Most urbanisations are developed by foreign companies for foreigners, as the Portuguese prefer to live among their family and friends in their ‘twilight’ years. Some sheltered housing developments attract elderly people, e.g. aged 70 plus, with limited mobility.
Developments may consist of one and two-bedroom apartments or a combination of apartments, townhouses and villas, which can be purchased freehold or leasehold, i.e. a lifetime residency. Note that if you buy leasehold, you don’t have to pay Transfer Tax (SISA).
Typical prices (leasehold) for one bedroom properties are from €140,000 and from €270,000 for a three bedroom property. Properties usually have central heating, air-conditioning, fully-fitted kitchens and satellite TV. A wide range of communal facilities and services are usually provided which may include a medical centre (possibly with a resident doctor), nursing facilities, lounges, laundry, housekeeping, sauna, jacuzzi, restaurant, bar, meal delivery, handyman, mini-supermarket, post and banking, guest apartments, free local transport, 24-hour security with closed-circuit TV, intercom service, personal emergency alarm system and a 24-hour multi-lingual reception.
Sports and leisure services may include swimming pools, tennis courts, lawn bowling, gymnasium, video room, library and a social club. Most sheltered housing developments levy monthly service charges, e.g. between €225 and €500, which may include a number of weeks’ ‘free’ nursing care each year in a residents’ nursing home. Charges usually include heating and air-conditioning, hot water, satellite TV and all the other services listed above.