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Wednesday 11 November 2009

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Back in the late 90s, there was one place to catch your bus in Albufeira: not far from the centre of the old town, at the south end of the Avenida da Liberdade. It was a little shambolic, and there was little cover from the elements. So now there is a brand new bus station, but it’s at the back of town.

At first, I thought that this site was at the edge of the urban sprawl, but was proved wrong when a journey out of town today demonstrated that the development has carried on, and has reached further inland. The lines of upmarket villas and blocks of apartments go on until you’re two or three miles from the coast.

The building, however, shows little sign of continuing right now. The severity of the downturn may not be as severe as in neighbouring Spain, but then, it may not have worked through the system yet. There are a lot of properties on the market, and many of those are having the asking price reduced.

Moreover, estate agents specialising in “distress sales” are in town. This suggests that repossessions are happening. One would hope that it isn’t the expat Brits that have been daft enough to enter this market at the wrong time, but that hope may be in vain.

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