«California of Europe»

Tomás Champalimaud

Member of the Board Gestmin SGPS SA

With the economic recovery of the Euro Zone, the growth in the world’s interest in the «California of Europe» has been remarkable. The great weather conditions, the low rate of violent crime, standard of living, tax incentives and the international repercussions of the Madonna effect (Mónica Bellucci, Christian Louboutin, Garrett Mcnamara and many others) have contributed to Portugal, among so many other possibilities, being chosen as the home or refuge for thousands of foreigners.

In addition, reputable international real estate funds – motivated by the same reasons and for finding investment opportunities in Portugal that not only represent a lower sqm cost, but also a higher potential for appreciation than other European counterpart cities – have developed, from the north to the south, projects for housing, services, hotels and student residences.

In the 1980s and 1990s, real estate was sold like water in the desert. The situation has changed. Today, to sell, it takes more than just building. And if ‘location’ was once one of the first three golden rules in real estate, today there are other concerns to bear in mind before investing.

From the outset it is vital you study what’s on offer (existing and future), analyze the demand (and question how to satisfy it), assess the viability of the investment, create a clear and coherent marketing and product development strategy (taking into account its characteristics: location, purpose, typology, price, quality, among other considerations) and attribute to the real estate product characteristics that set it apart, in a positive way, from what’s already out there in order to add value to it and reduce its period of market absorption.