more funds behind them to explore the world with, but a considerable number look no further than Spain when it comes to where they want to live during their golden years. When you consider Spain’s advantages, it’s easy to see why.

“There’s the great weather, healthy cuisine, delicious wine, pristine golf courses and beautiful beaches, for a start. Spain also has a rich history, with plenty of cultural attractions and inspiring architecture for those who move there with discovery in mind. The cost of living is also a factor, as well as the cost of property. Those on a fixed income can get more for their money in Spain.”

Even Spain’s infrastructure ticks the right boxes when it comes to retiring. According to the International Living Global Retirement Index 2016, Spain was the top country in the infrastructure category thanks to its excellent internet coverage, modern roads and extensive public transportation system. The country also has a high number of doctors in proportion to its population, according to OECD Health Statistics 2015, with healthcare offered freely and universally.

New pension freedoms mean that retirees can approach their years of leisure with far more flexibility. This is having an impact on the plans of those currently looking at retiring overseas. When it comes to property, the average UK home costs £200,251 based on Nationwide’s figures. That’s roughly €255,142 – enough for a five bedroom, three bathroom villa with pool close to the beach, marina and four golf courses in the pretty Spanish town of Villamartin.

Clearly size matters when it comes to a retirement property. The UK is home to the smallest properties in Europe according to a Cambridge University study, which found that 79% of residences were either near acceptable size or below it. A five bedroom villa in Spain, with plenty of room for the family to come and enjoy holidays in, offers far more value for money that one could expect from an English property that cost the same amount.

Nor is it just mainland Spain that retirees love. Las Palmas, in Mallorca, is the cheapest Spanish city on the Numbeo Europe: Cost of Living Index 2016. Like mainland Spain, Mallorca enjoys quick and easy connections to the UK, which makes it ideal for retirees who want to live overseas but also maintain regular contact with their friends and family back home.

Mallorca is home to some stunning properties and leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España has plenty to offer on the island, from key ready apartments and townhouses at Costa Beach – Port Vell from €240,000, to spectacular seafront houses on the clifftops of Cala Magrana Mar – Porto Cristo, priced from €640,000.

Retiring to Portugal

One position after Las Palmas on the Numbeo Europe: Cost of Living Index 2016 is Braga, in Portugal, closely followed by Coimbra, Aveiro, Porto and Lisbon. Portugal is another favourite with retirees from the UK, thanks to its excellent value for money, fabulous weather, friendly people and laid back way of life.

Portugal also has a good infrastructure when it comes to healthcare, internet coverage and flight connections with the UK, all of which are influential factors when it comes to UK residents seeking out a sun-drenched retirement spot.

According to the Retire Overseas Index 2015, Portugal’s Algarve is the best place in the world to retire to. It is the second year in a row that the region has taken the top spot, with its low cost of living, affordable property cost and established expat community all highlighted as distinct draws. The Retire Overseas Index also notes that it is, surprisingly, possible to live in the Algarve and only speak English.

Portugal also made it into the top ten of International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index again in 2016, thanks to its “near flawless weather, abundance of golf and water sports, and superb fresh food.”

Retirees looking for a laid back, beach-based lifestyle will feel right at home in the Algarve. For those on a budget, a simple studio apartment just a few minute walk from the marina, beach and shops in Vilamoura can be bagged for €75,000 including furniture. At the other end of the spectrum, buyers with €4.9 million to spend can pick up an impressive five bedroom villa with pool and sea views in the popular Quinta do Lago golf resort.

Chris White, a British expat who runs boutique estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, explains the enduring appeal of the Algarve when it comes to retirement,

“The Algarve is a beautiful region that has a wealth of attractions when it comes to attracting retirees. The cost of living here is incredibly low compared to much of Europe and it’s possible to eat and drink extremely well on a limited budget. A morning coffee and pastry costs just €1.50, while a full meal with wine at lunchtime can be had for €12-15. Then of course there’s the 300 plus days of sunshine per year, the great healthcare system, world-class golf courses, countless castles to explore… the Algarve really does have everything you could wish for from an idyllic retirement destination.”

No wonder then that when it comes to retirement the lure of Iberia is too strong for many Brits to resist!

For more information please contact:

Kyero.com: www.kyero.com

Taylor Wimpey España: +44 08000 121 020 or www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. Those residing outside of the UK should call 0034 971 70 69 72.

