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Weligama Sri Lanka: New flats start from £114k

If you are looking for somewhere more unusual to buy a holiday or retirement home, Sri Lanka might fit the bill.

It was voted the number one country to visit by Lonely Planet just before the pandemic struck in 2019. 

It is an island in the Indian Ocean, to the south of India, with tea plantations, ancient temples, and beautiful beaches.

We take a closer look at a new development in the beachside town of Weligama, where a one-bedroom flat can be bought for little more than £110,000. 

Southbeach Weligama is a new development of 106 flats in Sri Lanka - but these are computer generated images as the property has yet to be built

Southbeach Weligama is a new development of 106 flats in Sri Lanka – but these are computer generated images as the property has yet to be built

The flats are not due to be completed until December 2024 and so buyers have a long wait before they can move in

The flats are not due to be completed until December 2024 and so buyers have a long wait before they can move in

What’s the deal?

Southbeach Weligama is a new development of 106 flats in Sri Lanka by the architects Balmond Studio.

It is in the beachside town of Weligama, with each flat offering either one, two or four bedrooms.

The main appeal of this development is its location on sandy Weligama beach. 

Where exactly is it?

Southbeach Weligama is in Weligama, on the south coast of Sri Lanka. It is a couple of hours by car from Sri Lanka’s main airport, Bandaranaike International.

Weligama is a fishing town and beach resort, with a sea that attracts surfers as it is one of the best places in Sri Lanka to surf.

What’s the asking price?

There are 106 one, two, and four-bedroom apartments for sale at the development, with prices starting at US$150,000, which equates to $206 per sq ft. It is the equivalent starting price of around £114,000.

The top price range is $1,100,000, the equivalent of £832,978 for a four-bedroom flat. 

The flats are for sale on a freehold basis only. The one-bedroom flats are 727-763 sq ft, while the first type of two-bedroom flats are 1,137 sq ft, and the second type of two-bedroom flats are an average of 1,094 sq ft. The four-bedroom flats are 3,318 sq ft.

There are 106 one, two, and four-bedroom apartments for sale, with prices starting at US$150,000, the equivalent of around £114,000

There are 106 one, two, and four-bedroom apartments for sale, with prices starting at US$150,000, the equivalent of around £114,000

The flats are furnished using pieces crafted by Sri Lankan artisans

Southbeach Weligama has a strong eco-ethic

Southbeach Weligama has a strong eco-ethic, with the flats furnished using pieces crafted by Sri Lankan artisans 

What is special about it? 

Southbeach Weligama prides itself on its eco-ethic approach, overseen by the architect’s managing director – John Balmond of Balmond Studio – who is a dedicated committee member of the Lanka Environment Fund (LEF).  

He worked with local communities to provide them with the education and tools needed to bring about long-term ecological change. 

With this commitment to sustainability in mind, for every flat that is sold Southbeach Weligama will donate $1,000 to the LEF. 

Southbeach Weligama will also use turbines and solar panels to power the lobby and restaurant areas, while rainwater harvesting systems will be used to conserve water. 

In addition, Balmond Studio wants to empower local communities by using local produce in the restaurant, and furnishing the apartments with pieces crafted by Sri Lankan artisans.

Do your homework

Building on the development only started at the beginning of this year. It means that the flats will not be completed – and ready to move into – until December 2024 at the earliest. 

It leaves current buyers waiting a considerable amount of time before they can move in and there could be delays.

Buying off-plan can be frought with challenges and risks – especially so when buying overseas in an area you can’t simply just visit easily and right-away if you’re in Britain. 

There is an added layer of difficulty here as you will be buying off-plan overseas. This introduces other issues such as currency fluctuations.

You may also not know anything about the country you are buying in and so it is important to do your homework beforehand and complete a checklist of things you need to do before buying abroad. It is not for the faint-hearted. 

Who would live in a house like this?

Buyers are expected to be primarily from overseas, although it is hoped that some Sri Lankans who want to enjoy a holiday home on the beach will also invest.

Southbeach Weligama is expected to appeal to people of all ages from young couples to families, although it is particularly appealing to surfing enthusiasts due to its location.

