Explicating the “Charm premium” in Second Homes: The Case of Algarve

The objective of the present paper is to explicate the distribution network of second home
ownership in Algarve (Southern Portugal) and to explore the factors, which cause a high price
premium, known as “charm premium”, for properties in high-profile regions, such as Vale do Lobo. A
template analysis of online newspaper editions, framed and interpreted for a period of more than
fifteen years, is utilized as the basis for methodological evaluation facilitated by the expanse of
preliminary archival data and their qualitative processing. The analysis is applied in two stages: The
first stage includes the study of Algarve as a travel destination and reveals the significance of tourism
attractions, the place branding towards the development of a top retirement destination, the
importance of quality golf/luxury resort infrastructure and the presence of high-status superstars
and celebrities for that branding. The second stage of template analysis focuses also on locations
with the highest second-home prices and rents, known as the “Golden Triangle”. Our findings
demonstrate the influential function of superstars‟ managers on the decision of superstars and
celebrities to invest on second-home property, revealing path dependencies and a twofold chain,
comprising of the “attraction” and the “network” chains that explain their social status behavior.

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