Cascais Campaign to Attract Remote Workers
Remote working had been on the rise before 2020, but the pandemic and the changes that came with it led to a significant increase in the number of people both working from home. As many of those working remotely were no longer required to live within commuting distance of an office, for a lot of those working online, living and working from abroad became an interesting option. Many countries across Europe and around the world, have started trying to attract more remote workers. Countries like Portugal, with good weather year round, established communities of digital workers and a number of lifestyle benefits, have been particularly popular with remote workers. “It Works for You” One of the most popular spots on the Lisbon coastline, Cascais, just launched a campaign titled “It Works For You”, aimed at attracting remote workers from across the world. Whilst Lisbon has been a popular destination for remote workers for a while now, Cascais is attracting a growing number of digital nomads. The number of facilities for remote workers in the area, including tech hubs, co-working spaces, as well as social activities and events aimed at remote workers has also increased here in the past few years. New Opportunities for Investment The demand for long term rentals is always high in Portugal, and the number of remote workers looking to come over and spend longer periods of time in Portugal is growing at an unprecedented rate. The changes happening with the law in regards to local accommodation (AL) licences, may make long term renting more appealing for those looking to rent out their properties. Beyond just dealing with changes to legislation, long term renting comes with benefits such as lowered maintenance costs and more consistent income year round. Accommodation with facilities for remote workers including office space, high speed internet, and in proximity to co-working spaces and social events are in particularly high demand from those working remotely. For those looking to rent out their properties long term, whose properties have many of the qualities desired by remote workers, the digital nomad community may be an interesting market to target. Written by Emma Pengelly
According to the Portuguese State Budget for 2022 (OE2022) 123 Million Euros will be put aside for energy efficiency in housing!
The Portuguese government has budgeted 123 million euros in order to raise the energy performance of Portuguese buildings, as well as to promote the more efficient use of equipment. According to what is already known about the State Budget for 2022, there will be more money available for the renovation of buildings and infrastructures, to improve energy efficiency as well as to support the construction of new buildings, with a lower primary energy demand. This focus on energy efficiency will translate to a 35% reduction in primary energy consumption. This will help to decrease the difficulty many families dealing with the cost of energy, with some new buildings designed to have consumption close to zero in terms of primary energy.
Easter Celebrations in Portugal
As a country with deep Catholic roots, Easter is an important time of year in Portugal. Many different celebrations take place during this period including processions, festivals, live music and reenactments. Easter traditions vary across different regions of Portugal, and in some places, celebrations during Semana Santa attract visitors from not only all over Portugal, but from abroad as well. Celebrations around Portugal Many cities and towns transform during Semana Santa. Streets are often decorated with colourful flowers, candles and altars and prepare to host different events. Braga holds some of the most famous easter celebrations. The activities here include the Procissão do Senhor Ecco Homo on Maundy Thursday, in which several participants portray important historical figures and others walk barefoot, dressed in black hooded cloaks, representing the “farricocos”. Other important celebrations that take place here are the Lord's Burial's Procession, on Good Friday, and the Resurrection Procession held on Easter Sunday. Another city well known for its Semana Santa celebrations is Óbidos. The celebrations here start at the beginning of Lent, with the Procession of the Third Order of St. Francis, followed by the procession of Senhor dos Passos on Palm Sunday. One of this city’s most famous traditions is the Funeral Procession of the Lord, held during the night on Good Friday. This procession is lit only by torchlights, making it incredibly poignant and atmospheric. Re-enactments, masses, concerts and recitals are also held here during Holy Week. Loulé, in the south of Portugal, holds Festa da Mãe Soberana on Easter Sunday. During this festival, eight men dressed in white, carry a statue of the Virgin Mary to the Church of São Francisco. This procession is known as the "Little Festival" or Festa Pequena, with the "Big Festival", Festa Grande taking place two weeks later. There is an outdoor mass held at the end of Semana Santa, and the festival is finished with a display of fireworks. Family Gatherings On Easter Sunday in Portugal families gather for a meal, which typically includes roasted meat, ending the abstention from meat which occurs during Lent. Since meat is abstained from during each Friday of Lent, and often throughout the entire period, bacalhau is traditionally served on Good Friday. A tradition that dates back centuries, is the giving of the Folar da Páscoa to godchildren by their godparents. Folar da Páscoa is a sweet bread cake, with a cross on top and often a boiled egg in the centre, representing rebirth and resurrection. Whilst this tradition isn’t as common now as it once was, the Folar da Páscoa is still very popular during the Easter period. Pão de ló is another cake that is very common to have at Easter, made from eggs, flour and sugar. Like in many other western countries, the exchange of chocolate eggs is common in Portugal. You will often see almonds, particularly colourful sugar-coated almonds, being offered during this period and used to brighten up shop and market displays. If you are able to attend any of the celebrations in Portugal, many returning this year for the first time since 2019, then have a fantastic time. We wish you all a very Happy Easter, however you choose to celebrate this time of year!
