What happens in Quinta do Lago – a gated community and golf resort in Almancil, and one of the Algarve’s most popular locations for investment – might give us a good indication of the wider trends that will dominate overseas investment in 2020.
With this in mind, we checked in with Sean Moriarty, chief executive of Quinta do Lago, for his predictions for the year to come.
“Looking ahead to 2020 it is already evident that the focus on sustainability is only going to continue to become more important,” he said. “Residents are no longer simply concerned with a singular home and its environmental footprint, they are now looking further into the development behind a home and its surrounding location to evaluate the impact that has on the environment. Quinta do Lago fully appreciates the importance of climate change and is looking to support these sorts of initiatives more and more in the New Year.”
Moriarty says the increase in smart homes is also set to rise in 2020. “With the development of modern technology at our fingertips, Artificial Intelligence (AI) inside properties is now becoming the norm and holiday homeowners are able to enjoy the perk of their very own robotic concierge who is able to arrange their restaurant bookings, turn the heating up before they return home and schedule their meetings.”
He also thinks 2020 will be a good year for Portugal in particular. “Through multiple award successes which have taken place throughout 2019 (including the World Travel Awards, International Property & Travel Awards and the LUX Life 2020 Travel and Tourism Awards) we have no doubt that Portugal and the Algarve in particular is going to continue to grow as a hotspot,” Moriarty adds.
“We look forward to welcoming more holidaymakers, second homeowners and overseas investors to Quinta do Lago in the New Year.”
Lastly, he believes health and wellbeing will be increasingly important when it comes to the decision-making of investors.
“The wellness revolution is continuing to expand internationally, now in architecture and real estate. Open-plan living, natural light and fitness facilities are set to become more important factors to consider when buying and renting property next year. Our newest development at Quinta do Lago, Reserva, has been designed with this in mind - to offer residents a lifestyle centred around ultimate luxury combined with wellness.”
The lakefront development, which is now fully open, is situated next to the protected Ria Formosa Natural Park – a maze of canals, islands, marshes and barrier islands, stretching 60 kilometres along the Algarve coast and of international importance.
Moriarty says Reserva residents are provided with exclusive access to the Resident's Club where they can enjoy a heated swimming pool, gymnasium, treatment rooms, private tennis and padel courts and a 24-hour concierge service. There is also close proximity to the resort's new multi-sports and wellness facilities, The Campus, which aims to offer guests a ‘relaxed fitness lifestyle like no other’.
“The Campus is a multi-million euro sports hub enjoyed by professional athletes, teams and residents alike,” Moriarty concludes. “Elite fitness and wellness facilities, such as the high-performance gymnasium, aquatic centre and medical treatment rooms, give residents the chance to take care of their health and wellbeing in a professional, comfortable and aspirational environment. Although residents can have private personal training sessions in their own home, the health and wellness sanctuary of The Campus has revolutionised lifestyle within the resort, providing a community hub for the new health-oriented, active-living families.”
This year, Property Investor Today has covered Portugal fairly extensively, from a brand new development in the heart of the Algarve to the bounce back of the Lisbon property market as demand and investment soared. We’ve also looked at a possible new hotspot on the eastern Algarve – until now less heralded than its near neighbours – and the ongoing strong growth of Quinta do Lago itself.
The country has experienced something of an investment and tourism boom in the last decade, with cities such as Lisbon and Porto becoming an increasing hotbed for young professionals and tech startups.
It was recently named the World’s Leading Destination for the third consecutive year at the World Travel Awards, with Portugal winning a total of 12 tourism Oscars at the ceremony held in Muscat, Oman.
Elsewhere, the 14th Hospitality Atlas, published by Deloitte, found that Portugal continues to beat tourism records, surpassing 66 million overnight stays in 2018, an increase of 9 million compared to the previous year, with revenues rising by around €500 million to an overall figure approaching €3 billion.
The number of guests in this time also grew considerably, up to nearly 24.7 million, while the number of developments exceeded 2,000 for the first time and the number of beds soared to 144,000 – up 12% on the previous year.
Why is Portugal so popular?
There are a number of incentives for investors – including high tourist demand for homes to rent, an improving economy, Golden Visas and the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime.
The NHR regime, for example, makes Portugal one of Europe’s most tax-friendly destinations for foreigners, with a 20% flat rate for certain Portuguese source incomes from specific professions and income from self-employment - as opposed to normal Portuguese income tax rates of up to 48%.
The NHR, valid for 10 years, enables anyone who hasn’t been resident in the country for the past five years to be eligible to receive pension income, rental income, capital gains on real estate and non-Portuguese income tax-free, while investors in Portugal can also benefit from an absence of wealth tax, inheritance tax and gift tax, all of which could help to make investment more appealing and profitable.
Those worried about the impact of a no-deal Brexit – which is still a possibility if Britain doesn’t agree a trade deal with the EU by the end of the transition period, and Boris Johnson sticks to his pledge to not ask for an extension – will be reassured by the commitment of the Portuguese government to make special arrangements for British tourists in the event of a crash-out exit.
Whatever happens with Brexit, it’s likely that Portugal and the UK will continue to have a very strong relationship, tied together by tourism, investment and one of the oldest and most robust alliances in the world.
The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance - or Aliança Inglesa in Portuguese – was ratified at the Treaty of Windsor in 1386. It has led to a deep connection ever since, and this is likely to be the same no matter what the outcome of Brexit.