Friday, 30 March 2012

Investors turn to overseas property markets as UK house prices continue to fall

This March, house prices in the UK fell for the 21st month in a row, according to a report published by Knight Frank (source: http://www.propertywire.com/news/europe/uk-property-prices-outlook-201203166309.html).

Over the past few years, many property investors have turned to overseas markets, such as The Gambia. But what does this small country on the west coast of Africa offer property investors? Let's find out...

The Gambia: key facts
Known as 'the smiling coast of Africa', The Gambia is just six hours flight from the UK and has a thriving tourist trade. Visitors enjoy at least nine hours of sunshine a day, and warm weather all year round. This English-speaking country has a lively ex-pat community and has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, offering affordable tropical getaways.

Property laws in The Gambia
Unlike many other countries, such as Spain and France, Gambian property laws and the conveyancing process are very similar to the British system. This is great news both for those buying and selling Gambian property. Land is registered at the Property Registry, a contract is drawn up by respective lawyers and the completion period is usually just 30 days.

Associated costs of property investment
Once again, these are quite similar to the British system. Costs can include stamp duty, lawyers' fees and land rent. However, a good lawyer will be able to explain everything to you clearly and accurately.

Economy and infrastructure
TheGambia has a growing economy and has received significant investment in its education, industry and infrastructure over the past few years. The electricity and water supply is generally good, although it can vary depending upon the area.

Where to invest in The Gambia?
If you're looking for consistent and stable returns from buying property in The Gambia, make sure you invest in modern, well-built property developments. One such example is Brufut Gardens, a private sea-view estate situated just minutes away from The Gambia's most popular tourist resort. The estate was founded in 2003 and has seen an average capital appreciation of over 40%. Returns on rentals at Brufut Gardens have averaged between 7 and 12%.

Brufut Gardens is widely considered to be the country's premier property development, with a 24-hour water and electricity supply, landscaped terraces and sidewalks, street lighting and security. Investors can choose from a range of apartments, houses and large villas with beautiful gardens and swimming pools. Most recently, a newly developed shopping mall has been opened, offering residents a variety of up-market shops and restaurants.

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