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Introduction

Portugal is located in the west and southwest parts of the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe and is the country located furthest West in all of continental Europe. Portugal is bordered by Spain and it includes two archipelagos located in the Atlantic Ocean, these being the Azores and Madeira.

During the late 1970's to early 1980's, Portugal was considered to be one of the poorer nations in Western Europe; however, the accession of Portugal into the EU in 1986 led to a change in the fortunes of Portugal and the economy in recent years is amongst the fastest growing in Europe.

The countries' infrastructure could be considered as patchy, but this is continually being improved and the EU have allocated 23 billion in development funds.

Portugal (in particular the Algarve) is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe and attracts a large number of different nationalities due to the sunny climate, relaxed lifestyle and most recently the increasing number of championship level golf courses. In some ways Portugal has been (unfairly) regarded as a poor relation to Spain, however, in terms of housing, one could argue that Portugal is superior to its more illustrious neighbour. The reasons for this is that planning regulations have typically been very strict in Portugal which has meant that developers have not been able to create monstrous "cheap and cheerful" developments in the country.

Property prices are fairly high, especially in the Algarve meaning that investors have targeted other areas such as the Silver Coast, but the prices are continuing to grow which means that the market has additional potential for growth.

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