Ideal Homes: 0800 133 7644, +351 289 513 434, www.idealhomesinternational.co.uk or www.idealhomesportugal.com

Ecological Algarve holidays set to boom in light of new cycling and walking initiative

Ecological Algarve holidays set to boom in light of new cycling and walking initiative

  • Single-day cycling and walking activities in Europe worth €35 billion (ANA)
  • Ecovia do Litoral takes those on foot or 2 wheels the full length of the Algarve coast
  • Rural ecological tourism resort available for €1.5 million in western Algarve national park (Ideal Homes Portugal)

The Algarve is Portugal’s most popular tourist destination. In the summer months, the country’s entire southern coastline comes alive: restaurants are full, bars are buzzing and shops are packed. The region’s population triples if not quadruples during July and August, thanks to the huge influx of international visitors and much of the population of Lisbon decamping south for the summer.

Then September rolls around and most of the tourists go home. A few shoulder season visitors keep the region ticking over for a month or so, but by early October the sunbeds are packed away, the bars and restaurants have let their summer staff go and an eerie peace descends on areas that were thronged with people just a few weeks earlier.

For those who own a second home in Portugal, off-season visits are ideal. Chris White, Founding Director of boutique Algarve estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, explains,

“Those who visit the Algarve outside of the summer months are often awed by the stillness and beauty of the region. Unspoilt beaches, quiet restaurants and minimal traffic on the roads create a real feeling of calm almost as soon as you arrive. It’s a delightful contrast to the frenetic summer months.”

Of course those summer months also have their own appeal. The Algarve offers a lively yet safe environment for families looking to enjoy the sea, sand and sunshine on their summer break. In fact, the Portuguese government has just revealed plans for the Algarve to become recognised as “Europe’s safest tourist destination.” The ‘Algarve – A Safe Destination’ initiative will see national and local organisations working together to create a “sense of safety and security among foreign and national tourists alike,” according to Home Affairs Secretary Jorge Gomes.

Not only that, but a further initiative is set to balance out the seasonal employment fluctuations, at the same time as promoting the Algarve’s walking and cycling routes. While Portugal hosts many professional road races for cyclists, many visitors are unaware that the Algarve also offers a scenic cycle route – the Ecovia do Litoral (Eurovelo) – which runs the whole length of the southern coast. The route takes riders (and walkers) through richly diverse landscapes including working salt pans that are packed with wild flamingos during the winter months, butterfly-filled meadows and rolling farmland covered with orange trees, olive bushes, carob trees, fig trees and almond trees.

The Via Algarviana, the Rota Vicentina and the Rota Guadiana are also available to those looking to explore this beautiful region on foot or on two wheels. They offer an excellent way to keep active while on holiday and to catch some sunshine while seeing more of Portugal, whatever time of year it may be.

Ecological tourism in the Algarve offers some interesting opportunities and the new focus on promoting the cycling and walking routes in the region is bound to give this a serious boost. According to data from ANA Airports, Europe is experiencing growing demand for this kind of tourism, which is worth some €35 billion for single-day activities and €8.9 billion when it comes to trips with an overnight stay.

Those looking to be part of the Algarve’s ecological future can get involved for a mere €1.5 million with this wonderful ecological tourism resort. Set in the stunning Parque Natural da Costa Vicentina e Sudoeste Alentejano in the western Algarve, the resort consists of 6 hectares of land, a spacious three bedroom villa and a design project with approved tourist licence to create 16 detached villas, swimming pool, bistro, sports courts and children’s playground.

The eco-friendly design combines natural materials (ecological clay villas) with high-tech modern features to save energy (such as solar panels and a heat pump for central under floor and wall heating). The resort is ideally suited for those looking to build a rural business around walking, cycling, climbing, horse riding, swimming and surfing.

For further details call Ideal Homes Portugal on 0800 133 7644 or +351 289 513 434, email enquiries@idealhomesportugal.com or visit www.idealhomesportugal.com. You can also connect with the team at the free-to-attend Overseas Property Show (www.theoverseaspropertyshow.com) in Birmingham on 28 & 29 May and in Cheshire on 4 & 5 June 2016.

Algarve celebrates 50 years of golfing history with ‘Golden Tees’ initiative

Algarve celebrates 50 years of golfing history with ‘Golden Tees’ initiative

  • First Algarve golf course – Penina – opened in 1966
  • 2 million rounds of golf played in the Algarve in 2015 (Algarve Tourism Association)
  • Stunning €4.9 million Quinta do Lago villa with pool is turning golfers’ heads (Ideal Homes Portugal)

Visitors to the Algarve are used to its golden sands and golden sunsets, but now Portugal’s most popular holiday destination is tempting tourists with another kind of gold altogether.

