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Quinta Properties Market Update

By • Aug 3rd, 2010 • Category: Lead Story

As we mark the half-way point in 2010 we are delighted to report that business has been brisk this year. Within the midst of global economic turmoil Quinta do Lago once again proved itself as a sound investment and safe haven amid the uncertainty. In fact, 2010 is already proving better than last year, which was a great year for us.

Current state of the market

To continually innovate and improve on our service, and ultimately to achieve more sales, we have analysed the market and our database. The resulting data confirmed our feel for the market but still made interesting and impressive reading.

Quinta do Lago is clearly still buzzing and moving, and we are selling more houses than last year – sales are up 17% from 2009. For our vendors, we have also achieved an increase in the average sale price for Quinta do Lago villas (excluding apartments and small town houses), which rose by 5.7% this quarter.

The majority of our buyers are UK residents, who continue to represent 63% of purchasers. Given this dominance, and the improving Sterling, our marketing efforts will remain focused on the UK market to continue to do what is best for our vendors. This includes developing the role of our website, which is growing in popularity and has already delivered 10 percent more sales leads compared to last year.

Despite the good news that average monthly sales are increasing we cannot advise enough that it is the homes that are in top condition that prove most popular with buyers.  The global recession has seen a more cautious buyer emerge, one who is buying to use the property themselves over the medium to long-term. As a result they are seeking quality and expect greater value from their investment. There is a lot of choice on the market and with so much choice buyers are going for the best properties.

The fact that prices have remained relatively stable at the top of the market in the year-to-date also demonstrates the financial strength of our Quinta do Lago vendors. Forced sales have not been a feature of the local market. Therefore, while buyers are more discerning they are finding that prices have not dropped by the sizeable amounts that they have in other destinations.

Top Tip: Buyers are very keen for new, large luxury villas at the top-end of the market. We have sold all that is available in Quinta do Lago so there is now a shortage of such well-equipped, sophisticated properties that we can sell at top prices. If you have the means and the interest it would be worthwhile consider building such a project.

Those owners, who do seek to leverage their property investment throughout the summer rental period are experiencing a buoyant season, which is on par with 2009 activity. Select Resorts, a Quinta Properties Savills’ Associate, has reported that accommodation in key Quinta do Lago locations are at capacity for August 2010.

Outside Quinta do Lago

From our point of view, the story outside Quinta do Lago continues to be slightly different. Properties are taking longer to sell and suffered falls in demand as the recession took hold. The situation has not yet improved and we expect the trend to continue in 2010. Again, it is the best properties in the right locations inside and outside Quinta do Lago that are attracting interest from buyers.

Forecast – the next six months

Cash remains king in Quinta do Lago. Many buyers will still find mortgages slow to arrange throughout 2010. Therefore, as we have seen in the first half of this year, vendors receiving offers from cash buyers should consider these seriously as mortgages are hard to obtain and at best very slow to arrange.

Help us to help you – floor plans

Times have well and truly changed in Portugal and houses that are not built according to approved plans, or have unlicensed alterations, will be difficult to sell. Buyers and their lawyers are insisting that properties are legal prior to purchasing. Therefore, approved and stamped floor plans will be needed from all of our vendors. Please forward a copy of your plans to us as a matter of priority.

If an offer is made on a property that is later found to not conform to legal requirements at absolute best, buyers will seek to renegotiate a lower price and lawyers will demand high retentions until licences are obtained and paperwork is updated; that is if the sale does not fall through entirely.

We will also be including these approved floor plans in our new brochures. Please ask your lawyers to e-mail the plans to margarida@quintaproperty.com or post them to our office. We are also happy to collect plans when ready. If alterations have been undertaken to your property then it is important to have them legalised – there is a great deal on the market at present and with so much competition it is those properties with all the documentation in place that sell.

Our marketing efforts this summer and beyond!

To further identify where our clients are from we have dissected our data down to UK postcodes, so we know exactly where to focus our marketing efforts. We will be working with our UK Savills colleagues in these key locations on joint activities to generate qualified leads, such as a planned Champagne Party in the UK with the Savills Esher and Cobham offices.

We have had a very busy and exciting quarter when it comes to marketing. More than 10,000 copies of the Property Guide have now been distributed and we are already planning the 2011 Property Guide and Annual Launch Party. Our billboards in the area have been a great success and we continue to invest in what works best for our clients, including print advertising, website search engine optimisation and placing our properties on other websites.

On a further positive note, as our business grows we were thrilled to expand our team with the appointment of Sandy Townsend to lead our Marketing and Business Development. Australian-born Sandy is a journalist and marketer, who arrives to us after ten years working in London’s property industry, latterly as Director – Head of Marketing and PR at top ten UK property firm, Lambert Smith Hampton. As a writer, Sandy has been published by newspapers such as the Financial Times and Sunday Times

As always, timing is everything and Sandy started just in time to attend the annual Savills International Marketing Conference in Central London with us. We were joined by 35 colleagues from across the world. These events are always useful in sharing ideas and marketing best practice. With 200 Savills offices worldwide we had much to discuss. A highlight was a tour of the exclusive One Hyde Park involving Candy&Candy. Savills are agents for the scheme, which was absolutely stunning. It was good to see that the top-end of the market in Central London continues to thrive; as Quinta do Lago always follows prime Central London trends.

Fast Cars and Entertaining

If you are looking for some pace and excitement this summer Algarve Racing has offered our clients the opportunity to purchase time in one of the VIP lounges at the Autodrome International Algarve in Portimao. Corporate events, kart racing and driving experiences, which include being driven around the track by a professional driver, are also on offer. Contact us for more information.

As you can see, all is well. We are revved up, active and as always we welcome any comments you may have on this letter or any of our other activities. We are very grateful for your ongoing support and in recommending us to buyers. We all benefit! Please do continue to mention us to your contacts. Finally, we don’t have as much time as we would like to update all our vendors so please don’t hesitate to call or pass by – it is always nice to you.

We all hope that this finds you well and we are looking forward to catching up with you this summer – as usual our office will be open Monday to Saturday so please do stop by and say hello.

 Kerstin Dias Buechner

Alison Højbjerg Buechner

- Director - Kerstin was born in Switzerland and educated in various European countries. She joined her sister Alison in July 2005 after 15 years of selling high profile properties in and around Quinta do Lago.
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