On Average, 14% of Properties on the Market in Portugal Sell Within a Week
A report in February of this year by Idealista, showed that 14% of properties purchased in Portugal were on the market for less than a week and 25% were on the market for between one to three months. The demand for property is still high across Portugal and appears to be on the rise. Areas where properties are selling the fastest include Faro, Funchal, Porto, Évora, Setúbal and Coimbra. Demand for property outside of traditionally popular tourist areas is also on the rise and the type of clients looking to purchase property is also diversifying. Not only are properties for sale being snapped up quickly, 30% rental properties were on the market for less than a week. Long term rental properties are in short supply, especially in areas that rely on tourism, as short term rentals are much more commonly offered. For those looking at investing in property, residential properties seem to be a good option, especially as the demand for such property is high and rising and the regulations around short term and tourist rentals are growing. Whether you are looking at selling or renting your property, it’s a great time to do so. If you require some assistance with the sales process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team. Written by Emma Pengelly
The Algarve Tech Summit
This week for the first time, we saw the Algarve Tech Summit begin. The aims of this event are to promote the tech ecosystem within the Algarve, to attract international companies and investors, as well as digital nomads and remote workers to the region. The Algarve Tech Hub, comprises of over 50 technology companies, accounting for around €120 million in revenue. The goal of the summit is to bring those in the tech industry together, attract investment, help generate new business ideas and inspire budding entrepreneurs. The tech scene in Portugal has seen impressive growth and has changed quite drastically ove the last several years, and the tech scene in Algarve is no exception. It’s a region that’s famous for its fantastic weather, gorgeous scenery and sandy beaches and has been attracting more and more long term residents from across the country and overseas. The event is also focusing on businesses and services in the region that can benefit from better digital tools, such as those in the tourism, hospitality, health and agriculture sectors. More recently, an increased number of remote workers and those with online businesses have been coming to the area with plans to relocate or stay for longer periods of time, leading to a shift in the region’s demographic. On April 1st, there will be a lecture named “WorkAnywhere” held at the tech summit, aimed at promoting the Algarve as a destination for remote workers and online business owners, showcasing the many lifestyle and business advantages of working from this region. There are around 500 people from across the world thought to be attending the summit in person, with many more participating in events online. Many local businesses and groups have already participated in talks and lectures and will continue to do so over the next few days. It’s great to see the Algarve being put on the map in this way!
