Article written by Alison Hojbjerg, Co-Owner and Director of QP Savills
Alison Hojbjerg and Kerstin Buechner - Co-Owners and Directors of QP Savills
I’ve just come back from LA. My daughter moved there after having spent her university years in London. Home being the Algarve where we have lived for the past 25 years. “The weather is the same and even the trees and flowers are like ours – it’s like being home!” She loves it there. Indeed our serene location here in Portugal on the western tip of Europe seems to resemble the Californian lifestyle.
According to the Portuguese government website, to date some 10,000 Americans have moved to Portugal, that’s up by 200% over the past five years.
Here at QP Savills my sister Kerstin and I and our team of Special Agents have been selling some of the most beautiful properties in the Algarve over the past 25 years, but almost exclusively to Brits and other Northern Europeans who have long discovered this very special corner of Portugal. That’s now changing.
With global markets being extremely volatile, political instability and inflation remaining high, here, in Europe’s leading tourist destination, life seems oblivious to what’s happening in the rest of the world.The Algarve is attracting buyers from all over the globe and especially Americans in the last couple of years. So far this year we have sold over €100-million worth of property in the Golden Triangle, that’s up 9% from this time last year.
Since January we have received over 85,000 web-based visits. UK customers still account for almost 50% of them however we were surprised to see that the US web-based visits increased by 157% year-on-year.
In 2022, we successfully sold a property in Quinta do Lago at the highest ever recorded here at QP Savills, (if indeed in Portugal), at €18.5 million. Year-to-date we have already succeeded this number twice!! Our ‘Special Agents’ have recently sold two properties exceeding €20 million. For Europeans, these figures are staggering, however in many areas of the USA, such as Pacific Palisades in LA prices in this range are not uncommon. Some Americans may be surprised at the luxury to be found here at this price level, compared to mansions in their home areas.
Our most expensive listing so far, Soprano, coming in at €42 million located on the very tip of Quinta do Lago was created by one of the area’s most forward-thinking, ambitious property developers with an unmatched track record. Designed by one of the best-known architects in the region the architecture, ideas, style and sheer scale of the villa are awe-inspiring. I wouldn’t be surprised if the new owner of this exceptional estate, arguably the finest in the country, will be American.
Portugal was voted the number one place to retire by the International Living Retirement Index, the 6th safest country to live in across the globe by the Global Peace Index and ranked 12th by the World Health Organisation, which suggests an even stronger trend for buying in Portugal going forward.
Americans, with their strong currency, have begun looking overseas and many who used to flock to Florida for their winter retreat are looking at Portugal. I asked Dino Vendetti, a venture capital investor and entrepreneur from the US who moved here recently, what attracted him to the Algarve: “The reason we were attracted to the Algarve is probably very similar to the reasons many others from the EU and UK have moved here; the warm friendly Portuguese people, nearly perfect weather, beautiful beaches, and year-round outdoor activities. The country still has a rugged, rough around the edges feel to it that is very authentic and appealing. We have been traveling to Europe for many decades and Portugal was always on our radar. We finally made our way here around 8 years ago, instantly fell in love with it, and moved here permanently last year. I think Portugal has definitely taken its proper place amongst cocktail party conversations and is on the travel list of many Americans this year.”
Having just spent time on the US West Coast I can understand the attraction of Portugal to the American market; not just the wealthy, but also value-seeking retirees. Portugal offers real value for money. In the US I was stunned at the costs of basic amenities: I was shocked when the Venice Beach-based hairdresser asked me for $85 for a blow-dry! A far cry from the €15 I normally pay locally. My morning cup of coffee, served in a paper cup was $7, here my coffee costs 80 cents. And, when in the States don’t forget to tip at least 22% on top of all this!
Life here is really second to none. Kerstin and I have lived in many countries around the globe and we could not imagine anywhere we would rather live. My sister and I (both Americans), welcome our fellow Americans and are happy not just to offer our exceptional portfolio of selected properties but also would be pleased to share our experiences of living here over the past 25 years.
We and our Special Agents look forward to hearing from you.
For more information call us!
T. +351 289 396 073
QP Savills understands the importance of continuously expanding our knowledge and, so, team to serve you better. With Ricardo, our newly appointed Resorts and Developments Manager, we are certain that our commitment to delivering exceptional services and unparalleled investment opportunities...