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ALGARVE PROPERTY MARKET: EAST v WEST

11th January 2010: Algarve Property News



What does the Western & Eastern Algarve have to attract buyers? The Western Algarve is a rugged coastline, more exposed to the Atlantic headwinds than the other Algarve regions and so more weathered. This is where you find the dramatic sandstone cliffs, frequently used in Algarve literature and some of Europe’s most pristine and secluded bays, beaches and coves. It offers excellent facilities for water sports, golf and some historic towns (Lagos and Silves for example) but there are also more lively cities to enjoy (Albufeira and Portimao). The Algarve Formula One Racetrack has recently been built close to Portimao and now hosts many annual events and Lagos is very popular for its excellent mix of new meets old.

The Eastern Algarve is more easily accessible from Faro international airport (only 20-30 minutes drive) but has been more popular with Portuguese and Spanish holiday homes buyers over the years, mainly because it is quieter and offers a more traditional, authentic experience. A Place In The Sun recently highlighted the area as one of the top places to consider for investment and you can still purchase property here far more cheaply than elsewhere on the Algarve. The countryside is beautiful, rolling and flatter than the west and the golden sand beaches stretch far and wide. The protected Ria Formosa nature reserve stretches along much of the coastline and creates a beautiful setting of estuaries and lagoons to explore and the most notable town has to be Tavira which is often voted the most beautiful city on the Algarve. Tavira Island beach (Blue Flag of course) was voted the 8th best in the world by Lonely Planet after beaches in Africa, Thailand and Australia and was also ranked the 2nd best in Europe for children.

Both areas attract their fair share of lifestyle, investor and permanent move property buyers but the west has more established services / lifestyle credentials where as the east has better investment potential and is closer to the main city of Faro.

What variety of property is available in both areas?

As per the general overview above (west – more mainstream, east – more traditional), the west has a broader and deeper supply of holiday home properties such as condo apartments, villas and resorts where as the Eastern Algarve, while having some of the same excellent lifestyle properties, is less seasonal and offers more opportunity to integrate with the local community.

Which areas of both East and West offer the best value and what can you get for your money?

Very difficult to generalise as all depends on the size of property, land, quality of spec etc but as with any coastline the best value can be found 10-15 mins away from the beach in more traditional towns. On the west this would include Silves which is a beautiful historic town with some very reasonable prices or Algoz outside Albufeira. On the east this includes Santa Rita and Altura.

Which are the most expensive areas of both East and West and what can you get for your money?

The most expensive areas of both the West / Eastern Algarve regions are the main cities of Lagos and Tavira respectively. Again price per m2 depends on numerous factors and cannot really be generalised.

What can you buy with 200,000 Euros in the West/East?

In both areas this would buy you a large 2-3 bed apartment or small house either in a private community with pool, town centre, or beach location. You could also consider a terraced or detached house in some areas. Better value is available in the east and this may present itself as larger accommodation, higher spec or better location for the price.

Is there anything buyers need to bear in mind when buying in either of these areas of the Algarve?

The further west you go the windier gets and in the east the beach is set apart from the mainland by the Ria Formosa nature reserve (so you often have to get a quick ferry or boat to the beach which only takes a few minutes).


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