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Buying a property in the Algarve: a complete guide

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property investment the Algarve

Yes, the analysis of the Algarve's property market is included in our pack

Thinking of buying a property in The Algarve? You're not alone!

Many people are captivated by the Algarve's coastal charm and dream of owning a beachfront villa or a modern apartment there.

Would it be a smart investment, though? Are property prices increasing in the Algarve? Is it expensive? Is it more profitable to buy in Lagos or Vilamoura? And the taxes? Which places offer rental yields exceeding 7%?

We've got it all sorted. No worries.

The Investropa team has extensively researched this market. As a matter of fact, we've organized all our findings in a pack. Get it now.

In the lines below, we will share some of this knowledge.

How is the real estate market in the Algarve?

When evaluating the strengths of a property market, everyone has their own opinion. We do things differently - we rely on data and actual facts.

Types of properties

In Algarve, there are various types of properties available for sale, catering to different preferences and needs.

These include charming villas with private gardens and swimming pools, cozy apartments in vibrant coastal towns, traditional townhouses with unique architectural features, serene countryside cottages offering a peaceful retreat, and modern condos with convenient amenities.

Whether you're looking for a relaxed beachside escape, a bustling urban setting, or a tranquil rural abode, Algarve offers a diverse range of property options to suit every lifestyle and taste.

What's better: buy or rent?

(If you plan to use it yourself and not as a rental)

If the Algarve region in Portugal is your destination of choice, you might be considering whether it's better to buy a property or opt for renting in this beautiful coastal area.

Usually, buying is better than renting in the Algarve due to its low cost of living, high rental yields, and attractive long-term capital appreciation potential.

However, if you prefer flexibility, go for renting.

Property pricing in the Algarve

On average, according to the updated data from Statistics Portugal, purchasing a property in the Algarve would cost you around $3,850 per square meter.

Obviously, there is a significant spread. The value of a square meter for a coastal property in the Algarve might differ from a house in Lagos. You'll get a more detailed in our pack for buying property in the Algarve and in Portugal.

To put things in perspective, it means that, instead of buying an apartment in Paris or London, you can afford 4 properties in the Algarve.

Also, housing prices in the Algarve are 36% cheaper than in Lisbon.

The most expensive places in the Algarve are probably Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago, while the cheapest are probably Silves and Monchique.

the Algarve Property Price per Square Meter


First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that Portugal is, today, one of the most stable countries in the world. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 27.5.

It is something to have in mind when wondering whether it's a good investment to buy a property in the Algarve.

Also, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Portugal's economy is expected to soar by 7.9% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 1.6%.

If you intend to invest in real estate in the Algarve it's a good thing because when the economy grows, people tend to become wealthier, which usually results in higher housing prices.

Also, in Portugal, the average GDP per capita has changed by 5.0% over the last 5 years. It's a solid number.

This is a strong positive signal: housing prices in the Algarve might become more expensive in 2024 and later on.

Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in Portugal right now.

Buying property in the Algarve

It can be difficult to buy property in the Algarve due to the lack of reliable and updated information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in the Algarve and in Portugal.

Buying process

Inside our pack, we've outlined the complete buying process, including a detailed breakdown of prices and yields per area, tips for negotiating the price, and information about mortgage options.

Here, we're presenting you with a more straightforward version.

This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Algarve:

  1. Research the Algarve property market, considering locations and property types.
  2. Set your budget and secure financing from Portuguese banks if needed.
  3. Engage a licensed real estate agent specialized in Algarve properties.
  4. View potential properties physically or virtually, exploring unique local features.
  5. Conduct due diligence, obtaining "Caderneta Predial" (property tax document) and "Certidão Permanente" (property history certificate).
  6. Make an offer through a "Proposta de Compra," outlining conditions and timeframe.
  7. Sign a "Contrato Promessa de Compra e Venda," requiring a down payment (around 10% of the property value).
  8. Hire a lawyer who specializes in Portuguese property law.
  9. Obtain a "Número de Identificação Fiscal" (Portuguese tax identification number).
  10. Finalize the purchase contract ("Escritura") with the notary, and pay the remaining amount.
  11. Pay the "Imposto Municipal sobre Transmissões Onerosas" (IMT - property transfer tax).
  12. Register the property in your name at the local Land Registry ("Conservatória do Registo Predial").

Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in Portugal.

Make a profitable investment in the Algarve

Better information leads to better decisions. Save time and money. Download our guide.

buying property in the Algarve

Where to find a property

Explore these websites to find properties in Algarve.

  • Casthelana Real Estate - A real estate agency specializing in property sales and rentals in Porto, Portugal, offering a variety of apartments and houses.
  • Home Lovers - A real estate website offering properties for sale and rent in various areas of Portugal, including Lisbon, Porto, Cascais, Comporta, and Madeira.
  • Idealista - A property website with over 160,769 properties for sale in Portugal, including popular regions like Algarve and Lisbon.
  • Portugal Homes - A real estate agency offering a wide range of properties for sale in Portugal, including options for Golden Visa properties.
  • Properties in Portugal - Browse through more than 40,000 properties for sale, including apartments, villas, land, and commercial properties.

Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in Portugal.

Which properties for which budget?

As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in the Algarve is $3,850. A 1-bedroom property with 60 square meters would cost approximately $231,000, and a 2-bedroom property with 85 square meters would cost approximately $327,000.

Obviously, property prices will change based on both the property itself and its location.

The prime locations in the Algarve typically come with elevated housing prices. A condominium in Quinta do Lago might be around $440,000, whereas a residence in Vale do Lobo could be priced at $870,000.

Yet, there are places that are easier on the wallet. You may find a property in Loulé for $180,000, or you might come across a property in Silves priced only at $150,000.

We give a more detailed pricing list in our full pack for buying property in Portugal.

Mistakes to avoid

Here are the main pitfalls specific to buying a property in the Algarvertugal:

  • Contravenção and Barraqueiro properties: Properties built illegally or without proper permits, leading to legal issues and potential demolition orders.
  • Rustic land misclassification: Land labeled as "rustic" may have limitations on construction, affecting your property development plans.
  • Câmara approval delays: Bureaucratic delays in obtaining local council approvals for construction or renovations.
  • Portuguese property taxes: Understanding the complex tax system, including IMT, IMI, and AIMI, to avoid unexpected financial burdens.
  • Urbanization projects: Being aware of upcoming urbanization projects that may affect the property's value or surroundings.
  • Coastal zone restrictions: Strict regulations around building near coastal areas, impacting property development possibilities.
  • Tenancy rights: Existing tenants may have strong legal protection, affecting your ability to occupy or use the property.
  • Inheritance laws: Portugal's unique inheritance laws may affect property succession, necessitating careful estate planning.

We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.

real estate Portugal

Everything you need to know is included in our Portugal Property Pack

Living in the Algarve

The Algarve is a beautiful and vibrant region with a great climate, stunning beaches, and a relaxed lifestyle, making it an ideal destination for anyone looking to purchase property.

Cost of living

The cost of living in the Algarve is generally lower than in other parts of Portugal and Europe. With low prices for housing, food, and other everyday expenses, the Algarve is an attractive destination for those looking to enjoy a relaxed lifestyle on a budget.

Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Algarve, including unique items and places:

  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Lagos' historic center: €800/month.
  • Monthly pass for the "Frequentar" bus system: €30.
  • Freshly caught sardines at a local fish market: €5/kg.
  • Traditional Cataplana dish at a seafood restaurant: €15-20.
  • Loulé's artisanal cork products: Cork wallet for €20.
  • A bottle of Medronho, a local firewater: €10-15.
  • Cinema ticket at the Algarve Shopping mall: €7-10.
  • A day pass to Praia da Rocha's beach club: €20-30.

Areas and spots

We want to show information in an easy-to-understand way. So, we made a table that shows the different parts of the Algarve. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

Place Description Strengths Weaknesses


Albufeira is a popular tourist destination with stunning beaches, a lively nightlife, and a strong demand for holiday rentals, making it an attractive option for property investors.

High rental demand, vibrant tourism industry, beautiful beaches.

