Bricks and mortar spies reckon some of the developers in places like the Portuguese Algarve must have been in the sun too long.
They’re still building, building and building as though they haven’t heard we’re in the worst recession in memory with banks going bust every five minutes and governments having to nationalise and bail out entire economies.
In pricey places like the Vale do Lobo you can’t have a nice quiet eighteen holes for the cacophony of diggers and tractors and platoons of builders wolf whistling lady golfers.
Every spare inch of greenery is having a mini-palace built on it. They’ve all got multi-million pound price tags but the word on the street – yet to be built, of course – is that there’s a dire shortage of buyers.
Wopping prices are still being demanded. But whether they’re being achieved is anybody’s guess. Nobody in the property biz who’s trying to sell is going to let on that they had a Hell of a job finding a buyer, that they’d had their property on the market for months if not years, and even when they’d got a punter hooked they’d had to slash the price at the last minute. It’s called guzundering and it’s happening all over the place.
Even the Russian oligarchs who used to be so much in evidence in Portugal’s hot-spots are getting thin on the ground. It’s hardly surprising. Russia isn’t immune from crunch-fever.Trading on the Moscow stock exchange was suspended for the odd day or two while everybody got into a tizz trying to figure out what was happening to the rouble.
You’d have thought the Portuguese might have taken a look over their garden fence at their neighbours in Spain. It’s estimated that there are something like 800,000 unsold homes in southern Spain – better known as ‘Brit’ Spain – as opposed to ‘real’ Spain personified by such places as Madrid and Toledo.
If you own property in somewhere like the Costa Blanca or the Costa del Sol the chances are you’ll be up against it if you want to sell. It’s very much a buyers market. Offer a song and you could end up with a symphony. But buyer beware. You might be able to snap up what looks like a bargain today – but by tomorrow it could have turned into a dodo. No wonder Brits who want to sell and can’t call it the Costa Lot Mora.