Life in the Algarve: The West Coast
In the second video in our series about life in the Algarve, we are exploring the west coast. If you’ve not yet had the chance to visit this area of Portugal, it is well worth taking a trip. In this video, we hope to be are able to give you a little bit of an insight into what the region is like. The western Algarve is widely considered to be the most scenic region of southern Portugal, with wild unspoilt, coastline, and miles of picturesque countryside. It’s home to the natural park of the Costa Vicentina, making it perfect for those who like to be surrounded by nature and who enjoy hiking and cycling. Amongst the rugged coastline, you’ll find some incredible hidden beaches, which have ideal waters for surfing and water sports. This region is one of the most popular areas of Portugal for those wanting to surf and has waves to suit a wide range of abilities. The regions of Aljezur and Vila do Bispo are also some of the only remaining areas of the Algarve where investment in residential property can qualify you for the Golden Visa. As of January 2022, most areas of the Algarve, Lisbon and Porto stopped qualifying for the golden visa, areas which had previously been very popular with those looking to invest in real estate for this purpose. As there are fewer large tourist complexes and the towns in the region are smaller, the number of services and amenities is more limited, but you are only a short drive away from some of the larger cities with a number of different shopping malls, public services and entertainment venues. However, you can still find a range of supermarkets, shops, restaurants and cafes across the region and the town of Aljezur does have an international school for any families considering moving over and it is one of the best priced international schools in the south of Portugal. This part of the Algarve is perfect for those looking for peace, and to be surrounded by natural beauty and sweeping countryside. Whether you’re looking at purchasing in the area or you’re just curious to learn more about it, it’s a wonderful place to visit that will surely not disappoint. You can check out the video here Emma Pengelly
The History of Lisbon and the Tejo River
Located on the north bank of the Tagus estuary, the growth of Lisbon relied greatly on the river and the sea. It was the river that enabled the first dispersed settlement, on the top of the castle hill, and attracted groups such as the Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians, who came to the city to trade. Others followed, including the Romans and later the Visigoths, until the arrival of the Moors in the 8th century. During the Roman occupation, the city of "Felicitas Julia Olisipo" (Lisbon) became an important Roman "Municipium" in the 1st century AD under the rule of Julius Caeser, due to its port, garum, wine and horses. It’s also important to note that it was the crossing point of 4 Roman roads, 3 to Mérida (in present-day Spain, this being the capital of the province of Lusitânia) and 1 to Bracara (the present city of Braga). These groups were the first to build a factory for salting fish, which was caught in the waters of Lisbon and Tróia and later salted with salt from Setúbal and sent to the rest of the Empire in splendid amphorae, a trade that was vital to the area. Salt is today one of the country's natural resources, and its main exported product since the Middle Ages, existing in large quantities at the mouths of the main Portuguese rivers. At that time, the Tagus had two important tributaries: one flowing into Avenida Almirante Reis and the other towards Avenida da Liberdade, which transformed into a small stream, now non-existent. The Roman city of Lisbon had a forum, temples, spas, villas, theatres, circus and cryptoporticos, the latter constituting true underground cities, in other words, it consisted of an underground gallery, that is, an underground structure that was used to level the ground and lay the buildings, eliminating the slope of the place where the forum was to be built. In short, it was like a monument, about 5 meters high and 10 meters wide. Similarly to the previous inhabitants, the Moors established themselves here over the course of 4 centuries, denominating the city "Lixabona" or "Al-Uxbûna". They promoted the urban layout of the Al-hama quarter, developing small, winding streets, narrow lanes and family courtyards situated on the hill. Lixabona prospered due to its gold, silver, fertile land, thermal waters in Alfama, clean air and abundance of fish. The Moorish town had walls and several gates, the main gate having impressive marble columns. It was in this area that the wealthier Moorish population built their noble houses. The transformation of Lisbon as the centre of the world dates back to the Golden Age of Portuguese discoveries in the 15th and 16th centuries, due to the goods and wealth brought to Europe from the Portuguese colonies in Africa, India and Brazil, such as spices, fabrics, precious stones, among others. At that time, King Manuel I transferred the Royal Palace from St. George's Castle, to a new palace then built by the Tagus River, called "Ribeira Palace", from where the king could see the arrival of the caravels loaded with all kinds of products, to the port of Lisbon, at "Cais das Colunas”. At this time, many foreigners started living in Lisbon, not only Europeans. It was certainly during this period that Lisbon changed radically, with the river becoming the most important element of the city's spatial organization. Although in the 17th and 18th centuries Lisbon continued to face the Tagus, the river ceased to be the centre of city life. With the growth in the 19th century of the great avenues, not depending as much on the Tagus. The Tagus was born in Spain, in the Albarracin Mountain Range, it bathes Toledo in Spain and Abrantes and Santarém already on national territory, covering a distance of 1007 km, 256 km of which in Portuguese territory. It flows into Lisbon, maintaining over the centuries a very strong connection between the two countries, contributing to the evolution of Lisbon society, whether in an urban-spatial sense or in a historical and cultural social sense.