To celebrate 50 years since the opening of the Algarve’s first golf course (the Henry Cotton-designed Penina, in 1966), from June 2016 the region’s top courses will feature commemorative golden tee markers. Each visiting golfer will be given the opportunity to play from the specially commissioned golden tees as part of the summer’s celebrations of the role of golf in Portugal’s tourism heritage.

Golfing in Portugal has never been more popular. A record 1.2 million rounds were played in the Algarve in 2015 and 2016 has already got off to a bumper start, based on figures from the Algarve Tourism Association. Yet according to the KPMG Golf Participation Report for Europe 2016, Portugal itself is home to just 13,484 of Europe’s more than 4.1 million registered golfers. The figures show the importance of golf tourism to the Algarve’s tourist industry, as well as highlighting the popularity of the region’s courses.

Those courses are so popular that golf properties in the Algarve are some of the area’s most impressive and sought after residences. Celebrity owners rub shoulders with entrepreneurs both on the courses and off. Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones, Rubens Barrichello, Steven Gerrard and a whole host of other celebrities have bought houses in the area. Footballers in particular seem to have a soft spot for the region: Alan Shearer, Michael Owen, Teddy Sheringham, José Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robbie Fowler and Gareth Southgate all own homes there.

Chris White, Founding Director of Algarve-based boutique estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, explains,

“Portugal is unquestionably one of the world’s most beautiful golfing destinations and as such golf properties there are in huge demand. Properties with views over the region’s most famous courses – those at Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo – command serious price premiums due to their exclusive locations and superior finish and facilities. Golfers around the world aspire to own these villas. They are some of the Algarve’s most stunning properties.”

One such property is this delightfully presented five bedroom villa in Quinta do Lago, which is on the market for €4.9 million. The spacious, contemporary interior includes a two tiered lounge\TV snug with feature fireplace, kitchen, breakfast room, formal dining room, home cinema, games room and ample guest accommodation. Views are over Quinta do Lago’s South Course, while the south west orientation also allows for the enjoyment of the Algarve’s famous sunsets. A heated pool, Jacuzzi, landscaped gardens and outdoor dining area with built in barbecue complete the offering.

The Algarve is often seen as Portugal’s golden child due to its perennial popularity with domestic and international visitors alike. Blessed with more than 300 days of sunshine per year, the region is home to everything from gorgeous beaches and picturesque coves to rugged mountains and mile upon mile of sweet-scented orange groves. With 50 years of prestigious golfing history thrown into the mix, it’s an area that really does have it all so far as meeting the demands of modern tourism is concerned.

For further details call Ideal Homes Portugal on 0800 133 7644 or +351 289 513 434, email enquiries@idealhomesportugal.com or visit www.idealhomesportugal.com. You can also connect with the team at the free-to-attend Overseas Property Show (www.theoverseaspropertyshow.com) in Birmingham on 28 & 29 May and in Cheshire on 4 & 5 June 2016.

Pick perennially popular Portugal to minimise void periods and maximise rental returns

Pick perennially popular Portugal to minimise void periods and maximise rental returns


Tourism is performing well in Portugal at present with total overnight guests increasing by 8% to 17.4 million in 2015 according to Portugal’s Institute of National Statistics.    The UK saw a 16.7% increase in visitors taking their total to 22.2% last year. This spells good news for property owners looking to let their homes in the sun out to holiday makers and secure a solid rental return in return.

Indeed according to Global Property Guide data from the end of 2015, average rental  yields across Portugal stand at a strong 6.1% ranking the Iberian national 7th out of 35 countries worldwide with yields the greatest in the Capital Lisbon.  Their figures also confirm that apartments are currently showing greater yield increases over houses or villas.

One holiday home owner who is already reaping the benefits of a booming rental market in the Algarve is Clive Edmonds from the Forest of Dean. Clive bought a two bedroom apartment in Lagos, Portugal for €168,000 four years ago with a 100% mortgage.  Clive was able to purchase the property at below market value and was looking for a long term investment for additional pension income and somewhere they could use for holidays.