There is also lots plenty of other water-based activities due to having the Indian Ocean on its doorstep

There is also lots plenty of other water-based activities due to having the Indian Ocean on its doorstep

The development includes a restaurant, poolside bar, gym, and a 35 metre swimming pool

The development includes a restaurant, poolside bar, gym, and a 35 metre swimming pool

What is the local area like?

Weligama means ‘Sandy Village’ and is a combination of a lively fishing town and beach resort.

It has seen an influx of boutique hotels, restaurants and spas in recent years. The authorities have been investing heavily in the area, restoring older buildings and landscaping roadsides.

The main strip has boutique shops and restaurants as well as a lively market that attracts tourists and locals.

Weligama is a hotspot for surfing and is home to one of Sri Lanka’s swim-friendly beaches.

Visitors to Weligama can also enjoy the style and culture of nearby Galle and its World Heritage-listed Fort. It is also possible to do blue whale watching off the coast of Weligama, or a short drive inland provides access to safaris with leopards and elephants.

There is also an optional furniture package for buyers at the development, available on request

There is also an optional furniture package for buyers at the development, available on request

Where’s the good place for dinner nearby?

There are a number of top restaurants nearby, including Cape Weligama.

What is there for children?

Weligama offers several activities for children. In particular, it is a great place to learn to surf with several surf schools offering lessons for children.

There is also plenty of other water-based activities, including whale watching.

The construction milestones: Breakdown of the payment terms

The construction milestones: Breakdown of the payment terms

What property purchase costs do buyers need to be aware of?

There is a service charge of US $0.15 per sq ft. 

This equates to $109 per month on the cheapest flats, and $170 per month on the most expensive flats. 

What items are included in the sale of the property?

The development includes a restaurant, poolside bar, gym, 35m swimming pool, an art gallery and a music room.

There is also an optional furniture package available on request.

Flat payment terms include an initial deposit of 5 per cent then a further 15 per cent upon the signing of the sales and purchase agreement. Thereafter the payment is linked to construction milestones (see above).

How long does it take to travel there?

Weligama is accessible via Sri Lanka’s main airport, Bandaranaike International – which has direct connections to major British airports.

The flight from London to Colombo is around 10 and a half hours, followed by a three hour drive or train ride from Colombo to Weligama.

Can the properties be rented?

The properties can be bought and then rented out, and the rentals can be done independently.

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Would YOU live here? Seaside cottage with stunning coastal views is branded ‘uninhabitable’ and ‘unsafe’ in listing – but is on the market for just £75,000

  • Woodbine Cottage in Ardersier, near Inverness has been put on the market 
  • The four-bedroom home has remarkable views of the Moray Firth 

A seaside cottage with stunning coastal views has been branded ‘uninhabitable’ and ‘unsafe’ in its listing – but has still gone on the market for just £75,000.

Potential buyers of Woodbine Cottage in Ardersier, near Inverness, may get some remarkable views of the Moray Firth, but also face a massive renovation job to make the building fit to live in.

Photos show the interior of the four-bedroom home, which has been vandalised and left littered with old clothes and belongings.

The property will require extensive works throughout, but Auction House Scotland believes it ‘offers a fantastic opportunity to create a stunning family home’.

The house, which includes a garage, has been ‘extensively extended’ to create a total floor area of over 350 sqm – which could be converted into a family home or a rental opportunity.

Woodbine Cottage in Ardersier, near Inverness, comes with a remarkable view of the Moray Firth - but potential buyers face a massive renovation job

Woodbine Cottage in Ardersier, near Inverness, comes with a remarkable view of the Moray Firth – but potential buyers face a massive renovation job

Photos show the interior of the home, which has been vandalised and left littered with old clothes and belongings

Photos show the interior of the home, which has been vandalised and left littered with old clothes and belongings

The seaside cottage has been branded 'uninhabitable' and 'unsafe' in its listing

The seaside cottage has been branded ‘uninhabitable’ and ‘unsafe’ in its listing

The property will require extensive works throughout, but Auction House Scotland believe the house 'offers a fantastic opportunity to create a stunning family home'

The property will require extensive works throughout, but Auction House Scotland believe the house ‘offers a fantastic opportunity to create a stunning family home’

‘The property further offers garden areas to front and rear, with the upper floor balconies enjoying great views over the Moray Firth,’ reads the listing.

