Dreaming of a place with ocean beaches, sand dunes, pine forests, and rice fields to disconnect?  Consider Portugal’s Comporta area, a coastal stretch of 40-mile of Atlantic Ocean beaches approximately one hour south of Lisbon.

Portugal’s Comporta Area Likened to the Hamptons

Want a place to disconnect in “barefoot luxury?” as Luiz Felipe Maia, founder and director of Maia Properties International, calls Portugal’s Alentejo region.  Running south along Portugal’s western coastline to Melides, Comporta might be an area worth considering.

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Over the last 10 years, many artists, designers and entertainers have moved into this low-key region of Portugal to enjoy the approximately 40-mile stretch of Atlanta Ocean beaches, sand dunes, pine forests and rice fields.

Potential buyers may be additionally impressed that the Comporta region has strict environmental laws that prohibit houses from being built within 1.24 miles of its 40-mile stretch of unspoiled beaches.  Private homes and gardens are designed to preserve native species such as more than 10 types of lavender, 14th century-old olive trees and another 50 local species.

Area Transitioning from Farming to Luxury

Spurred by pandemic lifestyle changes, Comporta “…is changing from a farming area to a luxury real estate area,” said Vitor Paiva, license partner of Engel & Volkers Comporta.  “In the next five to 10 years, we will have hundreds of vacation homes all over this area.”

Alex Koch de Gooreynd, a partner with Knight Frank, said Estates Spatia Comporta and its sister property Spatia Comporta are in the process of building 65 homes, many sold out along with two resale opportunities, that feature hotel/concierge services and private beach clubs.

Other projects in development are Muda, Dunas and Torre, all under the wing of a Portuguese developer based in Lisbon called Vanguard Properties. Muda Reserve has sold out its 50 12-acre farms that are scheduled to begin construction this year on 175 villas with private pools.  The Meda Reserve will also include children’s areas, a restaurant, bar, church, co-working space and convenience store.

Vanguard’s two mixed-use developments, Dunas and Torre, will offer some 1,000 villas on 0.6-acre to 1.5-acre lots, residential condominiums, hotels, wellness, gastronomic, and sports facilities and services.

Paiva said that buyers in the area’s new developments tend to be “…not retired but 35 to 50 years old, with families.”

Housing Types Available to Buy

The majority of Comporta’s listings are for villas or buildable lots but, according to Knight Frank’s Koch de Gooreynd, “There are a few apartments planned in the future.”  Koch de Gooreynd said that he expects prices to increase 10-15% over the next five years.

Koch de Gooreyne also emphasized that within the area’s “…incredible infrastructure investment in schools, hotels and golf courses…the authorities are committed to protecting the region’s authentic ecological atmosphere with its low density and traditional styles.  The original single-story fishing cottage style is being maintained but now using some of the world’s innovative designers to create a luxurious haven.”

Sales and Prices

Based upon his own company’s data, Maia said, “Sales went up +40% last year, and prices rose +10% to +16%.”

Among the most exclusive areas such as Brejos da Carregueira de Baixo, asking prices start at about 4M euros or $4.4M.  Premium property prices range from 1.5M – 8M euros or $1.65M to $8.8M, averaging approximately $927/square foot.

Offerings from Vanguard Properties range from 1.5M to 2.6M euros or $1.66M to $16.5M depending on lot sizes between 2.5- and 15-acre parcels.  Koch de Gooreynd said that the few apartments planned in the future are expected to have price tags around 350,000 euros or $388,000.

Remember the agent-consensus expectation that prices will increase +10% – +15% over the next five years.

 Who Are the Buyers?

Portugal’s international buyers come primarily from the US, Canada, Brazil, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany and Britain.

There are no restrictions on foreign buyers in Portugal and in fact, many are drawn by the country’s tax incentives and Golden Visa program which offers residency in return for an investment of 280,000 euros or $308,000.

Unlike most other countries, obtaining a local mortgage is often easier than bringing capital into the country.  All banks offer mortgages of 50% to 80% of the property’s value.

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