Hot off the heels of a positive 2015, 2016 is looking to be a bumper year for the Edmonds as they have already secured 40 weeks’ worth of bookings for their apartment. Lagos is a town in southern Portugal’s Algarve region. It is known for its walled old town, cliffs and Atlantic beaches.  Just over an hour from airport in Portugal, this pretty town has taken off as an affordable chic destination in the sun as savvy holiday makers looking for somewhere more affordable than the busy Golden Triangle* area and are heading for lesser known towns.

Clive explains why he chose this particular location,

“The Algarve in my perception is a high-quality desirable holiday location. The climate is good, there is lots of sunshine even outside of the summer months, the Portuguese are very friendly and eating out is never that expensive.

“The development known as Quinta Da Abrotea, caught our eye immediately. It was brand new, the swimming pool and gardens were attractive, and the build quality was very high. On top of that the size of the apartment and the huge sun terrace convinced me I wanted to buy it.”

Edmonds used local boutique agency Ideal Homes Portugal for the transaction. He had no experience of buying overseas before but as an accountant by profession, he was confident in his ability to project outgoings vs rental income.

“Ideal Homes were excellent and clearly had well-developed contacts in the Algarve and a team of highly professional staff.  At no time were we put under any pressure during our inspection trip which is undoubtedly why we felt confident in proceeding.”

He offers some advice to people considering buying a home in the Algarve,

“If you’re planning on renting your property out, consider where you are buying and is it what holiday makers will want.  I would also recommend not to scrimp on furnishings, buy the best you can for the purpose required within reason.”

Chris White, Founder of Ideal Homes Portugal responds:

“It makes our job worth while when I talk to clients such as Clive.  Customers that have taken our advice and are delighted with the outcome are exactly what we aim to accomplish. Tourism in Portugal is flying and we are expecting many of our rental properties to have a bumper year.  Holiday makers that had pursued more ‘exotic’ climes such as Egypt and Tunisia are returning in their droves to safe havens such as the Algarve.

“Mr Edmonds is a shrewd businessman, with our help he has secured a well priced apartment in a well built development which has superb facilities. It is close to a number of beautiful beaches, has a terrific choice of restaurants and the airport is only an hour away.  Portugal has great flight connections year round to many international airports including the UK.  This is exactly what holiday makers are looking for and exactly why we are looking forward to a busy but successful 2016.”

An example of a similar apartments to the one that Clive Edmonds purchased:

Impressive two bed luxury apartments with sea views, Lagos                    From €260,000

Porto de Mos Beach Apartments now for sale, built by a long established construction company, here in the Algarve. Past apartments have proven to be an exceptional and in demand choice for buyers.

These new apartments are situated close to the beach and offer wonderful sea views.

  • Two Swimming Pools
  • Gymnasium
  • Sauna
  • Air Conditioning
  • Central Vacuum System
  • Equipped Kitchen: Extractor, Oven, Fridge Freezer, Ceramic Hob, Dishwasher
  • Solar Boiler for Hot Water
  • Washing Machine
  • Thermal and Acoustic Insulated
  • Luxury Finish
  • Parking & Storage
  • Landscape Gardens

Lagos is a vibrant town full of historical interest.  Praça de Gil Eanes, the square in the middle of the town, is often the setting for evening entertainment throughout the year.  On Saturday mornings a market comes to the square with fresh fruits and vegetables, olives, honey, figs, almonds and local delicacies.

The beaches around Lagos are some of the most beautiful of the Algarve and can be reached in a 25 minutes walk from the centre of the town. However the local beach at Ponta da Piedade is a sheltered bay and has caves, rocks and wonderfully transparent waters – perfect for a day in the sun.

For more information on buying a property for rental income contact Ideal Homes: 0800 133 7644, +351 289 513 434, or www.idealhomesportugal.com email sales@idealhomesportugal.com

* The Golden Triangle refers to an area in central Algarve between Quinta do Lago, Almancil and Quarteira is often encompassing Vale De Lobo, Vilamora and Quinta da Lago.

Sheffield United Football Club kicks off Overseas Property Show

Sheffield United Football Club kicks off Overseas Property Show

United Kingdom World
  • Overseas Property Show comes to Sheffield on 16 & 17th April
  • Direct flights to Portugal and Spain now available from Doncaster Sheffield airport
  • Free show tickets available at www.theoverseaspropertyshow.com

Sheffield residents are gearing up for the arrival of the much-anticipated Overseas Property Show this Spring, with the free to attend event kicking off at the Sheffield United Football Club on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th April.

