35 days after the Brexit vote, UK bricks & mortar are far from crumbling

35 days after the Brexit vote, UK bricks & mortar are far from crumbling

United Kingdom , ,
  • UK house price growth remains steady at 10.2% (Hometrack)
  • Market fundamentals support strong Brexit response (Property Frontiers)
  • Look to second tier cities for the best investments (Prime Centrum)
  • Innovate when it comes to selling homes overseas (Ideal Homes Portugal)

35 days on from the UK’s vote to leave the European Union and the property market doomsayers seem to have gone awfully quiet. The predicted cataclysmic crash seems to have translated to a mild slowdown of the market, with the June 2016 Hometrack report finding that year-on-year growth has held fast at a rate of 10.2% nationally. The report suggests that prices will moderate during Q2 2016, in part due to the Brexit vote but also due to house prices in the south of England having reached near-record affordability highs.

Ray Withers, CEO of Property Frontiers, which specialises in buy-to-let opportunities such as Parker Street Residences in Liverpool, comments,

“We’re a long way from the housing market disaster that many predicted would result from the UK voting to leave the EU, though of course it is still early days. What is encouraging is that despite the Brexit vote, the UK’s market fundamentals have not changed: we didn’t have enough houses before the vote and we don’t have enough houses after it. The shortage in stock should continue to keep the market fairly well balanced during the Brexit negotiations, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see prices in London undergoing some adjustment as a result.”

The Hometrack report agrees, giving the view that, “London will bear the brunt of any slowdown.”

Stuart Johnson, Business Development Manager at Prime Centrum, concurs, observing,

“It’s time to look to the UK’s second tier cities and leave London to weather the aftermath of the referendum outcome, particularly when it comes to property investment. Cities like Leeds and Liverpool are the places to focus on right now.”

Both of these cities benefit from (comparatively) affordable house prices and yields that are above average, according to Hometrack’s June data, and this is reflected in the real estate investment opportunities available in them. Parliament Residence in Liverpool, for example, is available for just £109,900, including a 22% discount for early investors.

Nor is it just the UK property market that still offers excellent opportunities. Chris White, Founding Director of boutique estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, has found that the post-Brexit environment has brought about new ways to connect those buying and selling homes in Portugal.

His company, which sells everything from island properties with incredible views to countryside mansions, has launched an initiative that allows buyers and sellers of properties in Portugal to complete the transaction entirely in pounds. Both parties save money on currency exchange services and Brexit’s impact on sterling is taken out of the equation.

There’s still a lengthy journey ahead in terms of the process of the UK disengaging from the EU, but one month in, the property market – both at home and overseas – seems to be handling Brexit far better than many expected.

For more information, please contact:

Property Frontiers: +44 1865 202 700 or www.propertyfrontiers.com.

Prime Centrum: 020 7183 6332 or www.primecentrum.com.

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

Beat the exchange rate and buy that dream holiday home – by paying in pounds!

Beat the exchange rate and buy that dream holiday home – by paying in pounds!

Portugal
  • Sterling dropped to a post-Brexit low of under $1.31 on 5 July 2016
  • Purchasing in pounds avoids holiday home buyers suffering Brexit’s financial impact
  • Three bed townhouse with private pool costs just £239k in Albufeira (Ideal Homes Portugal)

The political whirlwind stirred up by the UK’s historic vote to leave the EU on 23 June 2016 will have far-reaching consequences. The pound has proven particularly sensitive to the news, falling below $1.31 in early July, a low it hasn’t seen for more than 30 years.

Those holidaying overseas this summer have found that their break is noticeably more expensive than it would have been pre-referendum, but the same doesn’t have to be true for those buying property abroad.

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

“We’re working with our clients to offer them a way to avoid being stung when it comes to the exchange rate over the coming months. Many of our vendors – over 200 of them, in fact – want to sell their homes in Portugal and then access the proceeds of the sale in the UK. At the same time, we have buyers in the UK whose sterling is suddenly worth less if they convert it to euros.

“As such, we’re offering a win-win to both parties: they can buy and sell entirely in pounds. This means that the buyer doesn’t lose out as a result of the pounds fall in value and the seller gets to have their money in the UK, where they want it. Both vendor and buyer save money by not having to pay for currency exchange services.”

The service is already proving popular with clients at both ends of the transaction.

