News - Christmas News
Another year draws to an end!
When I look back on this year, it is clear that it has been a year of contrasts for us. The start of the year was very quiet, with a lot of uncertainty in the market. Interestingly, as the year went on the volume of negotiations and sales increased, and the final three months of the year have been busy. No really I haven´t been at the Christmas sherry early, it has been a busy market recently. Happy New Year!
The tendency for sales has once again been at the lower end of the market, in the sub €350.000 level, and purchased without finance. However, there has been some activity in the medium/upper end of the market, and it seems that the smart money is confident enough to buy now, at a time when prices are low. The key to sales is common sense on the part of both buyers and sellers and in my experience those that take a medium to long term view are able to buy now, and buy well. Those looking for "bargains" tend to look for a long time, and often buy cheap properties that are cheap for a reason. Having said that, we have seen some great deals this year, such as this refurbishment project http://www.azul-properties.com/algarve-property/anrest/azul/property.asp?C=0110%2C0542, this farmhouse http://www.azul-properties.com/algarve-property/anrest/azul/property.asp?C=0110%2C0222, this house with a sea view http://www.azul-properties.com/algarve-property/anrest/azul/property.asp?C=0134%2C0360 and this house in excellent condition http://www.azul-properties.com/algarve-property/anrest/azul/property.asp?C=0134%2C0212.
Anyone who has spent any time in the Algarve recently knows that new construction is virtually non-existent. The refurbishment market is still gathering pace, but it is not big enough to make any impact on the overall construction sector. Speculative development has virtually stopped (to be honest it has not restarted yet).
We are seeing a mixed bag in terms of new instructions. There is no shortage of property for sale, but in the key parts of the market we do not have enough of the right type of houses. It has not been uncommon for vendors to take their properties off the market this year, and wait for better times.
The fiscal situation in Portugal continues to evolve, and we are seeing more and higher taxes, with the financas being much more organised when collecting unpaid taxes. There is some lending by the banks, but only in situations where the bank feels it is in a secure position, and the interest rates are high. We can only hope that the banks feel more confident in the coming year, and are willing to lend money. For those that can get a mortgage, the Euribor 6 months is at an all time low (statistics here:http://www.euribor-rates.eu/euribor-rate-6-months.asp).
The government has announced that IMT (the transfer tax paid when buying a property) will be abolished from 2016. But it will be replaced by a different form of taxation, so I do not believe that buying a property will become any cheaper.
The euro exchange rate has remained surprisingly stable this year (it was 1.20 to the pound this time last year, and is around 1.23 at the time of writing). As such, the exchange rate has had no great effect on the property market this year.
This leaves me wondering what next year will bring. I think it is safe to say that we will have much more of the same. Limited finance will limit purchaser´s buying power and I expect to see little finance used next year. I don´t foresee a widespread reduction in prices, but there will always be the odd bargain for those that are flexible with their requirements. I am hoping that the continued interest in the medium and upper parts of the market will bring renewed activity in these sectors. Once again the Portuguese economy will move along slowly, and I do not expect any noticeable growth in the next 12 months.
For those selling at present, realistic pricing and good presentation are essential. If you want to discuss the marketing or price of a property for sale, please contact me.
So, why are we here, and why do you want to be here? Despite all the doom and gloom (and lets face it there is too much doom and gloom the world over) the Algarve is a wonderful place to be, full of surprises and with an excellent quality of life. There is something uplifting about getting up in the morning and seeing blue skies and sunshine, even in December.
We also have a number of properties whose prices have been reduced. A selection of these is as follows:
5 bedroom villa near Tavira, was €375.000, now €329.500. Reference 1030-1396
New 3 bedroom villa, open country views, was €495.000 now €450.000. Reference 1001-0986
3 bed villa in quiet location, central heating, was €475.000 now €425.000. Reference 1001-1227
3 bed clifftop villa with panoramic sea views, was €525.000 now €400.000. Reference 1001-1320
Firstly, I want to say thank you to all of our clients for continuing to support our small team throughout these difficult times. Whether we manage your property, you have bought a property from us or we have just met during our day to day business I want to say thanks. Without the loyalty of our clients we would not exist as a company, so on behalf of all of us we say Thank You!
I am actually looking forward to 2013, as there is some movement in the real estate market, and it is starting to become quite interesting to be a real estate agent here again. Our property management service is growing organically, and this is an important benefit for those purchasing here.
Our office will be closed for Christmas Holidays from the 20th December until the 3rd January 2013. We are (as ever) available by email and telephone during this period. If your property is managed by us you know that we are contactable 24/7.
Finally I would like to wish all of our clients, past, present and future a very Happy Christmas, and a pos