Over the past year, the demand for villas and housing outside of town and city centres has risen significantly. According to idealista.com, between April 2020 and April 2021 villas made up 37% of the total number of property purchases in mainland Portugal, up from 33% the previous year. This means that 4 out of 10 of all properties purchased during the pandemic were villas, a rise of which hadn’t been seen before the onset of the pandemic
It’s thought the increased demand for such properties has been influenced by the lifestyle changes and priority shifts seen during the pandemic. More buyers are searching for properties away from busier cities and towns and instead, looking towards more rural areas.
The Influence of a Rise in Remote Working
The pandemic saw an increase in the number of people working remotely, a trend that is likely to continue for a significant proportion of workers. This increase in remote working as well as the rise in those who own digital businesses, has meant that living close to a city in order to commute is no longer such a high priority, allowing those who have wanted to move to more rural and quieter locations to do so.
The increased location flexibility as a result of the rise in remote working has also opened an opportunity for those who have wanted to spend more time abroad or move permanently. Portugal has seen a rise in interest from buyers working remotely for companies in the USA and UK, leading to an interesting development in the international client market.
The continued efforts to improve the digital infrastructure across Portugal will help attract buyers to more remote areas of Portugal. A lot has been invested into ensuring high-speed internet is available across the country. This, together with benefits like the low cost of living and good year-round climate, has attracted an increasing number of digital nomads to Portugal in the past few years.
Demand Still Far Outweighs Supply
An increase in activity was seen in the real estate market after pandemic restrictions eased, mostly due to pent-up demand and a continued increase in enquiries. Construction activity also recovered after declining in the first quarter of 2020, helping boost the number of properties available on the market, especially in urban areas.
Whilst city apartments still make up a large percentage of the properties bought in Portugal, it’s clear that consumer behaviour is shifting. Properties in more rural settings, that are closer to nature with lower population density are factors that a growing number of people are prioritising.
The number of villas and detached properties available for sale in Portugal is still not sufficient to meet the rising demand. It’s predicted that demand for such properties will continue to remain high, if not increase over the coming months. More space, both indoors and outdoors and quieter locations are increasingly in demand and as such properties that offer these benefits, especially in places with good digital infrastructure, will continue to be in demand as well.
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