Portugal offers one of the most family-friendly holiday destinations in Europe, along with abundant sunshine and a short flight time. Properties there provide excellent value for money, particularly for those still able to buy in pounds through Ideal Homes Portugal.

A smart, three bedroom, three bathroom townhouse with private pool and built in barbecue in the popular town of Albufeira, for example, costs just €285,000 (around £239,000 at the time of writing).

Many of those who buy holiday homes in Portugal do so with rental income in mind, as well as personal usage. Tax on rental income in Portugal is just 3.75%, regardless of where the property owner lives. Add to that the fact that the Algarve’s population increases between three- and four-fold over the summer season and the potential for excellent returns is clear.

Using rental income to offset mortgage costs is a popular choice, according to the Ideal Homes Portugal team. Ever keen to support those who buy from them, Ideal Homes Portugal is also offering free property management for the first year to anyone who buys through them at the moment.

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.

From property prices to petiscos, the Algarve is the place to be this summer

From property prices to petiscos, the Algarve is the place to be this summer

Portugal
  • Algarve property prices increase for first time since 2008 (Knight Frank)
  • Investor interest in Algarve increasing (Ideal Homes Portugal)
  • Gourmet ‘Rota do Petisco’ tapas trail sees well over 100 restaurants take part in 2016

Whether it’s good news about property prices or the perfect place to indulge your love of gourmet food, the Algarve is the place to be this summer.

According to Knight Frank’s Inside View Portugal 2016 report, the Algarve recorded its first annual increase in prime prices since 2008 in 2015. Buyers have been enticed back to the area by a combination of its ongoing infrastructure improvements (the main A22 motorway, which runs the length of the Algarve, and the €32m expansion of Faro Airport) and its plentiful tourist attractions (stunning weather, 37 pristine golf courses and well over 100 fabulous beaches – 88 of them with Blue Flags – to name just a few).

Nearly 50 airlines now serve Faro Airport, with passenger numbers jumping by 35% in the decade to 2015. While the area is traditionally popular with British, Irish and German buyers, the pool of those interested in buying property in the Algarve has been widening for several years. Data from Knight Frank shows an increase from buyers of 128 nationalities searching for Algarve property in 2012, to buyers of 147 nationalities searching in 2015.

Despite its increasing property prices, the Algarve remains the best value destination in the world, according to the 2016 Post Office Travel Money World Holiday Costs Barometer. The low cost of food and drink were key factors in Portugal topping the chart. An ice-cold beer usually costs €1 in the less touristy eastern end of the Algarve and excellent wines are available in the supermarket for €4 or €5 per bottle, costing around double that in restaurants. Super strong, delicious coffee costs from €0.70.

Interestingly, given the low prices, Portugal has a rapidly growing reputation for the quality of its food. Already known for its hearty seafood stews and rice dishes, the area is now enjoying a booming reputation as the place to indulge in ‘petiscos’ – the Portuguese equivalent of tapas. This summer will see the Rota do Petisco (Tapas Route) run from May until September, with over 100 restaurants taking part. Visitors can purchase a route passport for €1 (profits go to local charities), then access a huge range of petiscos in participating restaurants along the Algarve. The snacks, which include everything from octopus cakes to yoghurt ice cream with almond sigh and cherry syrup, are available for €3 including a drink. Desserts with liqueur are available for €2.

“The Algarve’s culinary offering has really changed over the last few years,” comments local businessman Chris White, Founding Director of boutique estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal. “What’s great is that the food has remained true to its roots, with strong influences of seafood, black pork, tomato, onion and coriander. But recently there has been a push to elevate Algarvian cuisine from its peasant food origins into something more refined and the results have been outstanding. The Rota do Petisco is perfect for highlighting that.”

Ideal Homes Portugal has observed an increase in those looking for investment property in the Algarve recently, with rising prices adding to the attraction of owning a rental property there. This two bedroom ground floor apartment in Lagos (a town firmly on the Rota do Petisco map) is close to the beach and enjoys its own private garden with built in barbecue as well as a high spec kitchen, Jacuzzi bath, built in sound system and central vacuum. The development also includes a communal swimming pool and Jacuzzi. On the market for €255,000, the property comes with an “excellent rental history” thanks to its superior features, condition and location.

