Friday 24th June 2016

Post Eu Referendum Vote-Our take from Girasol Homes

Hi everyone, a quick note on the immediate reaction to the UK vote on the EU and I confess it was a surprise to many who assumed we would stay in the EU when the United Kingdom voted out. People are naturally asking us at Girasol Homes our position and opinion.
Keep calm and carry on 
Its been a busy day here with many people wanting to know what will happen next and both sides are either ecstatic (out) or down (remain). From our point of view we have had a very busy week with sales to clients from all nationalities, English, Dutch, Finnish, Scottish, British, Belgian and German and these were all "outcome unconcerned" clients. Sales are still happening today and expected to next week as well.
With the pound steady at around 1.24- 1.25 most things are continuing as usual but we expect this weekend to be a slightly quieter one. I think it is important not to over react to what has just happened, people are moving to Spain and Portugal for all sorts of reasons, investment, retirement, second homes, leisure and for business and these Iberian economies are recovering (and have been for a while).
Our currency partners said (Daniel Wright at Currencies.co.uk)
Following the decision for the U.K to leave the EU - Sterling exchange rates saw an immediate drop followed by a slow recovery throughout the trading day. The fact that the Pound has not dropped off by quite a lot more is surprising and should be seen as a positive for those looking to buy property overseas this year. Pressure may now start to mount on the Euro as other economies may seek to leave the EU and I would not be surprised to see Sterling come back up against the Euro in the coming weeks. Of course it is hard to know exactly what may happen next but we need to remember that at present nothing has changed and we will not officially be out of the EU for a long period of time.

Mortgages at great rates are still freely available to Uk and Non EU citizens and for us its business as normal, let us know when you are coming to view!

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Thursday 14th April 2016

Eastern Algarve to be lifted by €200 million makeover

Eastern Algarve to be lifted by €200 million makeover


New hotels and a state-of-the-art sports complex are set to transform the eastern Algarve, attracting thousands more visitors and athletes.

In all €200 million is being injected into the Vila Real de Santo Antonio and Monte Gordo resorts to create destinations for discerning tourists and business people.

As part of the works, the historic Hotel Guadiana in Vila Real, designed by architect Ernesto Korrodi in 1918, is being turned into a 31-room boutique hotel while three buildings in the historic centre of town are also being developed into bijou charming hotels.

The aim is to preserve the town's heritage while promoting itself as a place to enjoy high-quality tourism and culture.

Another proposal will boost the region as a training ground for European sports people.

In September work is expected to start on a four-star hotel for the Vila Real sports complex with the €5 million investment providing accommodation for the 5,000 -plus athletes who undergo winter training there. Portugal’s climate is another attraction for sports people from northern European countries who fly in to train during the colder months.

The neighbouring resort of Monte Gordo will also see improvements with new hotels and a complete overhaul of its beach promenade.

Plans are in the pipeline for a five-star beach hotel on the west side of town and another hotel on the east. 

Leisure facilities are also being improved along the promenade which is to be overhauled to provide green spaces, shops and restaurants to act as a magnet for visitors and locals.

These works are due to be completed in May 2017, which will boost the eastern Algarve as a luxury destination.

As well as boosting tourism, the development is also likely to have a positive knock-on effect in property prices as more people are attracted to the region.

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Thursday 20th September 2012

Enjoy a Free Currency Card with up to 500 Euros free

Girasol Homes and Foreign Currency Direct
Buying overseas, about to travel to Europe on an Inspection Visit? 

If you have the need to exchange and transfer money overseas currencies.co.uk are here to save you time, money and hassle.

That’s why Girasol Homes have teamed up with currencies.co.uk to ensure that their clients benefit from not just their most competitive exchange rates but from their award winning, personal service.

We are just becoming involved in the launch of a new currency card which enables you to get up to €500 absolutely free courtesy of our currency partner Foreign Currency Direct plc.