The Overseas Property Show is one of the most respected shows in the industry and regularly tours the UK connecting buyers with their dream homes abroad.

Sheffield residents thinking of buying a second home will be pleased to hear that budget airline Flybe have just announced new flights from Doncaster Sheffield Airport from just £75.99 one way to Faro on Portugal’s Algarve. Alicante and Malaga in much loved Spain also have regular flights to and from the South Yorkshire airport so the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol are also terrific choices for people considering a place in the sun.

The Overseas Property Show provides visitors with access to experts on buying and owning property in Portugal, Cyprus, Spain, Italy and the US. It is ideal for everyone, from those dreaming of owning property abroad to those with a string of holiday homes and rental properties, looking to add to their portfolio.

The free-to-attend Overseas Property Show includes everything from holiday apartments to retirement villas and primary residences, with experts on hand to answer questions and discuss the merits of buying in their country of expertise.

Tickets are free and available at www.theoverseaspropertyshow.com.

Chris White, Founding Director of boutique real estate agency and show exhibitor Ideal Homes Portugal, will be available with his team to talk buyers through the advantages of property ownership in Portugal and how they can pick up that dream second home in the sunshine. Chris comments,

“Many people dream of owning a home overseas, but are nervous of where to start. The Overseas Property Show provides the perfect resource for them, as well as an invaluable tool for those who already own overseas but want to purchase further properties or expand their portfolio into a new country.

“People want to own property overseas for all kinds of reasons, from straightforward holiday homes to rental businesses that generate an income. Many also want a dual purpose property that they can use for holidays or rent out initially, then retire to in the future. At the Overseas Property Show we cater for all these buyers and more, sharing our knowledge and offering top tips and insights into the joys of owning property overseas with confidence.”

All are welcome at the Overseas Property Show. The doors at the Sheffield United Football Club in Bramall Lane will open at 10.00 am and close at 6.00 pm on both 16th and 17th of April.

For further details and to claim your free tickets, visit www.theoverseaspropertyshow.com.

Shun the single supplement – holiday homes for singletons

Shun the single supplement – holiday homes for singletons

Portugal Spain Turkey World , , , ,
  • 51% of England & Wales is now single (ONS)
  • 24% of overseas travel is by solo tourists (Visa)
  • Perfect holiday homes for singletons available from €75k (Ideal Homes International)

In 2015 the Office for National Statistics released figures that showed that 51% of the population in England and Wales is single. The demography of these nations has shifted significantly over the past decade and companies and services are racing to keep up with the new shape of modern society. So why are single person supplements of between 10% and 100% of the standard accommodation rate still so widely used by the travel industry?

“It’s not a system that meets the needs of today’s travellers,” comments Martin Dell, Director of Spanish property portal Kyero.com. “In both the rental and the sales sides of our business we’ve seen the impact of the growth in single travellers. The industry needs to catch up or risk missing out on a key emerging market.”

The 2015 Visa Global Travel Intentions Study found that 24% of people travelled alone on their most recent foreign holiday. It’s a rapidly growing sector. Indeed, some singletons are already taking matters into their own hands and shunning hotels and their single supplements in favour of second homes of their own overseas.

Chris White, Founding Director of Ideal Homes International, explains,

“Property prices in destinations like Portugal are so affordable right now that it’s perfectly possible to pick up a holiday home on a single income. Second homes are definitely no longer just the preserve of wealthy couples entering their retirement years.”

In Portugal, a beautifully refurbished townhouse in the heart of the historic town of Silves can be bought for just €75,000. Single buyers with a bit more cash to spend have a vast range of options available to them. One upscale five-star resort and spa complex in the popular Algarve town of Carvoeiro is offering one bedroom apartments with lush outdoor gardens from €260,000.

Singletons looking to travel a little further afield are discovering the delights of beach resorts around the globe. Over in Istanbul, the prime seaside district of Beylikduzu, Gurpinar is home to the beautifully designed Rose Residence, available through Universal21. With shops and restaurants on the doorstep, the beach just a few minutes away (top floor apartments enjoy fabulous sea views) and pool and health club facilities on site, the apartments are perfect for active solo travellers looking for a base in this bustling city.

Of course, it’s not just young singletons who are travelling overseas on their own these days. An increasing number of older travellers – both married and single – are choosing to holiday solo as a means of escaping the noise of modern life for a short while. Golf resorts can be a popular choice for this demographic, particularly when you consider what you can get for your money in sun-kissed destinations like Spain.

