Buying Property in the Algarve

With its beautiful sandy beaches, year-round sunshine, safety, and relatively low cost of living, Algarve have emerged as one of the most preferred destinations for foreigners to invest in real estate. There are about a hundred beaches in Algarve, which are drawing many US, German, Dutch, Irish, and British tourists and expats, many of whom wish to buy property, build homes, and settle. The region offers a unique coastline, with wild beaches, limestone cliffs, crystal clear waters, and thermal springs. Most importantly, Algarve has the highest sunshine rate in Europe.

In this ultimate guide, we will explore the Algarve Portugal real estate, explaining to you why, where, how to buy property in Algarve.

Where Is Algarve

The Algarve is one of the most beautiful coastlines of Portugal, located in the southern part of the nation. Tourism and related industries make up the bulk of Algarve’s summer economy. Harvesting and production of food, which include fish and other seafood, a variety of vegetables and fruits like raspberries, strawberries, cauliflowers, tomatoes, almonds, carob pods, plums, figs, and oranges are also economically important in this region.

Nevertheless, it is the tourism industry of Algarve that’s considered to be the most important and biggest. In 2017, Algarve received an estimated total of over 7 million tourists. It is a region blessed with picturesque fishing towns, a beautiful climate, and glorious sandy beaches, all of which combine to create a perfect destination for tourists and foreigners alike willing to permanently shift to the region.

Singles, couples, and families, all are attracted to Algarve because of its wonderfully varied culture and places. From buzzing nightlife to party people to water parks for thrill-seekers, pristine beaches for families, and historic towns to live in, no wonder why Algarve real estate is soaring in recent times.

One of the reasons why foreigners are moving to Algarve is that English is widely spoken here and the Portuguese are hospitable and welcoming. The best part is that Algarve is significantly cheaper than France, Greece, the UK, and Spain.

Why Buy Property in the Algarve, Portugal

Being second home to thousands of expats, Portugal offers a range of opportunities for people in terms of education, business, investment, family life, and retired life. And Algarve is the icing on the cake. The friendly community, unparalleled climate, stunning beaches, and clear, warm water make Algarve in Portugal an ideal location to relocate to. This is the reason why the region attracts hundreds and thousands of investors each year.

The country has something to offer to every expat, irrespective of their tastes and preferences. Its small size and population are another reason you would want to buy property in Algarve. You get all the amenities and comfort of a typical European city but with less rushness and more calmness.

Home Ownership in Algarve Portugal

75% of the population in Portugal are homeowners. This says a lot about the country and its real estate market. The high number of homeowners states that it is easy to acquire property in the country. This rate is about 10% higher than the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Portugal is already home to a large number of expats. The expat population is usually divided into second homeowners by investing in Algarve Portugal real estate, digital nomads living in the country while doing work, retirees living their best lives, and either doing nothing or running small businesses.

Can I Invest in Algarve Portugal Real Estate as a Foreigner?

Of course, you can buy property in Portugal as a foreigner. Portugal is one of the few countries that is encouraging foreign nationals to invest in the country’s real estate whether for residential purposes or business purposes. That means there are no restrictions on who wants to buy a property in Algarve.

There is a Golden Visa Program initiated by the Portuguese government that incentivizes foreign nationals to invest in the country’s real estate market. For non-EU citizens, if they wish to buy a home in Portugal and the property is worth a certain value, then they are free to invest in it and qualify for the Golden Visa residence permit in the country. As a Golden Visa holder, you are allowed to live, study, and work in Portugal. An additional benefit of the Golden Visa Program is that you can travel freely across the Schengen area. Within five years, you can qualify for permanent citizenship or residence in the country.

Where To Buy Property in the Algarve, Portugal

The real estate market in Algarve is mature and booming. Property prices are lower than other similar destinations in the country. The best part is that there are no restrictions on foreign property ownership. However, the overwhelming part is finding the right places in Algarve that suit your property-buying needs. There are plenty of regions that offer good real estate investment. We have listed a few places in Algarve that are ideal for property investment.


The most popular city among expats is the city of Lagos. This historic town is known for its beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, and rich culture. Thousands of people flock to this city every year to enjoy its incredible beaches. It is a surfer’s paradise due to its proximity to Sagres. Some of the popular beaches in Lagos include Ponta Da Piedade, Ponta do Camilo, Pinhão, and Praia Dona Ana. For people moving in with children, there are two international schools nearby, the Vale Verde International School and the Nobel International School. During summers, the town gets extremely busy. If you are buying a property in Algarve with no purpose of living there anytime soon, you can put the property on rent.


