The real estate sector is starting to recover in the Algarve, one year after the beginning of the pandemic, and foreign investors are accelerating the acquisition of assets, using new technologies.
According to Engel & Völkers, German real estate company specialised in luxury properties’ mediation, foreign investors who usually invest in the Algarve have been closing several deals with the mediator in half the time, when compared to the pre-pandemic period, carrying out the operation in half the time and using only virtual visits.
Vasco Fernandes, Managing Partner of Engel & Völkers at Quinta do Lago, where E&V already accumulated 15 million euro in transactions on the pipeline since the beginning of the year, explained that «this type of investor is familiarised with virtual visit technology and has no issues in terms of moving forward with the purchase, even without visiting the property. There was a long process of investing in technology and training for our consultants, to pass on the usual trust to our clients, but remotely».
According to E&V, in the Lagos area, most real estate investors are from Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Scandinavia. They seek properties in the countryside or in small cities, with houses surrounded by nature while offering space, privacy and «access to the simple life in this part of the Algarve», at a time when the city joined international network Slow City, which categorizes cities by tradition promoting quality of living concerning people and nature’s sustainability.
Remote working increased demand for privacy, safety and quality of life
The generalisation of remote working is also changing the priorities and goals of real estate investors in the Algarve, who are now less focused on increasing returns through tourist rentals and more focused on housing demand which guarantees privacy, safety and quality of life.
Sandra Matos, Office Manager at E&V in Lagos, attested that «managing businesses from a distance, working remotely, is a trend which might become consolidated during the post-pandemic period and which is already producing effects within the real estate sector. Demand for long-term rentals by international clients’ sky-rocketed and is currently much higher than the offer. We see in our clients a desire for quality of life, revealing a preference for houses with a private garden and country houses in good locations, so as to stimulate the luxury segment».
And she added that «space, privacy, low population density areas, small open-air markets or nature are words we hear every day from our international clients».