Leading homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España offers a range of apartments and townhouses in popular Spanish locations. At Brisas de Alenda Golf, near Elche on the Costa Blanca, a three bedroom townhouse costs just €145,000. The private, tranquil development offers high spec homes, excellent golfing facilities, private gardens, a swimming pool and access to the Alenda Golf complex’s small supermarket, restaurant, bar, clubhouse centre and paddle tennis courts. It’s an ideal location for solo travellers looking for peace and relaxation, all within an easy flight from the UK.

The trend for solo travel looks set to continue growing, at least for the foreseeable future, and with such a range of affordable holiday homes available to single buyers across Europe, it is reasonable to expect that overseas estates agents will increasingly be looking to capture the attention of this rapidly emerging market.

For more information please contact:

Kyero.com: www.kyero.com

Ideal Homes: 0800 133 7644, +351 289 513 434, www.idealhomesinternational.co.uk or www.idealhomesportugal.com

Universal21: 0203 287 8700 or visit www.universal21.com

Taylor Wimpey España: +44 08000 121 020 or www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. Those residing outside of the UK should call 0034 971 70 69 72.

The sunshine safe haven – why UK buyers can’t get enough of Portuguese property

The sunshine safe haven – why UK buyers can’t get enough of Portuguese property

  • Safety and security is no. 1 priority for UK holiday makers this year (TravelZoo)
  • Steady Portuguese housing market sees 2.5% price rise projection for 2016 (RICS/Ci)
  • The Algarve is Europe’s cheapest beach resort (Post Office)
  • Portugal offers wholesome family fun at low cost (Ideal Homes Portugal)

The tragic events in the resorts of Tunisia and Egypt over the past year have rocked the foundations of holidaymakers around the world, so much so that UK travellers now consider safety and security to be the most important factor when it comes to booking their holiday destination. The changing shape of holidays has been revealed by a survey from TravelZoo, where 30% of respondents rated this as their number one priority.

One of Europe’s safest and most popular summer holiday destinations is Portugal, as resident Chris White, Founding Director of Ideal Homes Portugal, explains,

“Portugal offers a real safe haven for UK holidaymakers. The country lacks the political tensions that exist between many nations and instead offers a wholesome, family environment that is perfect for those looking for sunshine, beaches, water parks and a great Mediterranean diet.”

Portugal is one of the destinations flagged up by TravelZoo as enjoying a rise in bookings as holidaymakers’ priorities shift. Of course, finances are still a big consideration for many families when it comes to holiday destinations, which is another of Portugal’s advantages – it is one of the best value destinations in Europe. In fact, the Algarve is Europe’s cheapest beach resort, according to the Post Office Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer 2015, and the second best value destination globally.

One item that offers excellent value for money in Portugal is property. From a two bedroom apartment with sea views in Albufeira for €110,000 to a stunning three bedroom country retreat complete with swimming pool and grounds including two lakes for €650,000, the sun-kissed country offers bargains to suit every budget.

The stability of Portugal’s housing market offers further reassurance to holiday home buyers looking for a safe haven in the sunshine. The January 2016 Portuguese Housing Market Survey from RICS/Ci observes that price expectations point to steady gains over the course of 2016, with house price inflation expected to be around 2.5% in both Lisbon and the Algarve.

Portugal’s proximity to the UK is another important factor when it comes to those booking holidays or looking for a second home in a safe haven overseas. Frank Brehany of HolidayTravelWatch observes,

“Given the awful events in 2015, it is no surprise to me that UK holidaymakers will want to experience less of the exotic and more of the familiar, feeling more secure if they holiday closer to home; it’s a natural consequence of last year.”

With Portugal ticking so many boxes – safe, sunny, fabulous beaches, stunning golf courses, low cost of living and just a short flight from the UK – it’s easy to see why many holidaymakers this year will be sunning themselves on the beaches of the Algarve, rather than heading further afield.

For further details call Ideal Homes Portugal on 0800 133 7644 or +351 289 513 434, email enquiries@idealhomesportugal.com or visit www.idealhomesportugal.com

London versus the world! What can you get abroad for the price of an average property in the capital?

London versus the world! What can you get abroad for the price of an average property in the capital?