High competition, potential seasonal fluctuations in tourism.


Faro, the capital of Algarve, offers a mix of historical charm and modern amenities, with its international airport providing excellent connectivity for property investors.

Transportation hub, rich cultural heritage, potential for year-round rentals.

Limited space for new developments, some areas may be more touristic than residential.


Lagos boasts picturesque beaches, a charming old town, and a growing expat community, making it an attractive destination for property investors seeking a mix of natural beauty and a thriving social scene.

Stunning coastline, historical charm, increasing popularity among expats.

Higher property prices, limited availability of prime real estate.


Tavira is a quaint town with cobbled streets, traditional architecture, and a relaxed ambiance, offering property investors a chance to invest in a more authentic Algarve experience.

Authentic atmosphere, lower property prices compared to some popular resorts.

Less touristy, limited investment potential for high rental yields.


Portimão is a vibrant coastal city known for its marinas, sandy beaches, and excellent golf courses, attracting both tourists and property investors looking for a mix of leisure and investment opportunities.

Marina facilities, golfing attractions, diversified rental market.

Some areas may be crowded during peak tourist seasons.


Sagres, located on the southwestern tip of Algarve, offers a more secluded and rugged coastal experience, appealing to property investors seeking a tranquil and unspoiled setting.

Untouched natural beauty, surfing and outdoor activities.

Limited amenities, lower demand for short-term rentals.


Carvoeiro is a charming fishing village turned tourist hotspot, with its cliffs, caves, and sandy beaches making it an attractive location for property investors interested in a picturesque setting.

Scenic coastal views, relaxed lifestyle, strong demand for vacation rentals.

Restricted space for new construction, high property prices in prime locations.


Quarteira is a well-established resort town with a long promenade, offering property investors a chance to invest in a popular area with various amenities and a strong rental market.

Beachfront properties, proximity to Vilamoura's attractions, good infrastructure.

Can be crowded during peak seasons, high competition in the real estate market.

Life in the Algarve

The Algarve is a major tourist destination in Portugal and its economy is heavily dependent on tourism. It is also home to a thriving agricultural industry, with olive oil, wine, and fruit production being major contributors to the economy.

What expats usually like the most in the Algarve are the stunning beaches, with their crystal-clear waters and white sand, and the relaxed atmosphere of the towns and villages.

Access to healthcare in the Algarve is generally good, with a wide range of public and private medical facilities available.

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invest real estate in the Algarve

Renting out in the Algarve

This section is for you if you're interested in purchasing property not for personal residence, but rather for the purpose of renting it out to generate rental income.


According to the data reported by Wikipedia, the home ownership rate in Portugal is 78%, which is average.

When people buy in the Algarve it's usually to live there, and not to rent out (or at least not to long-term tenants).

If you decide to rent out long-term, you might want to target retirees looking to spend their golden years in the Algarve's sunny climate and outdoor attractions, as well as digital nomads looking to take advantage of its excellent internet infrastructure and cost of living.

Here is a little summary table we've made for you.

Property type and area Profiles of potential tenants What they are looking for Expected monthly rent in $

Apartment in Faro

Students and young professionals

Close to universities and amenities

$700 - $900

Villa in Albufeira

Families and tourists

Proximity to beaches and attractions

$1200 - $2000

Townhouse in Lagos

Expats and retirees

Quaint neighborhoods and ocean views

$1000 - $1600

Studio in Portimão

Singles and couples

Proximity to nightlife and city center

$600 - $800

Apartment in Vilamoura

Golf enthusiasts and holidaymakers

Near golf courses and marina

$900 - $1300

House in Tavira

Nature lovers and retirees

Tranquil surroundings and historic charm

$800 - $1200

Now, you will probably ask us about the yields. Unlike other places, giving you an average rental yield for the Algarve is though. The region is quite varied. For example, rental yields in Faro and Albufeira are quite different from those in less frequented areas.

Finally, know that, in Portugal, the taxes will be around 27-30% of the rental income.


You could also decide to rent short-term to holiday-makers looking for a beach vacation or golfing enthusiasts wanting to take advantage of the region's world-class courses. Business travelers may also be interested in the region for its many conference and event venues.