All you would need to do is register for free here on www.currencies.co.uk  Within a few days, you would receive your EUROCARD through the post, and as soon as you arrive for your viewing visit, your card would be activated and credited with €100 available immediately to offset your viewing visit expenses, to spend in shops, bars or restaurants.

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Wednesday 25th May 2011

Portugal Property Market Analysis

Residential Property Market in Portugal, Silver Coast Area

Nigel Salmon MD of Girasol Homes (www.girasolhomes.co.uk) recently spoke to his colleague Craig Anderson in the Silver Coast Region of Portugal regarding the marketplace and current conditions locally.

Nigel: “What is the market like locally?”

Craig: “At the moment there is a lot of press with regards to the current climate in Portugal which is fuelling some concerns about the financial and political stability of the country. With the current Centre-Left government resigning and the press bandying around phrases like “Financial Bailout”, “Austerity Measures” and “Recession” like they were confetti, it is no wonder. On the back of this there have been some reductions in the asking prices of some properties, and coupled with some reports that property prices are in “Free Fall”, seems to be giving the impression that there is also a real instability in the residential property market”

Nigel: “But is this really the case?”

Craig: “Every market is unique and has unique opportunities, let me explain”

There are several factors that make this market different from markets which may be more familiar to people such as the UK or Spanish Residential Property Markets.

1. Land classifications have been created with there being 4 main types. They are Urban, Touristic, Rustic (or Agro-Florestal) and Eco-Reserve Land. This allows for the control of where, as well as what type of properties can be built. For example you can’t build an apartment block on Rustic land. Rustic land generally only allows 1 detached or 2 semi-detached properties to be built.

2. There are very strict guidelines when it comes to building in Portugal. These include very rigid rules regarding the size of building in relation to the land that it is being built on as well as the maximum height and so on. This is designed to prevent overbuilding, or the construction of high-rise apartment buildings etc.

3. Proximity to the Ocean. There are restrictions on the various land types as to how close to the Ocean you are allowed to build. Recent changes have meant that it is no longer possible to build on certain types of land, such as Rustic land, if they are within 800m of the coastline.

4. There is a minimum land requirement meaning you must have a certain amount of land in order to be allowed to build on it. Again recent law changes saw the minimum requirement for Rustic land changed from 2,000sqm to 40,000sqm which greatly reduced the availability of building land over night.

5. Mortgages, for some time now it has been virtually impossible to borrow money from a bank to buy a piece of land. Therefore virtually all the land is debt free in Portugal and the owners, generally, are under no pressure to sell the land to clear debt.

Nigel: “So what does all this mean?”

Craig: “If you take all the factors and apply them across the board, it means that the supply of land is very limited. It means that any available land with a good sea view is at a premium and will only sell at a premium price. As you move inland the price does drop a little but the scarcity of Rustic land means that land prices are still fairly high. It also means that landowners are not desperate to sell their land and therefore you are unlikely to see wholesale reductions in the price of land. It means that existing properties, particularly those with a good sea view or some other unique feature, will hold their value because it is generally no longer possible to build a comparable property given the new and current building restrictions.”

Nigel: “So why therefore are we seeing some reductions in asking price?”

Craig: “There are reductions in the asking price of some properties, and whilst most property owners seem to be more receptive to negotiating than before, it tends to be the developers who are making large scale cuts in the asking prices. This is occurring for 2 possible reasons.

1. The builder may have borrowed during the ‘good times’ at low interest rates to make speculative builds and they may have designed their properties to cater specifically to international property buying market. Now that ‘harder times’ are here, they are being squeezed by higher costs, and interest rates at the same time when the international property buying market has slumped because of exchange rates and worldwide economic woes. Some builders are left with little choice but to slash the price of their property in order to liquidate the asset, clear the debt and basically get out. We have already seen a number of builders shut up shop under current economic pressure. We do have access to advertised and “un advertised” discounted homes.

