What a beautiful time of the year Spring in the Algarve is. Almond trees are in full bloom once again, soon the unsettled weather will be behind us and once again we will be experiencing another fantastic Algarve summer, how privileged are we to live and work in this amazing region.
By the time you read this article the UK will be close to exiting the European Union, I sincerely hope that an agreement has been reached and that as well as the aforementioned unsettled weather… a perfect metaphor for the Brexit negotiations… it is firmly behind us, we can once again get on with our lives and the torturous 30 months of constant speculation is a thing of the past.
I did attempt to not broach the subject of Brexit, however, unfortunately it has been the elephant in the room for far too long, particularly due to the devaluing of Sterling which is down from a high of €1.35 in early 2016 to the current €1.14, so approximately 15%, this coupled with the uncertainty of what the status of “Brits” may be in the future has undoubtedly had an impact on their buying intentions, due to perception that the security of any property investment could be at risk in the future.
It should always be remembered that British buyers have been investing in property in this country for many, many years, certainly before both countries became members of the EU, even under the Fascist regime of Salazar prior to the 1974 revolution there were British property owners in Portugal, an alliance between both countries that has stood the test time for over 400 years, why should that change.
There has been a fair amount of online enquiry activity, indicating that the Algarve is still a popular second home option for many other nationalities. The NHR (Non Habitual Resident program) and the Golden Visa initiative are still significant drivers of the Portuguese foreign buyer property market.
The industry projections indicate that 2019 will be yet another successful year for the Algarve property market. N.B! A revolutionary change to IMI rates in urban areas is being discussed at government level and is a distinct possibility. Due to the pressure on urban accommodation, any property that has lain empty for more than 2 years will now have the IMI rate increased by up to 12 times, the first year by 10%. Other than freeing up accommodation space, the added benefit will be that old unsightly derelict buildings will have to be renovated.
Spring Property Article Smart Living by Doug Styles