Portimão is popular among many European nationals, including people from Ireland and the UK. It is a port town that hosts sailing activities and other water sports like scuba diving and kitesurfing. The town’s lively culture will make you fall in love with it. With many options to party, drink, and eat out, expats find it an ideal spot to live for the rest of their lives. The best thing about Portimão is its mild climate that remains the same throughout the year. But there is one flaw that some expats may not like – Portimão is a lot louder as things are happening all the time.


For families looking to settle in Portugal, Albufeira is a good option. It is home to some of the best international schools in the country offering world-class education. So, it is a convenient city for anyone who is relocating to Algarve with their family. The city also boasts a wide range of restaurants and other local amenities. The best thing is that the price of the property is quite affordable than the rest of the Algarve. Apart from good schools and eating places, you will love the fantastic cliffs, clear blue water, and the lively nightlife. As the city experience a hoard of tourists throughout the year, you make a living by renting out your property as well.

Buying a Property In Algarve As A Foreigner

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a property in the Algarve. This includes understanding the types of property for sale in Portugal to know housing terminologies and more. Portugal is a developed country. So, its real estate market is highly advanced. You can expect a variety of properties to choose from, including villas, apartments, mansions, independent houses, and more. When it comes to apartments, they range from studio apartments to five bedrooms and even bigger. Before you invest in Algarve real estate, it is important that you get yourself accustomed to different terminologies to make an informed decision. We also recommend that you check our ultimate guide on Buying Property in Portugal.

Housing Terminology

⦁ Terreno refers to land. You can choose to purchase land and then build your dream property on it. If you are opting to go with land, you are advised to check with Câmara Municipal (the city hall) to determine whether the land is registered for agricultural or habitation purposes.
⦁ Quintas means classic rustic farms and houses. If you prefer living a country life, you can find such properties in the inland and even in the suburban areas.
⦁ Condos or Condomínios are individual apartment units with common areas. These are designed to offer a high standard of living, safety, and care. Nevertheless, condos can be expensive.
⦁ A Casa Geminada is a semi-detached house.
⦁ A Moradia or Casa refers to a detached home with surrounding amenities like a patio or a backyard, enclosed in a wall with a front gate.

In Portugal, you may see real estate ads featuring apartments with confusing numbers like T0, T1, T2, and so on. These are nothing but the number of rooms an apartment has. For example, a T1 apartment signifies a one-bedroom apartment. T0 signifies a studio apartment, and a T2 apartment signifies a two-bedroom apartment.


⦁ Before you start looking for Algarve real estate, consider the reason you are moving to Portugal and with whom you are moving in. Also, you should research the type of property available in your preferred region.
⦁ Get in touch with the right real estate agent who will take you through the process.
⦁ Start with a budget. How much are you willing to spend on a property in Algarve?
⦁ Get started with a detailed search of the property you want to buy. A condo? Studio apartment? Villa? Take help from your real estate agent.
⦁ Narrow down the properties you liked during your search and enquire about them with your real estate agent. Don’t make any decisions hastily.
⦁ Contact a solicitor and discuss your deposit plans. You may also want to talk to a currency specialist if you are transferring money from your country’s account.
⦁ Research legal matters, tax, and inheritance issues and take care of them.
⦁ Make sure you visit the place physically before you buy it.
⦁ Once the offer is finalized, contact a notary to oversee the deal.
⦁ Arrange the finances and determine how you are going to pay for the house and transfer the money.
⦁ You may be advised to sign a reservation contract and a deposit contract.
⦁ That’s it! The house is yours.

Notary in the Algarve

A notary oversees and rubber-stamps the paperwork during property transactions. They play an important role in ensuring the safe transfer of property takes place. All the documents are signed in the presence of a notary. For his/her services, the notary will charge 1-2% of the property price.

Real Estate in the Algarve: What To Consider Before Buying

⦁ Only buy from government-licensed agents
⦁ Go with a Portuguese-licensed solicitor
⦁ Choose a government-approved property
⦁ Always consider the location
⦁ Pre-set your budget and then look for property

How To Reach the Algarve

The easiest way to reach Algarve is from Lisbon. It can take anywhere between 45 minutes to 4 hours depending on your mode of transport. There are frequent direct flights from Lisbon to Faro Airport. Or you can take a rental car service to reach Algarve.

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