2. Not all builders however are in the same dire straits. Many are in much stronger positions but possibly need to make just a single sale to ensure they are able to weather the current economic storm. However because other builders are cutting their prices, the stronger builders are being forced to follow suit in order to remain competitive in the eyes of the few bargain hunters who are out there. It is also worth noting that most of the price reductions are coming from the luxury market and tend to be on properties that are priced in excess of €500,000. At present we are seeing only a few obvious price reductions on properties below this figure.”

Nigel: “So what impact is this having on the market?”

Craig: “Things have changed and the change has been very rapid. The new property market is split between properties priced over €500,000 and those priced below this figure. The higher priced properties are seeing a reduction in the asking price which has yet to filter down to the properties below €500,000. The resale market tends to see prices remaining fairly steady although vendors seem to be more receptive to negotiations. The plot and build market is the one seeing the least amount of activity at the moment because of the increase in VAT and the general rising cost of materials. 12 months ago you could have bought some land and built a property for as much as 25% below what you would have paid for a comparable, existing property. Unfortunately this is no longer the case as the price differential has slowly been eroded away. At the moment, particularly with the current reductions on Luxury Properties, it is now more sensible to buy an existing property and enjoy it now, rather than build your own property for much the same price but have to wait up to 2 years for the result.”

Nigel: “So when do you believe it is the best time to buy a property and why?”

Craig: “I believe now, Summer 2011, is the time to buy because the current prices will not remain as they are and there are some exceptionally good bargains around. The next election here in Portugal is set for the 5th June. In the short term, it really doesn’t matter which political party gets elected to office because they are all bound by the terms of the “Bailout” to implement the same measures. Then the agreed financial rescue package needs to be delivered and be in place by the 15th June. Once these two events take place, the dust will begin to settle.

The world will see that there isn’t such a major problem in Portugal and the confidence will begin to return and people will start investing in property again. Once this starts to happen, the price reductions will quickly disappear as the laws of economics kick in. We will see the demand for properties increase as the confidence returns and the limited supply of properties will reduce as properties are sold to satisfy the demand. Increasing demand and a reduction in supply will inevitably result in the prices going up. Initially I don’t expect there to be a huge increase in prices, those that have been reduced will revert to their pre-reduction prices and the rest will probably remain as they are, there will just be less room to negotiate. However, as time goes on and confidence continues to grow, we will see a shortage of available properties with the result that it will become a sellers’ market, and then we will see prices increasing.”

Nigel: “But won’t they just build more properties to satisfy the demand?”

Craig: “Possibly. However for at least the last 18 months the banks in Portugal have not been lending money to builders to make speculative builds and there is no indication yet that this situation will change in the near future. If the situation does change it will take at least 18 months for newly built properties to be ready, and due to the reduced number of available builders, the number of new properties coming onto the market is unlikely to be large enough to have a significant effect on property prices as a whole. It is more likely that these new properties will be priced in keeping with whatever the current value of the market is at that time.”

Nigel: “Could I not just wait and buy a repossessed property from a builder that has gone out of business?”

Craig: “Yes you could. However, repossessions do not operate the same way here as they do in other markets such as the UK. Some things in Portugal move rather slowly and can be rather complicated. Therefore, depending on the circumstances, a property that is repossessed today could take as much as 2 years or more before it is put back on the market by the repossessing body. During that time the building will have been unoccupied and, depending on what stage the construction was at when it was repossessed, it may well have had the interior exposed to the elements. Therefore there may be additional hidden costs involved in getting the property back up to scratch and the price at which it is offered to the market may not be any lower than the current market value. So it is therefore better to buy it now, at a reduced price if possible, rather than wait for an undetermined period of time to buy the property, with little reduction in price, that has now deteriorated and needs additional work.

Therefore, whilst the Residential Property Market is being affected by current circumstances, it is not an unstable market. I believe as soon as the current situations are resolved, the market will very quickly revert to its natural point of equilibrium. I also believe we are unlikely to see the widespread peaks and troughs in Residential Property prices, which have been witnessed in the past in other markets such as the UK or Spain, as a result of bursting property bubbles.”

