Portalegre in the Alentejo
By Maria Thermann

Portalegre in the Alentejo

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Portuguese property prices increased by 3.8% in the first quarter of 2018. Prices rose in all regions except the Alentejo, which had seen sharp increases over the last few years, but showed a 4% decline in Q1 of this year. This means that a retirement home has become more affordable in this sought-after part of east Portugal. As one of the hottest property markets in Europe right now, Portugal is seeing exceptionally high demand in some parts, such as the capital Lisbon for example. Here prices shot up by 5.6% year-on-year.

In Lisbon the average price per square metre stood at 2,482 euros at the end of the first quarter of this year - in the Alentejo the average price per square metre was just 1,083 euros. Buying a large farm house that sits in a beautiful plot of some 5,250 square metres of land can be as little as 130,000 in the Alentejo.

Portalegre is both a town and a district, where Portuguese properties can vary considerably in price. For example, a village house with two bedrooms can be as little as 20,000 euros or even less, but it will need complete modernisation. Already modernised village properties sell for more than 100,000 euros. In Portalegre itself such properties might sell for twice that amount and more.

The town of Portalegre lies close to the Spanish border in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Endless plains of agricultural land change to forested hills and the Serra de S�o Mamede mountain range, a designated national park.

Portalegre town has some fine examples of 16th and 18th century architecture, among them the Cathedral, which dates back to 1556. The town blossomed after the Renaissance, which can still be seen in the Baroque buildings that line the main square. Portalegre is within a short drive of the highest peak in the Serra de S�o Mamede, which lies 1,025 metres (3,040 ft) above sea level and affords stunning panoramic views over the national park.

Three towns are within an easy drive: Crato lies just 23 km to the east, Monforte some 27 km to the south and Alter do Ch�o is about 30 km to the southeast of Portalegre.

Given that northern Portuguese property prices rose by 6% year-on-year and by 4.9% in the Algarve, the beautiful Alentejo seems a good place to start looking for a retirement home right now, when prices are falling a little in this part of the country.

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