Boasting some of the best beaches in Europe, Portugal has long been a favourite destination for British sun-seekers taking advantage of cheap flights to the country, as well as the Mediterranean climate and lower cost of living it has to offer. But with more and more Britons longing for property abroad, the country is turning more heads as the new hot location for property investment in the buy-to-let market, as a place to retire or for those fortunate enough to purchase a second home.Spain and France have long topped the list of countries where people buy second homes or investment property, but for those who more often opt for the path less traveled, or less developed in this case, Portugal is becoming more appealing. Travelers from Britain are increasingly looking for holidays in culturally rich places rather than the typical cookie-cutter “sun, sand and beach” resorts that have become a mainstay of the holiday market. Portugal’s tough controls on planning and development have preserved much of its countryside and towns, along with the typical Portuguese charm that has piqued the interest of those wishing to invest there.
Property investors such as Mark and Kerry Woodhouse of Maidenhead have taken notice and bought property north of Lisbon, in an area known as the Silver Coast. Away from the places of higher development in the south, they invested in a two bedroom flat near Obidos on a golf development which they plan to let.”People are crying out for a more cultural type of holiday where you experience what the country is like, rather than going to a place saturated with new developments” Ms Woodhouse told the Telegraph.They believe that this turn in the market will give them a good return on their investment and many others are tuning into this shift as well.With interest rates on the rise there has never been a better time to get on the overseas property ladder. According to Conti Financial Services, a specialist advisor on arranging foreign mortgages, borrowers can get a loan in euros for as low as 3.4 percent. Of course there is a lot to take into account when making any investment such as the down payment, which can be much more in Portugal than other countries abroad, and the fluctuations in currency conversion also effect loan repayments.
There are plenty of lenders in the UK including Halifax, Lloyds, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and some building societies employing experts ready to assist those wishing to buy abroad and also offer loans internationally.