Demand for overseas homes in Portugal has soared amid easier passport control access and flexible working.
The number of buyer enquiries for a home in Portugal was up 24 per cent in April compared to the same time last year, new figures from Rightmove show.
At the same time, experts say there has been a shift among potential British buyers who previously looked to the country for a potential holiday home but are now increasingly looking there to relocate full time.
It comes after Portugal became the first EU country to allow those with a British passport to use electronic passport gates, with the aim of speeding up entry.
The areas that have seen the biggest increases in demand in Portugal among overseas British buyers have been revealed by Rightmove
This four-bedroom house in Porto Santo, in Portugal’s Maderia, is for sale for €590,000, or 503,501, via Sotheby’s International
David Rowat, of estate agent OliveHomes.com, said: ‘The demand from British buyers is unceasing. This year has seen unparalleled demand as people wish to pursue the dream of having a home in Portugal.
‘One of the biggest changes we have seen is the demand for relocation full time or remote working part-time.
‘Historically the demand was weighted 80 per cent holiday homes and 20 per cent relocation. This has shifted to 50/50 and many clients are now asking for information on residency and schools.’
He added that the highest growth in enquiries is for stand-alone villas that are new, modern and family orientated, based in resorts such as Vale Do Lobo, Quinta do Lago, Vila Sol and Vilamoura.
‘In terms of locations, we can see the Algarve remains extremely strong with increased interest in the outskirts of Lisbon – Setúbal – and Madeira,’ he said.
‘Madeira is a beautiful island that is becoming more in-focus due to the extra value gained compared to mainland Portugal.
‘British buyers remain extremely confident about the future prospects of Portugal, in terms of an investment and the quality of life.’
Rightmove also revealed that buyer enquiries increased 25 per cent in the last week of April compared to the previous seven days after faster entry requirement for Britons were announced.
The property website said that the most popular destination in Portugal is the island of Porto Santo, near Madeira, with searches more than tripling compared to last year.
Searches there are up 267 per cent, the biggest jump in searches of any area in Portugal.
It is followed by the picturesque village of Comporta in Alcácer, with searches more than doubling, up 129 per cent, while the city of Vila Real de Santo António, in the Algarve, is third, up 82 per cent.
Rachel Beaton, of Rightmove, said: ‘The move to make it easier and quicker for Britons to enter Portugal will give further confidence to British buyers who are interested in buying a home abroad, but are perhaps still hesitant about different travel regulations that are still in place since the pandemic or post-Brexit.
‘We’re seeing strong demand from British buyers for properties in Portugal, and this will only make it easier for these potential buyers to get over there to view properties for sale.’
Rightmove declined to quantify the demand and how many buyers were now looking to buy in Portugal.
Interest was also likely to be considerably lower last year due to lockdowns and a lack of travel of overseas last April.
What you can buy in Portugal…
This luxury two-bedroom villa in Portugal’s Vila Real de Santo António is for sale for €1.6m or £1.36m via Laws Property estate agents
This three-bedroom house in Portugal’s Maderia is for sale for €795k, or £679k, via Sotheby’s International
For those with a smaller budget, this two-bedroom flat in Portugal’s Algarve is for sale for €173k, the equivalent of £148k, via kw Flash estate agents