Reply To: Spanish property market 2008: soft landing or train wreck?

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Dear Ralita

The Portuguese have been debating where to locate the new airport since 1969. In 2006 the decision was confirmed as Ota, but when I studied this option I saw that it was not going to be big enough to be more than a destination airport for Lisbon, and Europe needs to create 10 new transit hubs. An option which had once been considered was The Portuguse Air Force Firing Range at Alcochete but at the time as it was at the height of the Colonial Wars in Africa, the Portuguese Air Force needed the training facility. Now the new International Airport is going to be sited at Alcochete and it will be one of 10 hubs that Europe needs to have. It will immediately employ 7,000 in the construction phase which is expected to last for 10 years and many thousands more when it becomes operational. There is also all the infrastructure which needs to be built including motorways and high speed rail links. A third road and rail bridge will be buit over the river Tagus and the metro is being extended under the river to Montijo. The total investment is currently estimated at 6,600 million Euros.

Many speculated in buying property at Ota, and indeed many develpments have ben sold off plan recently in that area.

This reinforces the point which many have made on this forum, if you speculate in property be prepared to win and lose without regret. I did and this time I have won, but I could have easily lost had the decison not gone ahead in favour of Alcochete.

Add to all this that Lisbon, theCapital City will now expand towards us.

As for being close to the beach. Never again after my experiences in Spain will I ever be involved with property development near to a baech. I have seen at first hand how greedy developers behave and the way in which coastlines are ruined. Sadly I fear the same will happen in Portugal and I wish no part in it.

There was one more question concerning off plan deposits. If you want out my recommendation would be to try and get the deposit back. If this fails try to negotiate an extension to the contract whereby no further payments are made until completion, and you can take a view then. If this is impossible then it may be wiser just to do nothing, the chances are you might lose your deposit but if the developer is in a bigger mess than you are he will possibly not be able to meet his obligations, giving you room to negotiate. I would not pay any more money at this stage. If you have an independent lawyer, and I mean independent then ask him.