Portugal Spain United States , , ,
  • Average London house price is £514,097 (Gov.uk)
  • This is enough for 3 detached villas with pools in Spain, with €80k change (Kyero.com)
  • Or 2 5-bedroom resort homes with pools in Florida (Ideal Homes International)
  • Cliff-top townhouses with infinity pool in Mallorca also an option (Taylor Wimpey España)

According to the UK government’s December 2015 House Price Index, the average property in London now costs £514,097. Based on a quick Rightmove search, £514,097 is enough to purchase a new build one bedroom flat in Newham, a two bedroom flat in a converted house in Acton or a four bedroom mid-terrace house in Tottenham in need of some serious modernisation.

But what could you get for the same money overseas? £514,097 is worth just over €656,151, or USD $743,053, at today’s exchange rate, which opens up a wealth of property options to those looking to buy on the continent or even further afield.

Chris White, Founding Director of Ideal Homes International, explains,

“There are some fantastic bargains to be had when it comes to overseas property at the moment. Portugal and Spain are offering incredible value for money and are just a short hop on a plane from the UK, making them ideal locations for second homes or investment properties that you want to keep a close eye on. For fans of the US, Florida is also offering some serious bargains and is a perennially popular destination thanks to its winning combination of sun, sea and theme parks.”

In Portugal, €650,000 is enough for a four/five bedroom villa in the hills at Soalheira, 10 minutes from the beaches and golf courses of Vilamoura and just two minutes from the town of Loulé. The villa comes complete with swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, pergola sunbathing area, pool house and gardener’s bathroom, two double garages, ocean views, grill house with sink, fridge and BBQ, cinema room, wood burning fire and under-floor heating in the two bathrooms. A far cry from a run-down terraced house in Tottenham!

For beach bunnies, the Spanish island of Mallorca is the ideal location. There, €625,000 will buy a premium frontline townhouse with incredible sea views, close to the golf courses and marina of Porto Cristo. There are just seven spacious three bedroom townhouses on the Cala Magrana Mar development, from leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España, which also benefits from a communal infinity pool and sunbathing area, designer fixtures and fittings and the latest security features.

Another option for those with €650,000 to spend is to invest in more than one property, which is easily achievable for this budget in both Portugal and Spain. Martin Dell, Director of Spanish property portal Kyero.com, comments,

“It’s staggering what you can get in Spain for the price of an average London property. Those looking for rental investments can pick up a whole string of properties in idyllic coastal locations for that kind of money.”

In the pretty seaside town of Javea, for example, detached villas with pools can be bought off plan for £189,800, with scope for the buyer to personalise the layout, with the build completed within 5-7 months. Instead of a one bedroom flat in E16, a buyer could pick up three of these villas and still have €80,000 left in his pocket.

Over in America, a buyer can easily pick up two five bedroom villas with pools in the hugely popular Kissimmee area of Florida for $743,053, the equivalent price of the average London home. Resort homes with screened in pool and spas in gated communities just a few miles from Walt Disney World are available for between $350,000 and $450,000. Certainly food for thought for all those thinking about buying a home in London at the moment!

For more information please contact:

Ideal Homes: 0800 133 7644, +351 289 513 434, www.idealhomesinternational.co.uk or www.idealhomesportugal.com

Taylor Wimpey España: +44 08000 121 020 or www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. Those residing outside of the UK should call 0034 971 70 69 72.

Kyero.com: www.kyero.com

Overseas Property Show has Birmingham in its sights once more for 2016 tour

Overseas Property Show has Birmingham in its sights once more for 2016 tour

  • First Birmingham show of 2016 tour to be held on Sat 6th and Sun 7th February
  • Birmingham highlighted as top destination for 2015 show
  • As seen on SKY TV, MORE4 HD, CH4 and HOME CH

The hugely successful Overseas Property Show is opening its doors to the public once more, as the 2016 UK tour kicks off, following an excellent round of shows in 2015. Birmingham’s Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport has been chosen to host the second show of the 2016 tour, which will take place on Sat 6th and Sun 7th February.

The free to attend Overseas Property Show, as seen on SKY TV, MORE4 HD, CH4 and HOME CH, is the opportunity for individuals to explore their dream of home ownership overseas, by talking to property experts from around the world at a convenient local venue. Birmingham was the show’s most-visited city during 2015 and the first 2016 show there looks set to be even bigger and better than those held last year.

The 2016 Overseas Property Show will focus largely on properties from Portugal, Spain and Florida, with a handful of opportunities in countries like Italy and Cyprus thrown in for good measure.

