When you think of property investments, holiday and retirement homes and rentals abroad – particularly from UK investors, you’ll likely think Europe, more specifically, Spain and Portugal. This is because Spain and Portugal are among the most popular destinations of choice for expats, holiday-makers and those planning to retire in a warmer climate. But why so? This article seeks to explore.
One of the more obvious reasons is that these destinations are only a short flight away. They are accessible destinations from most UK airports and flights are, on the whole, relatively cheap (particularly off-season). Spain and Portugal are close enough to keep administrative responsibilities, moves and procedures fairly simple to undergo, while far enough away from the UK to offer warmer summers that can be spent enjoying time outdoors or by the coast. This is a hugely appealing aspect of countries like this overall.
There are also some real benefits when looking at the economy and trends that would suggest that these places are an enticing place to not only live but do business. Looking at Portugal in particular, there has been a rise in tech start-ups over the past few years which continue to strengthen and modernise the working economy. More business means more money coming into the country, and Portugal is reaping the rewards as investors are spotting the rise in opportunity. Spain is also quite an appealing choice when you review the economy as a whole. The reputation of the Spanish government has a lot to offer, as government spending and input is on the rise. This will also potentially see a positive influence on business opportunities, as well as property.
We can’t ignore the lifestyle appeal either. Not only is the climate a welcome change for those in the UK looking to move or invest, the lifestyle as a whole is also ticking many boxes. Generally, life in Spain and Portugal moves at a different pace from that in the UK. In part due to the warmer weather, there seems to be a more relaxed attitude in Spain and Portugal, with more of an emphasis on living contently than breaking your back in order to get by. This is reflected in the warmth and friendliness one might encounter amongst the locals. The cuisine is also not to be ignored, with excellent links to fresh seafoods, and fruit and vegetable selections which would otherwise be seasonal and more expensive in the UK, a more Mediterranean diet is also an appealing invitation from these countries. Not only is it fresh and tasty, but it can be sourced locally and is potentially much cheaper than in the UK.
Finally – investments from the UK in Spain and Portugal are familiar processes from both sides. This might sound quite a simplified point. It is quite simple, but it can make a massive difference. Because UK investors have been turning to Spain and Portugal for so long, the procedures, papers, surveys, policies and eligibility lists, as well as property guides and advice, are already strongly in place and easier to research for first-time investors. This can be a huge selling point. Familiarity is always more of a puller than the unknown. So, as a starting point, this is a great stepping-stone for UK investors.