Investors looking for a villa with excellent rental potential towards the eastern end of the Algarve would do well to consider this stunning linked villa in Castro Marim. Just 30 minutes from Faro Airport and less than 10 minutes from Spain, Castro Marim is known for its two beautiful castles, fabulous golf courses and lively mid-summer Medieval festival. Available for €400,000, the front line property is surrounded by a combination of golf course, ocean, nature reserve and the pretty Guardiana river. The villa comes complete with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, two private terraces and pool. The master bedroom benefits from under-floor heating, Jacuzzi bath, dressing room and upper level terrace.

For further details call Ideal Homes International on 0800 133 7644 or +351 289 513 434, email info@idealhomesinternational.co.uk or visit www.idealhomesinternational.co.uk.

It’s game, set and match to the Algarve as Portugal’s popularity booms

It’s game, set and match to the Algarve as Portugal’s popularity booms

Portugal
  • Holiday bookings to Portugal up by 29% (ABTA)
  • Algarve climate is perfect for tennis lovers (Ideal Homes Portugal)
  • Villa with own tennis court and heated pool available for €1.2 million (Ideal Homes Portugal)

The grass is being manicured, the outfits pressed and the racquets strung as the UK prepares to be gripped by Wimbledon fever once more. Every year, The Championships, Wimbledon, showcase the world’s best tennis in a setting that is one of the most recognisably and traditionally English events of the year.

It’s not just the professionals who are getting excited as the Wimbledon Championships approach. Interest in properties with tennis courts always surges at this time of year, even overseas, as Chris White, Founding Director of boutique Algarve estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, explains,

“We see a lot of excitement from buyers about homes in the Algarve sunshine that include their own tennis courts or are near to tennis centres and academies at this time of year. The Algarve’s 300 days of sunshine per year mean that it’s a great place to practice the sport, with a long season that’s perfect for honing your skills.”

Portugal has just been revealed as the overseas destination that is most swiftly increasing in popularity when it comes to bookings made through UK travel agents. According to the ABTA travel association, bookings to Portugal have risen by 29%, beating Spain’s 26% rise and Cyprus’ 18%.

Former Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne and his fellow Dragon Peter Jones are both keen tennis players who recently enjoyed a week of sharpening their on-court skills at the tennis centre in Portugal. The visited the Val de Lobo resort, best known for its stunning golf courses, but also boasting top quality tennis facilities. More than one international tennis star owns a home in the area.

Duncan Bannatyne purchased his own dream Algarve villa through Ideal Homes Portugal in 2014. Those looking to do the same – and to take advantage of the area’s fantastic tennis amenities – have a wide range of options available to them.

At Alcantarilha, near Silves, a luxurious four bedroom villa with private gardens, infinity pool, BBQ and terraces costs €997,400. The prestigious golfing development on which it is located includes not just two championship golf courses and a gold academy, but also six tennis courts, a sports club and a clubhouse bar.

At the world-renowned golfing haven of Quinta do Lago, this spacious villa with panoramic views and lovely heated pool and terrace area is just a short walk from Jim Stewart’s tennis centre. On the market for €1,995,000, it would make an ideal first or second home for those who are keen to enjoy easy access to a top class tennis academy.

But for those who are really serious about their love of tennis, it has to be this five bedroom luxury villa in Carvoeiro, complete with its own on-site tennis court. Incredibly reasonably priced for a villa of this quality (the asking price is €1,200,000), the villa boasts sea views, covered barbecue area, heated pool, mature garden with automated irrigation, underfloor heating, electric gates and plentiful terraces and balconies. That’s game, set and match for those looking for an ultra luxurious Algarve property in which to pursue their passion for tennis!

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.

Overseas Property Show comes to Cheshire for the first time this June!

Overseas Property Show comes to Cheshire for the first time this June!

Portugal United Kingdom ,

The organisers of the hugely successful Overseas Property Show are delighted to announce that the event will visit Cheshire for the first time as part of its 2016 UK tour.

The free to attend show will be held at the Mere Golf Resort & Spa, Knutsford on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June 2016 from 10 am until 6 pm, bringing the dream of second home ownership one step closer to becoming a reality for those who attend by talking to property experts from around the world at a convenient local venue.

Chris White, Founding Director of boutique real estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, which exhibited at every show during 2015 and plans to do so again in 2016, 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 customs!”

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.