Chris White, Founding Director of boutique real estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, which exhibited at every show last year and plans to do so again this year, comments,

“The Overseas Property Show is a great way to connect with people looking to purchase property overseas. Some are after a second home, others are looking for an investment property and others want to take the plunge and start a new life abroad. Whatever the motive, it’s always a really useful experience for them to have access to experts in overseas property ownership. We’re also on hand to answer lifestyle questions too – anything from the price of milk to local food specialities!”

This expertise is invaluable to many of those looking to find out more about owning a home overseas, as is the broad range of properties on offer. Buyers can enjoy browsing a wide range of beachfront apartments, golf villas, resort villas and country retreats, along with a number of entirely unique homes, such as a renovated windmill in Portugal’s central Algarve.

So whether it’s advice, guidance, a second home or even a commercial property investment that you’re after, the Overseas Property Show is the place to be in Birmingham this 6-7 February.

Tickets are free to obtain and full details can be found at www.theoverseaspropertyshow.com.

“The 2016 tour is going to be fantastic,” concludes Chris White. “The team is really excited about these bumper shows and we are delighted to be able to reach out to more individuals and enable them to pursue their dream of owning property overseas.”

For further details visit www.theoverseaspropertyshow.com, call (0800) 133 7644 / +351 289 513 434 or email info@theoverseaspropertyshow.com.

A picture is worth a thousand words – why great photography is essential in selling overseas property

A picture is worth a thousand words – why great photography is essential in selling overseas property

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The concept of a single image being able to portray a situation or an idea more evocatively than whole paragraphs of text is not a new one. In fact, the old adage that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ dates back to the early 1900s. However, it remains just as relevant today as it was when the expression was coined.

This is particularly true when it comes to selling overseas property. The majority of potential buyers will use the internet to begin the search for their dream home overseas and in a marketplace crowded with information the perfect image can stand out like a beacon, calling to a buyer to find out more. In the same way, a poorly staged image can cause a property to be passed over with little more than half a glance.

“Good photographs are absolutely essential when it comes to selling overseas property,” observes Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director for leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España. “You need a photographer who can highlight the property’s features, both inside and out. If you build high quality developments, the images need to reflect that quality. Otherwise so much of your hard work is undone. Quite simply, poor imagery can result in fewer sales.”

For Taylor Wimpey España’s La Vila Paradis apartments on Spain’s Costa Blanca, the photographer needed to capture the light and space that flows through the apartments, as well as the sizeable swimming pool, golf views and sparkling sea in the background. The result was an excellent set of shots that truly represented the luxurious feel of the property.

So what makes a good image when it comes to overseas property? Martin Dell, Director of Spanish property portal Kyero.com, should certainly know. His company lists more than 200,000 homes from 3,000 estate agents. He comments,

“When it comes to property photography I think I’ve seen everything, from the very worst to the very best! Good images can certainly help a property to generate more interest and sell faster, particularly on a portal like Kyero, where buyers are scrolling through lists of potential homes – it will be the one that looks instantly appealing that is likely to capture their interest first.

“The same is true of rental properties, which we also list on Kyero. Those that have the best pictures are usually the ones that are snapped up first. If a landlord has dressed the property nicely – that is, if it’s clean, tidy and well presented – then a few great photos will really bring it to life in the eyes of those viewing it online. They’ll be able to imagine themselves there, which is precisely the point.”

Chris White, Founding Director of boutique real estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, concurs.

“It’s all about selling the lifestyle associated with the property through the imagery,” he explains. “Many buyers seek to find at least a handful of properties they like before going to the expense of travelling overseas for a closer inspection. A property that shows its potential and that they can picture themselves in, will be one that sparks buyers’ imagination.”

Chris cites the stunning apartments in Salgados as an example. The private resort enjoys proximity to both beach and golf, with spacious apartments and wide terraces designed around enjoying the outdoor pursuits that the Algarve has to offer. Seven swimming pools and extensive grounds make the resort ideal for families, with an emphasis on health and happiness, which is precisely what the artfully staged photographs convey.

Selling property overseas is about more than selling houses – it’s about promoting a dream lifestyle that individuals can buy into. And for that kind of venture only the very best photography will suffice.

For more information please contact:

Taylor Wimpey España: +44 08000 121 020 or www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. Those residing outside of the UK should call 0034 971 70 69 72.

Kyero.com: www.kyero.com

Ideal Homes: 0800 133 7644, +351 289 513 434, www.idealhomesinternational.co.uk or www.idealhomesportugal.com