For many people living in the UK the lure of wanting to live in Portugal is not just for the far better weather and the relaxed way of life but the fact that it appears to be a cheaper place to live but is this still true?
When British people first started to move to the Algarve in the 1960s and 1970s the prices were certainly lower, especially for property thanks to the fact the the real estate boom had yet to occur but as the decades have progressed the cost of living in Portugal has inevitably increased.
With Portugal currently being in the grip of an economic crisis there have been advantages and disadvantages for anyone wanting to move to Portugal. There are now incentives for bringing money into the country and the price of properties in most places has stalled or at least slowed in many areas making this a much better time than only 10 years ago to but a property here.
But with the crisis have come a whole wave of tax increases and for many people living in Portugal this has meant that their money is not now going as far as it used to and it is increasingly difficult to get bank loans and mortgages (if not impossible in some cases).
Generally the cost of living in Portugal is low if you live a Portuguese way of life and shop for local products etc but there are certain aspects of life here that have become very expensive recently including the cost of electricity and water which have risen massively in recent years, as has the cost of petrol which has risen by at least 50% in the past 10 years alone.
It is still more expensive to love in tourist areas along the coast or in the major cities than it is to live in the countryside but this has always been the case and the increase in the number of foreign residents and tourists over the years has made some areas very expensive but it has also had its benefits with imported goods now not only being more available to buy but also much cheaper.
One of the main bonuses for people living in Portugal is that their winter fuel bills are so much lower than the UK because on the whole Portugal (especially in the south and in the Algarve) is much warmer than the UK and you do not need to have the heating on for 6 months of the year!
The other factor that has made it cheaper to live in Portugal now is the increase in low cost flights to the Algarve, Lisbon and Porto making it cheaper than ever to be able to visit family in the UK or to travel from Portugal.
Since Portugal joined the euro the prices of goods and services has been easier to compare to other European countries which has made it easier for people to see how expensive things really are here and has made people more savvy when it comes to making purchases and seeking out deals.
Portugal may not be the cheapest place in Europe to live but it is still a very competitive place to live in and there are plenty of bargains still to be had making it a very interesting prospect for anyone in the UK who is looking to live in Portugal.