What does Real Estate Investment look like in Portugal for 2022?
Real estate investment is looking to be one of the promising sectors for growth in 2022. Areas that are gaining particular interest from investors are logistics, office space, affordable housing, and student residences. After seeing a drop during the pandemic, the interest in land and development investment, both from national and international buyers, is approaching pre-covid levels. In 2020 more than half of all real estate transactions in Portugal were purchased by international clients. The British and French remain very much key players in the Portuguese real estate market, but Brazilians have shown up as the main investors. Logistics In 2020 in Portugal, 272,000 square metres were occupied by warehouse and logistics space. This was a growth of 24% compared to 2019, thought to be largely due to the increased demand for delivery services and online shopping during the pandemic. In 2021, there were many more plans announced for expansion within this sector. US giant Goldman Sachs Asset Management shared that it will invest more than a billion euros in the Iberian peninsula for development within the logistics sector over the next three years. This investment, like those made by various others companies, was in response to an issue seen in most sectors of real estate in Portugal, the significant lack of supply for the current level of demand. Office Space The demand for office space has also seen an increase. Whilst teleworking is something that is likely to remain a part of our daily life even after restrictions are lifted, the demand for office space is still seeing an increase, with many companies adapting their office space, or investing in new infrastructure. There has been an increased demand for offices with more open-plan layouts, spaces for creative employees to share ideas, both in-person meeting rooms and rooms for video meetings. The health and well-being of workers is quickly becoming more of a focus and a higher priority. Current office spaces will need to be adapted and upgraded to suit this shift in priorities among both company owners and workers. Affordable Housing Many properties for rent within the cities of Lisbon and Porto, as well as across the Algarve, are alojamento local (AL). This means these are generally only for short-term rent and are primarily aimed at tourists. With a lot of accommodation in these areas primarily catering to tourists and short term renters, prices are often pushed much higher for those looking for long term accommodation. There is a huge demand for affordable housing and rental properties across the country, and many programmes have been put in place to encourage developments for this purpose. As such, this is a sector that is likely to see decent growth across 2022. Student Residences Student accommodation represents a huge opportunity for investors in Portugal. There is an estimated shortage of 20,000 beds for student residences and as restrictions lift, the number of international students is likely to rise as well. This means that this sector will offer huge opportunities for growth in 2022. The development of student residences in cities like Lisbon and Porto, with features such as social areas, study areas, bars, terraces and barbecue areas are also on the increase, and the demand for this type of accommodation will likely follow the same trends seen in other similar cities across Europe. Another important shift seen across all commercial real estate is one towards environmental sustainability. Portugal has already taken steps towards ensuring real estate development is more climate-conscious, with energy efficiency and renewable energies becoming a bigger priority. Developers have been integrating more electric car chargers in parking garages in central Lisbon, ensuring more sustainable materials are being used and energy efficiency has been a focus in newer builds. There has been a substantial rise in awareness about environmental matters and a consequential increase in demand for property and products that are more sustainable.
What can you do during the winter, in the Algarve?
