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By : Homes Overseas    99 or more times read
Prospects for the property market are looking particularly enticing with double-digit capital appreciation forecast for the next year. Adrian Lillywhite of Cape Verde Property sees a 15 to 20 per cent rise in 2008, “particularly in the better locations and as the infrastructure improves.” Carley Todd, GEM Estates' Cape Verde expert thinks 30 per cent is not an unreasonable estimate of price rises in the next year, having risen by around that much in 2007.

Steve Worboys, director of Experience International believes that, if the recent boom in tourism is anything to go by, Cape Verde has an extremely positive future. “In 2006 there was a rise in tourists by over 25 per cent, and the National Statistics Institute (INE) has forecast around one million tourists annually by 2015." The rising number of tourists can only be an asset to property owners, who can turn a rental penny, although it is still too early to get a clear prediction of rental returns.

Carley Todd adds: "Hotels in Sal have 92 per cent occupancy and holiday companies will need 400 rooms extra per week to deal with the demand. We can't guarantee any figures but it is looking very good and by the time developments come to completion rental yields are expected to be phenomenal."

If you are after a definite rental yield, Cape Verde property specialist TOPA is offering a leaseback option through developer Tecnicil, at the Vila Verde development on the island of Sal. The option includes a net annual rental return of five per cent over two years if the property unit is available to the management company 48 weeks per year. If you want to use your property more than that, the return will be pro-rated according to the usage rate.

Although not the largest or most populated island, Sal is streets ahead at attracting tourists and property development, luring Brits with direct flights from the UK from both Manchester and Gatwick airports. The main tourist town on the island, Santa Maria, is the furthest along the development route, with completion dates now in sight and more infrastructure than you can expect on the other islands (although even this is still some way from the standards of second-home destinations in Western Europe). Adrian Lillywhite says of the island: “The natural beaches are stunning and the area is quickly developing. There are now some excellent high-quality developments and plans for four golf courses and three marinas on the island.”

Dunas Beach resort is a short stroll from the centre of Santa Maria and will be built on the front- and second-line to Ponta Preta beach, with a golf course planned for further along the development schedule.

Apartments start from (£62,000) and detached villas from €299,950 (£226,000), through Experience International.

The Cotton Bay Marina & Golf Resort is being developed on the west coast of Sal island with a range of properties and hotels complemented by a 300-berth marina and two 18-hole golf courses. Billed as an eco-compatible resort, there will be green zones and a park as well as a sports centre with football fields, swimming pools and tennis courts. The first phase is due for completion in 2009 and the marina and golf course around 2010. Prices start from €126,000 (£95,000) euros for a one-bedroom apartment to €1.26 million (£950,000) for a fron-tline villa through GEM Estates.

TOPA is selling apartments and villas at the Pedra de Lume Golf and Marina resort on Sal from €85,000 (£64,000) or front-line apartments at Paradise Beach with adjacent golf course from €160,000 (£121,000).

Boa Vista is being touted as the next Cape Verde island hotspot, although right now you'll have to imagine the luxurious new villa-complexes being sold off-plan along the sand beaches because this is very much the beginning of the property development road. With a brand new international airport just opened, charter flights from London have recently started, which will kick-start the anticipated tourist boom. The Sabi Sands resort in Rochinha is one of the many new-build developments for sale on the island. Situated 300 metres from the beach, the resort will include apartments, townhouses and villas, two swimming pools and a restaurant. There is also a five per cent rental guarantee offer for two years and prices start from €91,828 (£69,000) for a studio apartment through Cape Verde Property Ltd. Alternatively, the company is also selling studios in Casa Boteto on Estoril Beach from €45,800 (£34,500) or a two-bedroom penthouse in Por do Sol on the front-line of Cabral Beach for €160,000 (£121,000).

Sal and Boa Vista are part of the drier eastern islands of the archipelago, while the other up-and-coming development hotspots of Sao Vicente and Santiago tend to be greener and more mountainous but with fewer beaches. Santiago hosts the country's capital at Praia and is home to around half the population of Cape Verde. The dearth of beaches hasn't limited the development of the island, which benefits from an international airport at Praia and direct flights to the UK.

Despite fewer miles of sand, Adrian Lillywhite says the beach at Sao Francisco is good and points to a new development called Sunrise Beach that will launch shortly right on Sao Francisco beach, with prices for a two-bedroom apartment from €150,000 (£113,000).

The island of Sao Vicente is the cultural heartland of the country and its main port town of Mindelo boasts the birthplace of Cape Verde's world-renowned singer Cesaria Evora. Outside of Mindelo the island is still relatively undeveloped, but with yet another new international airport opening up in the next year, the property developers have already begun to stake their lots on the island. TOPA is selling apartments and villas at the Fortim Mindelo beachfront development from €335,000 (£253,000).

Alternatively, the Boat House, being built on the Baia das Gatas coastline, offers properties, most with sea views, from €235,000 (£177,000), also through TOPA. For something with a bit of history, Cape Verde Property is selling a five-or six-bedroom colonial house with views over Mindelo Bay, which is in need of some renovation and is for sale for €525,000 (£396,000).

Because of the property market's infancy, getting non-resident finance for off-plan properties can be difficult, although there are some products slowly coming to the market. International Mortgage Solutions offers a range of mortgage products through a Portuguese and Cape Verdean bank, which include stage-payment bridging loans for off-plan purchases. The process of buying is similar to the continental system using notaries, and government tax and legal costs add around six per cent to the purchase price.

In an emerging market like Cape Verde it is imperative to use a good English-speaking solicitor and it is also better to visit the islands to fully understand where and what you are buying.
Cathy Sandler for Homes Overseas - , property buying & investment advice and international property news.
International property experts since 1965.

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