Expert Agent Interview: Atlantic Jewel Properties - Hazel Woodcock

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  Atlantic Jewel Properties
   
https://www.atlanticjewelproperties.com/
henryajp@gmail.com
(UK) +44 (0) 203 667 3356

Hazel Woodcock

Interview

  1. In which country do you sell property and to what level has the real estate market in your country been affected by the global crisis?

Atlantic Jewel Properties sell properties in the tropical islands of Cape Verde.

The country comprises of 10 islands and is situated just off the west coast of Africa. AJP is based on Sal island, which is the main tourist island but we also sell properties on some of the other islands.

Originally, in 2006/7 the majority of properties were sold off plan, prior to the global crisis, with completions due 2 or 3 years later.
Delays in completion meant the economic crisis affected some buyers who were no longer in a position to take on new commitments.

  1. Have property prices risen or fallen in the last 12 months, or have they bottomed out?

Prices have been fairly stable recently, but on 1 or 2 developments prices are less than purchase prices. The main resort where bargains can be found is Vila Verde. 2 bed furnished apartments for sale for €65.000. However this development now has new management so this is an excellent time to buy before prices rise.

  1. What advice would you give property owners in your area now who are thinking of selling up?

AJP views buying a property as a medium to long term investment - gone are the days when you could sell the next day and make a profit, so our recommendation would be to hold onto existing investments. We believe this is now the time to buy here - exciting changes are now happening.

  1. Does property in your country represent good value for the investor and if so, why?

For an investor the weather here allows year round rental potential - whether via a resort management, private rental agencies or to rent out personally - just using agencies for the cleaning etc.

There is only a couple of days rain on Sal, the winter months are lovely, maybe a light cover up for evenings, the summers can be hot when the gentle breeze from the rest of the year disappears.

As the islands are small there are a limited number of properties that can be built here - no high rise blocks are allowed.
Also the local currency - escudos is directly linked to the euro, so the prices are good value for money for UK buyers due to the strong pound

  1. How long before the property market in your country returns to pre-crisis levels and what can we do to avoid the same situation again?

The prices on the new resorts are still being achieved by the Developers and the outlook is very positive.

Cape Verde is a new market for outside investors - most of the properties were not built when the crash hit the world.

  1. From which country do you find the majority of your property buyers are coming from? Has this changed significantly over the last 5 years?

Until recently most property buyers were from UK. Before Independence these islands were governed by Portugal and so there have always been Portuguese residents. Cape Verde or Cabo Verde is very multicultural - Cape Verdeans, Africans and Europeans all live in harmony.

However as with more new European flights coming directly into Sal we have seen clients from Eastern Europe investing in these sunshine isles

  1. What attracted you to selling property in the region?

I originally came to Sal in 2006 to provide a mortgage & tax service for buyers - which I still do as part of our after sales service.

These islands have a charm of their own and a lovely relaxing way of life - little traffic, no commuting, glorious weather, friends of many nationalities.

What is there not to love?

  1. What would you estimate the percentage split is between local buyers and international buyers?

AJP works primarily with international buyers.

  1. Do you believe the local Government in your market country is actively encouraging or discouraging foreigners into buying property? How and why?

The Government here realises that Cape Verde relies greatly on tourism / and foreign ownership so is trying to make it easier for buyers and owners here. There has been a reduction in the buying costs and the removal of income tax on rentals, if managed by a hotel.

Other taxes such as inheritance or capital gains tax are also very low

  1. What's the biggest benefit for investors of buying in your country over anywhere else?

Where to start?

  • The weather - lots of sunshine, no hurricanes
  • Beautiful golden beaches and turquoise seas
  • Friendly people who love to dance and play music
  • Excellent watersport facilities
  • Good quality restaurants and bars
  • Foreign investment in developments - Hilton hotel due to complete in 2016
  • Great links with Europe and Africa
  • No jet lag from UK or Europe, 6 hours flying time from most European countries
  • Independent country, stable government
  • No religious or political unrest
  • Future growth of Tourism - 1 million visitors expected in 2015
  • Strong rule of law, covering property ownership rights
  • Islands protected by strict legislation against over development and an excess of supply.
  • Strict building control and regulations - no high rise buildings
  • High government investment to enhance on-island utilities and infrastructure.

Agent Profile

  Atlantic Jewel Properties
   
https://www.atlanticjewelproperties.com/
henryajp@gmail.com
(UK) +44 (0) 203 667 3356
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