Real Estate Agents selling property and Property Management Services in Cape Verde have a range of rental properties from studios, or one, two, three bedroom apartments, town houses and villas to buy or let.
In 2008, Cape Verde along with other countries saw a down turn in people buying property abroad due to the financial crisis. Since then re-sale properties have not, in the main, held their value and many people that needed to sell their property for personal or financial reasons, sold at a much lower price.
New properties and resorts were still built and these in most case were sold. Some developments/resorts were completed and are fully operational. However,other developments were not finalised, some were put on hold, some remain unfinished. This situation occurred on a number of Cape Verde Islands.
Many things have progressed in Cape Verde over the years, some very slowly. People looking to invest long term may not see a quick return for their money and those looking for a place in the sun for family holidays will need to consider the 'what if' factor, meaning the things that can go wrong or change. Remember, financial situations will continue to change in various countries, as will family life.
In previous years many people invested in smaller projects, prior to the building of larger developments on the islands, many bought on Sal Island which was seen to be the main tourist island within Cape Verde. There are some general comments and FAQ produced in those earlier times which helped a number of people consider whether they wanted to buy a property in Cape Verde and what type of things needed considering. These have now been archived for reference purposes but are still available to view.
News about developments can be found online or in media articles shared on this website.
Other things to consider are insurance and wills!
As for everywhere on the island, the first line is the one nearest the beach and these are the more expensive.
Theoretically speaking the prices should be cheaper the further away from the beach you are. Many people come out for one or two weeks, either looking for something as an investment or other reasons. Prices can vary again, depending on how close you are to the sea or who’s selling the property. Have a white sandy beach outside your door is attractive to many people, a dream to most.
However if you are buying on a development, it will depend on what facilities and services you will have to share with others, the standard and quality of build, even if its further inland so it potentially could be a higher price than those buildings surrounding it.
Some people may be more interested in buying a plot of land on one of the mountainous islands such as Santo Antao, from here you may have fantastic land and sea views.
I understand that when you buy off-plan you can re-sell a property after the signing of the contract, some people will buy off –plan and then wait until its nearly finished, then sell it for profit.
However, at the moment there isn’t a large profit to be made! The fees are normally 3% for the buyer and 3% for the seller (but this may have changed). Surveys etc. are not services offered in Cape Verde, some of the new buildings are only guaranteed for a year, but please make your own checks on this via your builder and your lawyer as this info was posted pre-2009!.
Some of the new developments such as those built by The Resort Group should be able to provide you with more information about the materials used ad the quality of build. They will also provide you with different options on how you can purchase a property of theirs. Some people are choosing to invest using a SIPP (Self-Investment Personal Pension). Again, please study this carefully before investing, as there has been a lot reported about SIPP in the press.
Please make further enquiries with your lawyer.
People will want to choose either Off Plan or Completed properties when buying, for various reasons and cicumstances.
Off plan means that the building or project is not completed when you put down your deposit.
There may be 3 or 4 stage payments until your final payment at the Notary.
The stage payments & times of payments may differ between developer.
There may be alternative types of stage payments on offer by a particular developer to that of another. Read on ........
A number of people from the UK may have benefitted from buying their completed property in Cape Verde before the credit crunch.
Either buying off plan and completing before 2008 or buying as a completed unit.
Dec-08 : As the pound dropped in value against the euro, properties abroad became more expensive to buy for some. Not only has the price of the property to be taken into consideration but the cost of the kitchen, furniture and white goods, if these are not included in the purchase price of the property. Getting a mortgage isn't that easy, banks are not approving applications or thee are delays..
As people are finding it difficult or being wary on how they spend their money, a number of properties both completed and off plan are now back on the market. It is unfortunate for some, that they are having to sell because of the situation with the euro/£ or situation in UK, Ireland and Europe. There are many distressed sales. Others have different reasons for wanting to sell.
Those people who may be financially more secure may be able to pick up a 'bargain' if I may use that term.
Some of you may have seen the ITV programme on Friday, November 18th 2005. British people buying in Spain had trusted the agents selling them the land and some of their lawyers. They had since discovered that the development and land they had bought and built on hadn't been given building consent by the City Council, their properties are under threat of being demolished, some properties on the same development and other developments have already been demolished by bulldozers by the Council, as the land was known as Rustic Land (can't build on it without permission).
John Howells (Europe law) was interviewed and said that many Britt's weren't bothering to obtain their own independent solicitor/lawyer, as they thought it would save money using by the developers lawyers, but they have learnt to their cost, that is sometimes false economy!
A number of agents/developers/ builders want you to use their own lawyers, you don't have to, you can get your own, either out in Cape Verde or by using one in your home country, preferably one who specializes in Cape Verde law and speaks English. You can use a solicitor instead of a lawyer.
You may find that a solicitor may be cheaper than a lawyer. NOTE: in Wales and England we go to Solicitors to deal with estates etc. and Lawyers when we /if we go to court!
I understand that the reason why it is different in Cape Verde is due to the fact that some European countries generally use Lawyers, it's the 'norm'. As CV has strong Portuguese historic links, a number of the Lawyers train in Portugal. There are also Portuguese Solicitors, but I am not sure if they are allowed to practice on CV.
There are a number of Lawyers listed in the British Embassy Booklet - 2012.
There are more based on other islands especially Sao Vicente and Santiago where there is a larger population than on Sal. However you will find some Lawyers on Sal who are either based in Espargos or Santa Maria who also practice on the other Cape Verde islands.
If you have visited Cape Verde and decided on buying a property that you have seen, you may want to consider giving a lawyer Power of Attorney (PofA). You can do this before you leave Cape Verde. If you set this up it will mean that you don't necessarily need to return to Cape Verde to sign the final contract, this will save you the expense of returning to CV just to finalise things. It doesn't have to be a solicitor/lawyer to be the PofA. The PofA could be a friend, relative or some other person you trust who should not be required to check any other legalities of your purchase, but that is your responsibility or choice.
You will also need to ensure that the payments for IUP, tax and Notary etc are ready for transfer at each stage. If you are giving a friend or associate PofA, you really shouldn't expect them to make any payments on your behalf. You should organise this with either your lawyer/solicitor or the person selling the apt/property. The PofA should be kept informed that this has been organised in advance of them going to the Camara or the Notary.
It's obvious that Developers and Real Estate Agents are feeling the crunch, its the same in the UK and the rest of the world.
Progress with some developments may be slower than others, the reasons for this may differ.
Developers will have discovered that prices of some materials and importation costs may have increased.
I would still say that Cape Verde is one of the best places to invest. Sal being the main island for international investment with others like Boavista, Sao Vicente and Santiago following in its footsteps. Sandy beaches on some islands and mountains and valleys on others. This will remain the attraction of Cape Verde.