Despite being renowned for its fantastic summer weather and activities, there is still a lot to do in the Algarve in the cooler months. In fact, winter is a great time to visit some of the popular tourist spots, away from the summer crowds. The cooler season also offers a great opportunity to explore some of the region’s various landscapes and beautiful countryside. Hiking The winter months are a fantastic time for hiking. Despite the weather being a little more unpredictable, there is still plenty of sunshine without the high temperatures of the summer, and there are lots of trails in the area to explore. The Seven Hanging Valleys trail runs from Praia da Marinha to Praia de Vale Centeanes. The entire walk is across the coastal cliffs, offering some incredible views of the beautiful Algarve coastline. There are several stops you can make along the way including the Alfanzina lighthouse, and the beaches of Benagil and Carvalho. You can explore the west coast by walking along the Castelejo Environmental Trail, in Vila do Bispo. This trail is a fairly easy walk and is famous for its varied flora and fauna. It takes you from Praia do Castelejo through the Vicentine Coast Natural Park and back, with various stops at some small, secluded beaches along the way. You can also take a walk around one of the many trails in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, where amongst the wonderful scenery, you can see many different types of birds and wildlife, in fact, it is one of the best spots for bird watching in the winter months in the Algarve. If you want to go higher up and for some incredible countryside and sea views, take a hike up to the Fóia viewpoint in Monchique. It’s best to head up to the Monchique mountains towards the end of the winter, closer to spring, to avoid some of the stronger winds that the winter months can bring. Cycling The south of Portugal is one of the best destinations for cycling in the winter. In fact, the region attracts many avid cyclists in the winter months. The west coast offers some great cycling routes, across the western Algarve coastline and through the Costa Vicentina Natural Park. There are also plenty of cycling trails that allow you to cycle through the countryside, across different terrain and quiet country roads. There are several long distance trails that you can follow across the entire region of the Algarve. Here is a great guide to the various trails in the region. Enjoying the Beaches in Peace In the summer months, you can’t even begin to imagine what the beaches would look like without hundreds, or sometimes thousands of holidaymakers on the sand. In the winter you can take a long stroll along even the most popular beaches and sometimes not see another soul! Beaches like Meia Praia, Praia da Marinha, Praia de Benagil, Praia da Falésia, and Praia de Odeceixe are some of the many beaches that are often flooded with visitors in the high season. The wintertime offers a great opportunity to explore the coastline without the crowds. It’s a wonderfully peaceful time to be in the Algarve, and it really gives you the time and space to appreciate the beauty of the region. Boat Tours You can still take a boat tour around the cliffs and caves of the Algarve in the winter months. Whilst the weather might be a little less predictable and you’ll need a few extra layers than you would in the summer, you can take a much more peaceful trip around the coast with fewer people to share the views with. The islands of the Ria Formosa are also wonderful to explore in the winter, by boat and foot. In the winter months, the islands that see a lot of traffic in the summer months are practically deserted. It’s a great time to take a boat trip around the natural park or a walk around the islands and take your time to really soak up the atmosphere. Getting to Know Different Places There are plenty of cultural and historic hot spots in the Algarve. Tavira on the eastern Algarve is a beautiful city with plenty on offer to do and see. Many restaurants, cafes, and cultural sites here remain open during the winter months, unlike some of the more tourism-dependent towns across the Algarve, as do many places in the capital of the region, Faro. Silves is also a great spot to explore in the cooler months, it has a wonderful castle with amazing panoramic countryside views. A little further east in the historic city of Loulé, there is even a carnival held at the end of February, which is the oldest continuous pre-Lenten party in Portugal. It’s usually a big celebration with plenty coming to watch and enjoy the parades. The floats have samba groups, Brazilian dancers and giant costumed characters, coming together to put on an impressive show. Despite being canceled a couple of times due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s a great event to attend when it restarts. Staying in the Algarve over Winter? If you are staying in the Algarve over the winter, definitely be sure to take advantage of the quieter atmosphere. Whilst there may not be as many activities as there are in the summer, it’s a great opportunity to explore the region. You may even find yourself longing for the peace and quiet of the winter when the summer comes around and the Algarve fully opens its doors to visitors from across the world.
Life in the Algarve: The Video Series
Today we released the first in a series of videos looking at what life is like in the Algarve. Over the next few months, we will be releasing several more videos from cities across the region, to provide you with some insight into life in the south of Portugal. We decided to put together this series to provide those looking at coming over to the Algarve, and potentially wanting to purchase property here, with more information about each area. Hopefully, these videos will help you decide which parts of the Algarve will suit you the best if you’re not too sure where to start looking. Even if you’re not wanting to purchase property in the area, we hope that you enjoy learning more about different places in Portugal. In the video today we are taking a look around the city of Lagos. We share a little bit about the history of the city and take a wander around the old town and the city’s beaches. Lagos is a charming city with a lot to offer, so it’s well worth having a look at the video and exploring the city with us. Stay tuned for more videos in the series and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want any more information about properties here, or life in Portugal in general. Enjoy today’s video and we’d love to hear your feedback if you’d like to leave us a comment. Check out the first video here. Written by Emma Pengelly
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