The Algarve has been since quite some times a popular place for the foreign second residence market and hosts a vibrant "Expat" community.
The region features traditional fishing villages with their Moorish architectural influence. Algarve's economy is mainly based on tourism thanks to its attractive beaches, Mediterranean weather, safety, relatively low cost of living, golf courses and many leisure activities.
The region is divided into three parts:
Stretches out from Portimão to Sagres via Lagos, slightly less demanded than central Algarve and therefore experiencing better porperty prices, the further west, the better the prices.
From Faro to Castro Marim at the Spanish border via Olhão and Tavira, the least urbanised part of the Algarve which opened only reccently to tourism development.
From Lagoa to Faro via Albufeira, Vilamoura and Almansil, the most active and therefore most expensive tourist region of Portugal.
Compared to other countries like Spain, France or Italy, property prices have raised less and real estate has remained cheaper. Algarve also has not suffered from over-development due to constringent regulations designed to protect the stunning coastlines appeal.
Property prices in the region are amongst the highest of the country even if house prices have been going down in recent months due to the global real estate crisis and to the competition from emerging destinations from Eastern Europe and Northern Africa.
Algarve is a consolidated destination which is maximising its competitive advantage through its genuine combination of Sun-Sea-Golf and the quality of its products. The renting market remains strong showing that the region keeps its attractive assets.