Confidence is slowly returning to the Cape Verde property market after a period of buyers and overseas property investors reporting transactions fraught with delays and disputes. So now may be a good time to take another look at the most southerly point of Europe.
Made up of two groups of islands; The Barlavento Islands and The Sotavento Islands, Cape Verde offers an attractive sunshine getaway for many investors. The Barlavento Islands consist of seven islands, with Sal the most popular, its appeal fueled by its lively beachfront areas. Whilst Espargos is the main city, the fishing village of Santa Maria is also hugely popular for those looking for somewhere a little quainter.
The ‘capital island’ of Cape Verde, Santiago, is another area growing in popularity, with impressive colonial architecture contrasted with mountainous rainforest appealing to a range of tourists. Water sports and wildlife watching are popular activities for those residing in the island, although Boa Vista is another popular location which offers similar opportunities. With 55 kilometers of white sand beaches, its unsurprising that the picturesque island has huge appeal amongst foreigners. A new international airport has recently opened, and there is a plethora of self-contained resorts targeted at foreign investors.
Across all the islands prices are relatively steady, and tend to fall between £80,000 for an apartment and £250,000 for a villa. Foreign investors are permitted to buy freehold properties in Cape Verde, however procuring legal representation early in the process is advised as there is a lack of lawyers. A Personal Fiscal Number is needed before the transaction can commence, although most agents will help with this.
As the process goes, a verbal agreement is reached, and the buyer eventually signs the Promissory Contract once they feel comfortable with the sale. Upon completion, a deposit of around 10 per cent will need to be paid whilst the lawyer conducts the appropriate searches before the Ecscritura is signed in the presence of the notary, indicating the completion of purchase. Once the Promissory Contract is signed and the deposit paid, completion is often achieved in three to four weeks.
A second option is to sign power of attorney to your lawyer should you wish to avoid lengthy trips to the island.
Generally mortgages are only available against built property in Cape Verde, as off-plan homes need to be paid for first. Overall, fees, taxes, and buying costs tend to add around six per cent to the final purchase price.
For year round sunshine Cape Verde is hard to beat, but always take professional advice before property purchase.