As an economist for a leading investment bank with all the recent ho-ha about sub-prime lending and unstable housing market / real estate prices, having hopefully as much sense as money, having been looking for both a holiday villa, come investment and rental income opportunity, come eventual retirement home, I naturally looked at the Algarve in Portugal. Oh sure, when you come and bask in the warmth and sunshine of the Algarve, hearing so many people speaking English so as to make learning Portuguese unnecessary, or so it initially seems, looking at all the sales literature from all those respectable sounding realtors / estate agents talking about massive investment returns (hogwash), finding a range of restaurants and glowing, very questionable reports about schools, hospitals and shopping, it is easy to get sucked in. But having been to the Algarve, getting past that, then seeing what a house of cards the place really is, I say “Algarve Villas? No thanks Portugal!”
If you ask me where is the best area to invest / buy a villa on the Iberian Peninsula, I would have to say Galicia in Spain (see Galicia Property) or the Costa Verde in Portugal; the later I would strongly recommend being as close as possible to a Spanish border crossing point as you can read why on other pages of my do not buy / invest in Algarve Portugal Villas blog!
1) The Algarve is actually made up of the following towns and villages; Alcalar, Alcantarilha, Algoz, Alte, Alvor, Armação de Pêra, Boliqueime, Caldas de Monchique, Carvoeiro, Ferragudo, Lagos, Monchique, Pêra, Porches, Portimão, Salir, São Bartolomeu de Messines, Silves and Vila Senhora da Rocha.
2) “Villas” - Exclusive country properties; particularly applies to the suburban summer residences of the ancient Romans and their later imitators.
3) Portugal is a republic and a member of the EU with Lisbon / Lisboa the capital.