By Alexandra Alden, Contributing Reporter
RIO GRANDE DO NORTE – For those seeking an enclave of tranquility and shockingly beautiful scenery, Praia da Pipa has long been a favored destination. However upon arrival in Pipa visitors often find it hard to tear away. Luckily there are plenty of real estate options to provide the addicted with a place to stay for weeks, months or even years.
Praia de Pipa is located in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, 80km south of Natal. The town is famed for its surf-able waves, dolphin filled waters, and rocking nightlife.
The four beaches that are within walking distance of the center of town each have their own special draw and ensure that the beach-goer will have lots of variety. Each of these beaches is backed by stunning low red, yellow and orange cliffs which provide a spectacular backdrop and prevent coastline development. There is also a 1.8km nature reserve that further guarantees wild beauty.
While Pipa is known for its natural surroundings, the resident won’t be short on amenities either. The center of town is filled with slick boutiques, restaurants offering up international flavors from tapas to sushi, and bars which routinely have live music. Since Praia da Pipa basks in a year-round flow of tourism the streets are never empty.
The real estate market in the town, according to Daniel Arán Fernandez, Director of Sinergy Imóveis, has long been dependent on Europeans. They make up eighty percent of the buyers in the Pipa. Due to the financial crisis in Europe and the rest of the world, the last two years have been quite slow, however, Fernandez predicts that a recovery will begin in the second semester of this year.
With the foreign population receding, developers are looking to the potential Brazilian market. Fernandez says that traditionally Pipa was made up of small to medium developments built by Europeans that weren’t part of the real estate industry. They then sold thirty to fifty percent of the property to friends and relatives. This coupled with the difficult process of financing a second home in Brazil, virtually barred Brazilians from the market.
Nowadays developers from Natal are building large condominium complexes just outside of Pipa specifically marketed for Brazilians. The actual town cannot be developed in this manner because law requires that all houses remain under two stories.
While many have felt the economic crisis, for those who are still in the position to buy it’s a good time; many of the European owners are having to give up their second homes and there are many “For Sale” signs up driving prices down.
The benefit of buying over renting is that it is an investment that will appreciate over time of course. However Fernandez recommends that before buying think about how often the house will be used, and if it will be rented out when unoccupied.
Expect to pay about R$3,000 per square meter (prices vary) for an already built property. Beach front property of course is more expensive, especially in Pipa where there are many conservation laws in place and the cliffs prevent development. R$4,000 per square meter is the average price for an ocean view.
If buying is too much of a commitment, renting is always an option as well. The longer the lease the cheaper the price, but for a one to two bedroom apartment or condo it will be between R$1,000-3,000 for a monthly lease. These prices vary greatly depending on the season.
Praia de Pipa, which captures the imagination of so many, is a wide open market for prospective renters or buyers.