2015’s shows were hugely successful welcoming thousands of visitors through the doors over the course of the year. For many of those visitors, it was the start of their holiday home dreams coming true. Many went on to book inspection trips and ultimately to purchase a sun-kissed second home overseas. The 2016 tour will build on the previous year’s success, adding new venues like Cheshire in order to reach out to even more would-be holiday home owners across the UK.

Portugal is one of the most sought-after destinations for those visiting the shows. The housing market there offers excellent value for money when compared with the UK. Prices have been increasing for some time and the March 2016 Portuguese Housing Market Survey from RICS/Ci confirms that overall market confidence remains solid. The survey observes that price expectations point to steady gains over the course of the coming year, with house price inflation expected to be around 2.5% nationally, 2.9% in Lisbon and 2.7% in the Algarve (the country’s most popular region with British buyers).

Ideal Homes Portugal is at the forefront of connecting UK buyers with fantastic Portuguese properties. Founder and Algarve resident Chris White observes,

“The whole Brexit debate doesn’t seem to be affecting interest in Portuguese property. There’s still strong demand for holiday homes there from those based in the UK. Whether you want a stunning golf residence, a remote mountain villa or a laid back beach apartment we’ve got the perfect place.”

If it’s advice, guidance, a second home or a celebrity-style super home that you’re after, the Overseas Property Show is the place to be! Tickets are FREE and full details can be found at www.theoverseaspropertyshow.com.

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

Record number of Blue Flags fly high across Spain and Portugal this summer

Record number of Blue Flags fly high across Spain and Portugal this summer

Portugal Spain , ,
  • Spain retains top spot in this year’s Blue Flag Awards
  • Tenerife attracts beachgoers with impressive 15 Blue Flags
  • Algarve’s 88 Blue Flags appeal to second home owners this summer

With the results of this year’s Blue Flag awards hot off the press, Spain and Portugal’s coastlines are looking even more inviting to those wishing to dip their toes into clean waters.

The highly sought-after accolades are awarded annually by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) across almost 50 countries worldwide. Blue Flag beaches are judged on four different categories: water quality, safety and services, environmental management, and environmental education and information.

Attaining Blue Flag status is seen as the gold standard for beaches and is widely recognised as an indication of the high environmental and quality standards of the beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators. Blue Flags are only awarded to the world’s cleanest, most pristine beaches.

With a world record 577 Blue Flag’s awarded to Spanish beaches last year (beating their own record of 573 in 2014), it is without a doubt that the Mediterranean country is host to the world’s most pristine beaches. 2016 has proved no different with Spain retaining its top spot adding another 9 Blue Flag beaches to its ever-growing roster.

Leading Spanish homebuilder, Taylor Wimpey España are delighted with the results and have witnessed a surge of interest in seafront properties accompanying the Blue Flag announcement.

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey España comments,

“We were very excited to hear that Spain has maintained its beach rankings as the best in the world. With the gorgeous Calpe, Alfás del Pi, El Campello and San Juan beaches keeping their Blue Flag status for the past 30 years, it was no surprise to us that the demand for beachfront properties have skyrocketed.”

With one in five Spanish beaches flying a Blue Flag this year, the demand for beachfront properties are on the rise. Situated on the beautiful Punta Prima beach near Blue Flag holder Los Naufragos on the Costa Blanca, Panorama Mar is an exciting new seafront development. The residential complex offers stylish two and three bedroom apartments all with two bathrooms, air conditioning, underfloor heating as well as an underground car parking space. The apartments have been designed for comfort and convenience and boast three swimming pools including a luxurious infinity pool and relaxing Jacuzzi as well as a paddling pool and playground for children. Prices start from just €234,000 with all apartments in the first phase south facing with picturesque terraces and breath-taking sea views.

Indeed Spain’s perennially-popular Costa Blanca is lined with Blue Flags. Close to Blue Flag beach Ciutat, the brand new La Vila Paradís apartments and townhouses enjoy a stunning location. Altet International Airport (Alicante) is just 30 minutes away and the port and seaside promenade of the traditional fishing town is welcoming with its own special charm. Situated on the beachfront with direct access to Paraíso beach, La Vila Paradis boasts a pool, private parking and beautiful communal gardens. A variety of 2 and 3 bedroom apartments are available, the ground floor of which have private gardens, as well as 3 bedroom townhouses, all with wonderful views. The penthouses include basement parking and storage. Properties are priced from €248,000.

