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Fewer Britons buying property in the Algarve post-Brexit

There has been a significant decline in British demand for property in the Algarve since the EU referendum, according to Fine & Country.

The Algarve in southern Portugal is one of the best golfing regions in the world, helping to make it a popular place for Britons to invest in property.

But Fine & Country Algarve report that British nationals now account for only about 40% of the clients looking to buy property in the Algarve, down from around 80% prior to the referendum, partly because the pound has fallen by about 12% against the euro since the vote, pushing up the cost of buying property in Portugal.

But with residential property prices in Portugal on the rise, the euro’s strength against the pound is now encouraging many Britons to sell - sometimes at a discount - and still make a profit, according to investors and property agents.

Portugal’s existing home prices increased by 9.1% in the third quarter of 2016 from a year earlier, the biggest rise for seven years, the National Statistics Institute said last month.

Zoe Hawker, head of Fine & Country Algarve, told Bloomberg: “British property buyer numbers began to fall after the sterling fell following the Brexit vote.

“The flip side was very good because the French are coming in with stronger euros and buying from agents like us who happen to have large portfolios from British sellers.”

Both purchasers and vendors have tried, quite understandably, to take advantage of the fluctuating currencies, and for the most part this has worked well for the market, according to Alison Buechner Hojbjerg, a director at Quinta Properties.

She said: “Many vendors are sterling-based and consequently were prepared to accept lower euro offers which resulted in some great deals for both parties.”

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