Much of the land around the village was bought by the Espírito Santo family in the 50’s who over the years have come to sell off swathes of it to developers. JNCQUOI, a luxury development company, for example, has built a gated beach villa resort and called it “one of the most exclusive destinations in Europe.” There’s also the Atlantic Club, who have 21 plots in Comporta, and CostaTerra Golf and Ocean Club, who have investment from George Clooney.
With the influx of new investment in luxury resorts and villas, property prices in the small village have soared. London-based banker Dan Dalton, who bought a house in 2019 with his husband in the Spatia Comporta resort complex, told FT.com that “new restaurants are opening and it’s gentrifying. Properties prices have gone insane. Villas like ours are selling for three times what we paid for it.”
The Residential Information System, which tracks property transactions in the country, shows that the average price for a new property in Dalton’s area was €7112 per square metre in 2022, compared to €2690 in 2020, FT.com pointed out. The same system, they noted, revealed that there were 27 homes in Comporta in 2020 and 104 in 2022.
Beata Baumgartner, from Munich, is renovating a three-bedroom property in the next-door village of Carvalhal and told FT.com that this group of wealthy people looking for holiday homes has outpriced the locals, rendering many properties and restaurant virtually unaffordable.
“Charging €18 for a bowl of fried calamari or €8 for a portion of rice is too much. The beach clubs have changed,” she exemplified. “There are now €5 million villas in areas next to people living in poverty – my neighbours live in a one-room house and cook on a barbecue every evening.”
Another example is the Praia na Comporta restaurant, whose Instagram lists menu items such as king crab in butter sauce for €80, a 300g premium Japanese wagyu steak for €190, a dessert consisting of chocolate cookie, caramel gateaux, pudding and strawberries for €35, and, according to Air Mail deputy editor Michael Hainey, a “nice local wine” for €350 a pop.
The locals seem to have gotten fed up with the withering of their purchasing power, however, as the community have been able to successfully protest and shoot down an €113 million offer from luxury hotel group Aman.