We have access to a larger than normal amount of quality properties in all price ranges and many great locations, if people are buying for all the right reasons and in the right areas they will find a great house with us in Portugal.

Craig Anderson is in charge of the Silver Coast Operations for Girasol Homes Limited.

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Friday 18th June 2010

Looking to sell your overseas property?


Girasol Homes now offers to provide an extra service to clients that want to sell their property in the quickest time possible. Having a good number of properties which sold in 2010 we are eager to repeat the success formula for new clients on the selling side.

When you decide that the time is right to sell your property there are many considerations you have to bear in mind.

Firstly, is the time right? Your property will not sell in a market where you are surrounded by other similar properties at a lower price. You would have to compromise on price.

Secondly, has your property got that wow factor?

Thirdly, do you have the edge over the competition so that you get a regular supply of clients coming through the door, after all if they don’t come through the door how can they buy from you?

Finally how are you going to promote it? That is where our new service can help you a lot. Don’t just throw yourself into the void of the housing market without having our advice and expertise on your side. We can get you the best deals from a constantly updating database of clients who are looking for properties just like yours.

However bear one thing in mind; we will not just take on any old property. You will need to be keenly priced and have that little something extra, be it views, location, design, or whatever, in order to get onto our exclusive listings.

You will also need to accept our exclusivity contract which rewards us for the extreme advertising your property will receive through the major portals such as Kyero (for Spain), Prime Location, Right Move Overseas, ThinkSpain (for Spain), Spanish Living (for Spain), Daily Mail & Mail on Sunday and many more. The individual cost of these portals can run into the hundreds of Euros for advertising. We do it for you for free.

How many agents do you need? This is in addition to a highly sophisticated agency intranet brokerage that Girasol Homes offers where dozens of property agents also receive the details of your property to promote to their clients. This accounts for half of all of our sales.

What does the service cost? Well we charge a flat 5% fee on success. You will also need to be available and open for visits. There is no point advertising if people cannot get access to your property when required. Obviously you want the greatest possible exposure for your property. Your property will be shown on the Property Portals listed on the opening page and on many more too. We are constantly adding outlets to our advertising mix.

Obviously you want the greatest possible exposure for your property. Your property will be shown on the Property Portals listed on the opening page and on many more too. We are constantly adding outlets to our advertising mix.

Our Offer
1. Promotion through the property portals as above.
2. PDF Ads for your property distributed to enquirers
3. Preferential listings on our own websites in rotation
4. Guaranteed first page visibility and featured listings on many of the websites we host and run
5. Distribution to our Multi Listing Agent Network. We have a network of dozens of agents all around Spain, the UK and the rest of Europe who will receive your listing
6. Regular mail outs to our lists of buyers and the lists of buyers via Girasol’s agent networks.
7. Regular market updates and price comparisons with other similar properties.
8. Marketing MOT Review – what could be better, pictures, presentation etc.
9. (Optional) Your own highly targeted website to make your listing stand out even more from the crowd. At extra cost reimbursed if sale successful.
10. Promotion through social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and more to get your message out there to the greatest audience
12. For an additional fee we can get your property a Premium display on RightMove Overseas. Contact us for more details.

Why? As previously stated the more looking at your property the greater the chance of your property being sold. By using the huge leverage of the internet property portals and the advertising opportunities that we can offer you, your property is more likely to find the ideal client that will buy it. And that ideal client is much more likely to pay a fair price for your property than an untargeted client.

Our Guarantee

Nobody will work harder to promote your property making sure that it has the greatest chance of selling. Remember we do not accept all properties onto our exclusive list. They must be special and/or competitive. If your property matches our demanding criteria then we will give it all the support and promotion necessary to bring the sale to a successful conclusion.


Good Pictures -at least 6 high resolution pictures

Signed marketing agreement

Copy text for property/ Floor plans if available

Video if available – call/email us for delivery method

Access arrangements for the property(s)

In 2 weeks we will have our automated system up and running we will look to process new sellers this way for speed, service and efficiency.

Contact us here contact Girasol

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