If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in Faro, Albufeira, and Lagos, as these are the most popular tourist destinations in the Algarve. Additionally, look for properties near the beach, as they tend to be in high demand.

Is it a good idea to buy real estate in the Algarve, then?

Buying property in the Algarve can be a smart move in several scenarios.

Firstly, it's a retirement haven, offering a relaxed lifestyle, affordable living costs, and excellent healthcare facilities, making it an ideal destination for retirees looking to stretch their retirement savings.

Secondly, as an investment opportunity, the Algarve shines with its potential for rental income, particularly in popular tourist destinations like Albufeira and Lagos. The steady flow of tourists and the region's attractive short-term rental market can translate into a lucrative investment.

Additionally, the comparative affordability of property in the Algarve, in contrast to major European cities, is a strong selling point, allowing individuals to own spacious properties like beachfront villas or tranquil countryside cottages.

Stability also matters, as Portugal and the Algarve are known for political and economic stability, providing a secure environment for property investment.

However, there are scenarios where buying property in the Algarve may not be the best idea.

For individuals planning short stays, such as a few months a year, property ownership can bring more expenses and responsibilities than benefits.

It's essential not to rush into buying property as a speculative gamble, expecting quick profits. Real estate investments require patience and careful consideration.

Additionally, if you thrive in bustling urban environments with shopping malls and a fast-paced lifestyle, some areas of the Algarve might not align with your preferences, as they tend to be quieter and more rural.

Financial strain is another consideration; property ownership should comfortably fit within your financial situation to avoid unnecessary stress.

Lastly, for those unfamiliar with Portuguese property laws, regulations, and market dynamics, seeking guidance is crucial to navigate the complexities of buying property abroad successfully.

In conclusion, buying property in the Algarve can be a wise choice for retirees, investors, or those seeking a peaceful retreat, but it may not be the best fit for short-term stays, speculative investments, urban enthusiasts, or those with financial constraints.

Is it worth buying real estate in the Algarve then?

Buying a property in the Algarve can be a fantastic decision for some, but it's not a one-size-fits-all solution.

If you're nearing retirement or seeking a serene, cost-effective place to enjoy your golden years, the Algarve's relaxed lifestyle, affordable living costs, and excellent healthcare facilities make it an enticing option. It's a retiree's paradise.

Similarly, if you're an investor looking for rental income, particularly in tourist hotspots like Albufeira and Lagos, the Algarve can be a goldmine. The region's steady flow of tourists and vibrant short-term rental market can yield a lucrative return on your investment. Plus, the comparative affordability of property in the Algarve, compared to major European cities, is a significant selling point, offering you the opportunity to own spacious properties like beachfront villas or charming countryside cottages.

Furthermore, Portugal's political and economic stability adds an extra layer of security to your investment.

However, there are scenarios where buying property in the Algarve might not be the best idea. If you're planning only short stays, the responsibilities and expenses of property ownership might outweigh the benefits. Renting for your occasional visits could be more cost-effective and hassle-free.

Moreover, if you're looking for a quick profit or rapid returns, the Algarve may not align with your investment goals. Real estate investments require patience and a long-term perspective. If you're an urban enthusiast craving the buzz of a fast-paced city, the Algarve's quieter, rural vibe might disappoint. Also, if purchasing property here strains your finances or leads to instability, it's essential to reevaluate your decision.

Finally, if you're not familiar with Portuguese property laws and regulations, seeking expert guidance is paramount. In summary, the Algarve can be a wise choice for retirees, rental income seekers, and those longing for a peaceful retreat, but it may not suit short-term stays, speculative investors, city lovers, financially stretched individuals, or those unfamiliar with local property dynamics. Your decision should align with your unique circumstances, so weigh your goals and lifestyle carefully before taking the plunge.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in the Algarve

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Portugal. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market the Algarve

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or advice. While we strive for accuracy, we do not guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information, including text, images, links, or other elements in this material. Following the content and analyses presented here does not assure specific outcomes. For guidance tailored to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor.