Confidence returning to Cape Verde real estate market with interest from local and foreign buyers
Buyer confidence is returning to the real estate market in Cape Verde indicating that it is coming out of the general property downturn that has hit even popular emerging markets, it is claimed.
Some Real estate agents have not survived the downturn but those that have survived are reporting an increase in activity. According to one of the leading agents, Nôscasa, interest from UK and Irish buyers looking for an affordable property in Europe’s most easily accessible tropical destination is increasing.
‘Following a period of intense activity in 2006/7, the booming property market of Cape Verde was unquestionably hit by the economic crisis in 2008, but the effects were not as severe as in countries such as Spain,’ explained managing director Paul Akwei.
‘Because the market generally was not over-inflated before the credit crunch, it has not had so far to correct. We are finding that both values and buyers are more realistic. Prices are now settling at a level that is low enough to attract buyers but high enough to encourage sellers back into the market. We are very optimistic for the future and believe that Cape Verde is one overseas destination that will continue to develop without any lasting damage,’ he added.
Local buyers have kept the market afloat during the difficult times, as have savvy investors looking for distressed sales, retirees who were not prepared to let the financial crisis deter them from finding the perfect retirement home, and wealthy individuals looking for the right property in the right location no matter what the price, according to Akwei.
But now as the economy slowly picks up it’s more of a general buyer’s market and cash purchases will mean more bargaining power, he believes.
Sal island, with its pristine beaches and home to Cape Verde’s international airport, remains the main attraction for both tourists and property investors, he has found. But the lush mountainous Sao Vicente is also drawing both holidaymakers and investors to its shores. Mindelo, the capital of Sao Vicente, has an international and domestic airport.
Then the tropical island of Maio is fast becoming the favoured choice for wealthy Cape Verdeans and is set to attract international investors due to planned infrastructure developments and improved air and ferry links.
‘Before the financial crisis Cape Verde was Europe’s closest tropical destination with a constant climate, direct flights from the UK, a stable economy pegged to the euro, investor friendly government policy and a vibrant culture and nothing has changed,’ said Akwei.
‘Those are just some of the reasons why Cape Verde developed as a highly desirable overseas property investment market and why it will recover and return to health so much quicker than many other destinations,’ he added.