AFTER the quiz night last Thursday at the Café Central I picked up a copy of one of the Brit papers, The Portugal News, only to find it was a month out of date ... not bad though for Maxine!
The following morning I was hastening the paper’s departure towards its inevitable destination, starter fuel for our log burning stove, when a snippet of a story on the front page caught my eye - ‘Algarve foreign residents to soar to 200,000 by 2030’
If true this would mean that about a third of the regional population would be foreigners. The prediction was made by Eurostat, apparently.
I don’t know how accurate this forecast may turn out to be, but it did bring to mind discussions I had when I was in Almodovar Camara (town hall).
The most immediate impact of funds from outside Portugal, with the exception of EU loans which need repayment (and that is another story) is the relocation of well-financed folks from other European countries selling up at home and buying a new place over here in the sun, bringing their readies with them for the build/establishment and the balance plus pensions for living on.
This is all extra and very welcome finance for whichever region is lucky enough to attract them. This obviously is something we ourselves did.
The vast majority of resettlement is down in The Algarve, which is itself quite a wide strip of land and not just the coastal band up to the sea as most Europeans seem to think.
Like for like property is more expensive there compared to here, as is the cost of living, so if resettlement numbers increase, the knock-on effect up here in the Southern Alentejo should also follow suit.
However, Almodovar is nowhere as ‘blessed’ with re-settlers as its neighbour, Ourique, about 20km north.
For whatever reason Ourique has really cornered the market and continues to do so. Part of our discussions focused on how to address this imbalance and to get Almodovar more into the running.
Ourique has not had a ‘master-plan’ to develop this stream of extra income. Rather, the expertise services needed has sprouted and developed in response to local need. This being the case there are lessons to be learned and maybe improvements to be made in order to close the gap a little quicker.
My own ‘guesstimation’, as figures are not readily available, is that Ourique Camara over the years has had maybe 200-250 relocated sun-seeker families within its catchment area and each has invested say £150,000/€200,000 as an average in the project (land, build, services, furnishings etc)
That’s a hell of a figure.
Almodovar Camara has had maybe 40-50, so you can see the shortfall but also the prize there to be won!
(I based the £ to € conversion on the average folks got prior to the plunge of the pound after the credit crunch!).
I’m not going into the pros and cons of what I think would swing the emphasis a little more Almodovar’s way. As you would imagine it’s quite a complex matter, although we have experienced the highs and lows of the process, but it is something the Presedente has turned his mind towards in his final term of office.
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