‘For North Americans, the Azores are like Hawaii,’ says the CEO of ERA Portugal

  • ECO News
  • 30 June 2022

ERA Portugal points out that there are more and more Germans, French and Belgians are embracing the Azores.

The real estate market in the Azores has been increasingly booming and has, above all, captured the interest of many foreigners. On the ERA real estate side, the numbers of clients, turnover and transactions already exceed those of 2019 and the expectations for the future of the Azorean market are extremely positive. In an interview with ECO, The CEO of the real estate company in Portugal highlights the increase in demand from North Americans, who see the Azores as a kind of Portuguese Hawaii.

This year “is being very positive” for ERA Portugal, says Rui Torgal: “The Azores have always been a very strong region with excellent results, but we expect to have the best year ever in the region regarding the number of buyers, invoicing and transactions,” he adds, noting that the average number of buyers per month in the archipelago grew 35% in 2021 compared to 2020.

The real estate company’s data also shows that between January and May 2022, the number of properties sold soared 94% compared to 2019, while turnover soared 117%. “Our perspective is to surpass the four million euro barrier” in turnover, the person in charge tells ECO.

Ricardo Moura and Ricardo Silva have a more in-depth view of the field. The people responsible for ERA shops in Ponta Delgada and Horta/Pico, respectively, explain that, in the Azores, as happens on the mainland, “property prices are increasing significantly” and this is mainly due to “the exponential increase in demand” and the “little supply of properties”. The scarcity of labour and raw materials is also being felt.

Despite this, “there are several factors” that have contributed to the Azores becoming such an attractive destination. “Alongside improvements in accessibility and in transport networks – which allow more air connections – the quality of life felt in the Azores region is very much associated with nature and proximity to the sea,” Ricardo Moura and Ricardo Silva explain to ECO.

Germany, France and Belgium embrace the Azores

These factors ended up attracting buyers, both national and international. “Whether for investment or secondary housing, in all the islands where ERA is present the demand for Portuguese is very strong,” says CEO Rui Torgal, noting that “the growth of tourism in the Azores with the democratisation of travel” has contributed to “a great demand especially from Portuguese coming from mainland Portugal and who are developing hotel and restaurant projects in the archipelago.”

And foreigners are also attracted. “The demand from foreigners is exponential, above all from North Americans and Europeans. However, in some islands, we verify a higher incidence of housing demand by Germans, French and Belgians”, say Ricardo Moura and Ricardo Silva. “In ERA Ponta Delgada we also see demand from Brazilians and other citizens looking for golden visas”.

“We have noticed that, for North Americans – particularly those coming from the East Coast – the Azores are like Hawaii, only four hours away,” say those responsible for the ERA Ponta Delgada and Horta/Pico shops. “Additionally, sustainable tourism, security, political stability, low population density and relatively low cost of living make the Azores a destination of choice, especially for foreign clients.”