News: 'Sky's the limit' for Cape Verde

Wed, 07 Nov 07

While the more mature markets of Europe continue to attract British property investors, more and more adventurous buyers are looking around at what other locations will offer...

Some have taken their chance in Eastern Europe or farther afield, but for those looking to find some islands in the sun, the Cape Verde appeal is growing.

Like the Maldives, the Caribbean and the Seychelles, the islands offer tropical sunshine, sea and a warm welcome. But significantly, Cape Verde has advantages. For one thing, as Adrian Lillywhite, managing director of Cape Verde Property has said, there are only "eight hours of rain a year" on the islands, a significant contrast with the hurricanes and monsoons experienced elsewhere.

Furthermore, the islands, lying in the Atlantic off the coast of west Africa, are just one hour behind the UK during Greenwich Mean Time (two hours in the summer), making the adjustment easier than for those flying a long way east or west.

Direct flights boost

Of course, the key is getting there in the first instance. For UK investors and holidaymakers, this situation has been transformed. Where once a flight via Cape Verde's former colonial ruler Portugal would have been the best way to arrive, it is now possible to go direct.

"Last year there were no flights to Cape Verde from the UK, by the end of this year there will be eight a week," said Mr Lillywhite, reflecting on this situation. He noted that the island of Sal has the main international airport with the longest runway, adding that as a consequence the island will always be the "tourist hub".

He stated: "Most of the letting will go in Sal, because that’s where the rental market is more mature. We’re finding rentals in apartments in Sal are improving quite quickly. Rental incomes are going up by about 25 per cent a year down there."

But that is certainly not the whole story about the islands. Mr Lillywhite noted the local saying that Cape Verde is "four continents on ten islands", with tourists being able to choose between white sandy beaches and mountainous areas. Moreover, other airports are being opened, with Santiago now taking direct flights from Stanstead and two others opening up.

’Realisation of a dream’

The Cape Verdean government is certainly excited about the new airports. Opening Boavista last month, prime minister Jose Maria Neves said it was "the realisation of a dream for the people of Boavista and for all Cape Verdeans", Macauhub reported.

Investors looking to realise there own dreams with property in the islands can expect to pay around £100,000 in a seaside resort area, Mr Lillywhite suggests, although he added that everything is off plan and property will be available for less.

Mortgageintroducer.com reported this week that international Mortgage Solutions has just introduced three new products for investors seeking to buy in the islands, having reported days before that Conti Financial Services were doing the same. The fact that such products are emerging may have a lot to say about the potential of Cape Verde. As access from the sky becomes less limited, the sky may actually be the limit.

For more information: http://www.assetz.co.uk


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