Spain’s Canary Islands have also had great success in the Blue Flag awards accepting 66 Blue Flags with Tenerife receiving an impressive 15 Flags, an increase of 4 since 2015.

Jodi Beard, Marketing Director of holiday planning specialists Cheap Holidays Tenerife, which offer discounted flights to and holiday accommodation in the popular southern area of Tenerife comments on the impressive results,

“We are delighted with the recent Blue Flag results. The exquisite Los Cristianos and Las Vistas beaches in the Arona municipality are proud Flag holders this year and we are expecting their new status to attract more beachgoers this summer. With the already popular Troya beaches flying Blue Flags as well as Torviscas, Fañabe, and El Duque, we would expect an increase in the island’s popularity this year as a prime beach holiday destination.”

Also famous for its exquisite Blue Flag beaches is the esteemed Algarve region in southern Portugal which has been awarded 88 Blue Flags this year, an increase of 3 since 2015. The new Flags were awarded to Armona-Ria in Olhão, Rocha Baixinha in Albufeira and Amoreira Mar in Aljezur.

Representing around 45% of Portugal’s tourism earnings, the Algarve is a beloved beach holiday destination that appeals to many second-home buyers and the recent Blue Flag awards are set to attract further investments this summer.

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

“These results are a cause for celebration! It’s wonderful to see so many beautiful beaches flying Blue Flags in the Algarve and with summer around the corner, we expect an increase in interest in the region from holidaymakers and second-home buyers alike.”

With beachfront properties highly desirable, those on or near beaches with Blue Flag status are in even higher demand. Located in the charming Olhão region on the Fuzeta seafront, moments from this year’s Blue Flag beach winner Armona-Ria, Del Mar Village is offering a magnificent luxury two-bedroom apartment. Comprised of 63 fully equipped apartments, and available through Ideal Homes Portugal, Del Mar Village is a unique space that provides all that is needed for a modern lifestyle. Facilities include swimming pools for both adults and children, private gardens, large garages for vehicles and equipment as well as balconies with exquisite sea views. Del Mar village also provides a video entry system and security alarm system for added peace of mind. This stunning apartment starts from €680,000.

The popular area of Albufeira is also home to a variety of beautiful second homes. Just 5 minutes’ drive away from pristine beaches, including Blue Flag beach award winner Rocha Baixinha, is a spacious four-bedroom villa in a peaceful and relaxing location. Perfect as a second home investment, the villa is comprised of four bedrooms, four bathrooms and outside swimming pool, as well as covered dining and barbecue area, tennis court and double garage from €449,000. With the greatest amount of sunshine in Europe it is clear why Algarve has become such a popular place to relocate.

 

For more information please contact:

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

Cheap Holidays Tenerife: please call 0800 0124 300 or visit http://www.cheap-holidays-tenerife.com/

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

 

Notes to the Editors

Cheap-Holidays-Tenerife.com offers flights from UK airports, and accommodation in the popular tourist resorts of Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas in south Tenerife. Their team scours the web for the most competitive holiday prices on the market… and then beat them*!

The UK and Tenerife-based call centres are staffed by British advisors, all of whom are dedicated specialists in Tenerife holidays. What’s more, their Tenerife-based advisors have lived on the island itself for an average of ten years, which means they have the ultimate first-hand knowledge to offer great advice to travellers!

Now for the serious bit: The discounts available via Cheap-Holidays-Tenerife.com are subject to qualification criteria relating to the traveller(s). Please be sure to read this criteria, which can be found in point 4 of the Terms and Conditions. A holiday consultant will then contact you to arrange a Personal Orientation Meeting during your stay, which will involve showing you how to receive similar discounts on all future holidays (not just to Tenerife).

Of course, no customer travelling with Cheap-Holidays-Tenerife.com is under any obligation whatsoever to accept or to buy any holidays or offers during their Promotional Holiday to Tenerife with Cheap-Holidays-Tenerife.com. However, to qualify for the discounted prices, you’ll still have to meet the qualification criteria mentioned above.

All bookings are subject to availability, and are specific to hotels and/or apartments in these areas of Tenerife.

*subject to Terms and Conditions

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

Portugal
  • 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

Portugal
  • 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

Portugal

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.