segunda-feira, 21 de janeiro de 2008

Look up and rent out in the Algarve

The Algarve is best known for its luxurious resorts. But for those not attracted to a resort lifestyle but who want a second home within a community, there are plenty of alternatives, such as the pretty fishing port of Lagos.

This town, with a population of 27,000, lies at the west end of this unspoilt stretch of coastline and in the past 18 months it has undergone massive redevelopment.“The last phase of the big marina project is being built out of an old brick factory and European Union money is going into a new town centre park, a two-storey underground car park and cafes on the seafront”, says local agent Luís Ledo of Casas do BarlaventoOther plans include building a new footbridge so that visitors can cross over the river to the beach, and creating a man-made lake in the main seafront square and a beachside center with clubs and bars.

You can buy a new two-bedroom apartment at the marina just for under £200,000, according to Ledo, which rents for nearly £700 a week for 10 to 12 weeks of the year.
Ledo is also selling 86 apartments at A Muralha next to the old town walls. Two bed apartments with balconies, parking and a communal pool start at £152,000 and can be let at £575 a week.“
The bonus of being in the center is you don’t need a car as you can walk to most places in five to ten minutes”, say Ledo.

Alvin and Pat Robinson, in their early 60s, are typical of Lagos town dwellers.
Three years ago, the couple from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, bought a £115,000, two-bedroom, two-bathroom ground floor flat with a patio overlooking a communal garden and children’s playground on the marina.
They spent a further £17,000 in legal and agent’s fees, taxes and to furnish their new home.
“We don’t bother hiring a car”, says Pat, a secretary at an accountancy firm.
“The center is a 15 minute walk away, the supermarket is close and Palmares golf course is five-minute taxi ride away.
“In England we live 20 minutes from Birmingham airport, the Monarch flights cost about £140 each return and the drive from Faro airport to Lagos is about an hour”, says Pat.
Ledo, who sold the Robinsons their flat and manages it as well, rents it out for £600 a week for four weeks in high season. Liz Hollen, from Winkworth in Lagos, believes the new A22 motorway that reduces a former two-hour journey from Faro airport to an hour has put the town on the map.
“Young couples are buying in the town. You can surf, sail, play golf – another course is planned next to the beach – and enjoy meals in good restaurants and bars”, she says.Older two bedroom apartments cost about £95,000. A two-bedroom flat is £166,000, and a three-bedroom with views of the Bay of Lagos is £305,000.

Quote: Cheryl Markosky, The Mail on Sunday, 21 October 2007

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