Investors attracted to Portugal over winter season

Bank exchange rates are you being ripped off by your bank

Data from estate agency ‘Infinito Real’ have revealed the number of appointments to view homes in Portugal have soared this winter.

Bookings and appointments were found to have increased in both November and December when compared to the same months in 2010. November’s figures were said to have tripled whilst December’s increased by more than ten times that amount.

Infinito Real claimed that cheaper properties (those priced £100,000-£150,000) were attracting the most interest and revealed that the growth had come as something of a surprise.

“What’s unusual [...] is that booking levels are such that we [were] busy right through December, even over Christmas, which is traditionally quiet within any property market”, explained the agency’s Managing Director, Stephen Anderson.

Previous reports for the country showed a 45% increase in the number of tourists travelling to Portugal over the summer, but this was not expected to translate to the property market due to economic conditions.

According to Anderson, “[these] bookings are predominantly investor orientated rather than [being] the usual holiday home enquiries” – suggesting that the nature, and amount, of property investors is beginning to change.

One potential reason for the rise in investors is the availability of high interest savings accounts which are only available through banks when taken in conjunction with a mortgage agreement.

Anderson explained this has led to “cash investors [...] seeing fantastic value in taking out a small mortgage on their purchase [...] taking advantage of opening a savings account [with high interest rates] rarely available anywhere else.”

Transfer Money to Portugal

Are you looking to invest in Portugal? If so, it is a good idea to think carefully about how you will be transferring money to Portugal. Foreign currency exchange rates quoted by banks are nearly always worse than the exchange rates available through a number of specialist currency dealers.

So, if you are looking to send money to Portugal, which you will inevitably have to do if you are looking to make a property investment, be sure to compare the market before you buy your overseas currency. It could have a significant difference to your rate.

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Investors attracted to Portugal over winter season

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