Comporta and Melides, the hidden gems in Portugal
Alentejo is a region of small traditional villages, vast plains, and untouched nature. On this coast with extensive beaches and protected dunes, where you can still build without close neighbours, residents and investors from all over the world love the possibility of “slow-living” that Comporta offers. Melides, in turn, was compared to 1950s Saint Tropez by the New York Times in 2021.
Porta da Frente | Christie’s started by operating in the real estate market of Cascais and Lisbon, later in Oeiras and, more recently, in Comporta. How do you explain this evolution?
It was in 1995 that Porta da Frente opened its doors and presented itself for the first time to the market with an ambitious project prepared to lead, based on its excellent service. The need at the time for specialization in a single market led to the choice of Cascais to implement and start our development in the medium/high and high segments. This is a premium market with national and international prestige, and we have positioned ourselves as a market leader in this segment.
We continued to expand towards the Portuguese capital, where we are currently one of the two main players. We managed to make a difference in the market by offering personalized customer service. This desire to work in a close and personalized way led us to open our third office, in Oeiras.
Albeit the pandemic, in the past few years we achieved our best results and decided to continue growing. As such, in 2022 we opened 2 new offices –in Parque das Nações and Comporta to continue our constant search for new markets and regions.
What makes Portugal, and more specifically, Comporta, so attractive to foreign clients/investors? And what are the main countries of origin of these customers and investors?
Alentejo is a region of small traditional villages, vast plains, and untouched nature. On this coast with extensive beaches and protected dunes, where you can still build without close neighbours, residents and investors from all over the world love the possibility of “slow-living” that Comporta offers.
As there is great desirability for larger outdoor and private spaces, several projects are about to be launched and many others are already being marketed in Comporta. The Alentejo people are warm and friendly, with a very rich culture and gastronomy. The climate is another very attractive factor, particularly for the Alentejo region, with heat from April to October.
This southern oasis has not gone unnoticed by the international media, notably Forbes did a series of articles reporting Alentejo as the hidden gem of Portugal and a "must" when visiting the country. Melides, in turn, was compared to 1950s Saint Tropez by the New York Times in 2021.
At Porta da Frente | Christie's, we have a very strong international focus, with more than 65% of deals closed with foreigners and more than 35 buying nationalities. Currently, we have a very high demand from French, English, American, and Spanish clients.
What attracts clients and investors to Portugal, especially high-net-worth individuals?
Portugal has undoubtedly entered the radar of foreigners as it offers a series of advantages and conditions far superior tomany European country, and with a lower cost of living.
Portugal offers the perfect balance between modernity and tradition. In the greater Lisbon region, you can find all the amenities you would expect from a capital city—museums, concert halls, restaurants, shops, and an international airport. And, just a few kilometers away, you can live a completely different lifestyle in Oeiras, Cascais, and Comporta next to the beach and sea.
Access to transport, ease of doing business with English or French-speaking residents, and opportunities for education, work, and culture are the main reasons why foreigners love Portugal so much. The public health system is also one of the benefits of moving to a country like Portugal with low costs for medical care.
Clients with high wealth normally seek privacy, quality of construction and security. Portugal offers all this at very competitive prices. It is one of the safest countries in the world, with new construction and high quality renovations.
How do you see the residential market currently in Portugal? Any market bubbles in sight?
2022 has been a very positive and dynamic year, with a sharp growth of 65% (in sales and leases) compared to last year, where sales have a special focus. This data shows us that, despite the war and a post-pandemic period, real estate is the safest and most profitable investment.
Demand has continued to be strong, both from Portuguese and other nationalities, with an emphasis on the North American market, in addition to those who have sought Portugal out the most in recent years, such as Brazilians and French. We have seen the integration of complete families, as well as retirees, and more recently, clients with the profile of digital nomads.
We are confident and optimistic for the second half of 2022, and we believe that the market will remain dynamic and in high demand. Proof of this confidence in the market and in our capacity is the opening of two physical stores next month.
Dadinha Forte Silva
Commercial Director at Porta da Frente | Christie's