The English couple at the centre of the first episode of the BBC’s “Get Away for Winter” series broadcast last month are among the ever-growing number of foreigners renting properties during the off-season, or even all-year-round.
Trish and Dave Guilford from Sussex stayed in Ferragudo from mid-December to mid-February after their specially filmed search for an ideal winter getaway.
They chose a two-bedroom apartment at €650 a month and enjoyed their first stay in the Algarve so much that they have booked accommodation in Ferragudo for six months throughout the whole of next winter.
Mandy Hughes, a Lagoa-based property consultant who managed the majority of the venues for the “Get Away for the Winter” filming in the Algarve last October, says the winter rental market here is very buoyant.
“Every year we are seeing more visitors from both Europe and further afield, particularly America and Canada.”
She says the winter trend provides a great option for local owners who rent their property out in the summer months but often have it standing empty over the winter.
“A quality, two-bedroom house or apartment in a good location can often be rented for between €500 and €800 per month plus utility costs in the winter.
“There is not a great demand for villas over the winter as those visiting from November to April tend to be retired couples.”
As many of the major holiday resorts almost shut down over the winter months, less publicised places such as Lagos and Ferragudo are entertaining the bulk of the winter visitors. Mandy says.
“The long term rental market, involving lets of twelve months or more, has also become increasingly busy.
“Property sales are a very important side of our business and we see that many overseas purchasers are opting to rent before they buy – giving themselves time to decide on their preferred area over a twelve month period rather than basing their property choice on relatively short holiday experiences.”
Mandy notes that many of those investing in an Algarve property may be well placed to enjoy it either as solely a second home, or making the most out of their investment with holiday and long term lets.
“In Algarve Sales and Rentals we have found that property owners are turning to us to manage the whole rental process for them. That includes advertising, finding tenants, arranging contracts and then getting the tenants settled into the property.
“The incentives to do this are many, not least of which is no longer having to pay utilities, gardeners, maids and pool maintenance.
“Once they have taken all their costs into account, 95% of owners come to the conclusion that they actually make more profit for a long-term rental than they do for the summer holiday market.”
Trish and Dave Guildford, retirees who have fallen in love with the Algarve as a result of taking part in the first episode of the BBC’s “Get Away for the Winter” series, are also expecting to make a profit next winter.
While renting in Ferragudo again, this time for six months from next October, they intend to rent out their Sussex home. They anticipate a far higher income per month from their own house than they will be paying in Ferragudo, plus saving on UK heating bills, food and other less expensive items here.
Trish and Dave, who stayed in Ferragudo from mid-December to mid-February, say they would consider renting elsewhere in the Algarve in future years.
“We love the Portuguese and especially the Algarve area with its beautiful scenery and glorious beaches and walks.
“The feeling of friendliness from the locals is really lovely. We feel safe here and less stressed.”
Trish and Dave