‘The property is currently unhabitable, hence no Home Report is available, but a full programme of works would add massive value and offers the opportunity to adapt the current accommodation format subject, of course, to any required permissions/warrants.

‘The potential and value on offer is sure to attract strong levels of demand and, as such, early viewing is essential to avoid missing out.’ 

The original stone built dwelling has been extensively extended with the addition of north and south wings to create a total floor are in excess of 350 sq.

Auction House Scotland believe the property offers a fantastic opportunity to create a ‘stunning family home’ or to be rented out to holidaymakers. 

They also claim that a full programme of works would add ‘massive value’ to the building. 

The stunning view of the Moray Firth seen from the property

The stunning view of the Moray Firth seen from the property 

Auction House Scotland believe the property offers a fantastic opportunity to create a 'stunning family home' or to be rented out to holidaymakers

Auction House Scotland believe the property offers a fantastic opportunity to create a ‘stunning family home’ or to be rented out to holidaymakers

They also claim that a full programme of works would add 'massive value' to the building

They also claim that a full programme of works would add ‘massive value’ to the building

Once renovations are completed, the property will have a council tax band of C.

Mandi Cooper, Managing Director of Auction House Scotland, said: ‘Woodbine Cottage is certainly a project suited to a keen developer or investor, and it deserves to be lovingly renovated back to its former glory.

‘With huge opportunity to add value, and holiday lets in the Highlands being an ever-popular way to generate income, this would also be ideal for serviced accommodation providers.’

Woodbine Cottage will go to auction on May 30 with Auction House Scotland, with a viewing date of May 22

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Top 10 Florida Cities Dominate The Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

Top 10 Florida Cities And Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

The Voice Of EU | Florida emerges as a hub for entrepreneurial endeavors, with its vibrant business landscape and conducive environment for startups. Renowned for its low corporate tax rates and a high concentration of investors, the Sunshine State beckons aspiring entrepreneurs seeking fertile grounds to launch and grow their businesses.

In a recent report by WalletHub, Florida cities dominate the list of the top 10 best destinations for business startups, showcasing their resilience and economic vitality amidst challenging times.

From Orlando’s thriving market to Miami’s dynamic ecosystem, each city offers unique advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurial success. Let’s delve into the chronologically listed cities that exemplify Florida’s prominence in the business startup arena.

1. Orlando Leads the Way: Orlando emerges as the most attractive market in the U.S. for business startups, with a remarkable surge in small business establishments. WalletHub’s latest report highlights Orlando’s robust ecosystem, fostering the survival and growth of startups, buoyed by a high concentration of investors per capita.

2. Tampa Takes Second Place: Securing the second spot among large cities for business startups, Tampa boasts a favorable business environment attributed to its low corporate tax rates. The city’s ample investor presence further fortifies startups, providing essential resources for navigating the initial years of business operations.

3. Charlotte’s Diverse Industries: Claiming the third position, Charlotte stands out for its diverse industrial landscape and exceptionally low corporate taxes, enticing companies to reinvest capital. This conducive environment propels entrepreneurial endeavors, contributing to sustained economic growth.

4. Jacksonville’s Rising Profile: Jacksonville emerges as a promising destination for startups, bolstered by its favorable business climate. The city’s strategic positioning fosters entrepreneurial ventures, attracting aspiring business owners seeking growth opportunities.

5. Miami’s Entrepreneurial Hub: Miami solidifies its position as a thriving entrepreneurial hub, attracting businesses with its dynamic ecosystem and strategic location. The city’s vibrant startup culture and supportive infrastructure make it an appealing destination for ventures of all sizes.

6. Atlanta’s Economic Momentum: Atlanta’s ascent in the business startup landscape underscores its economic momentum and favorable business conditions. The city’s strategic advantages and conducive policies provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish.

7. Fort Worth’s Business-Friendly Environment: Fort Worth emerges as a prime destination for startups, offering a business-friendly environment characterized by low corporate taxes. The city’s supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives facilitate the growth and success of new ventures.

8. Austin’s Innovation Hub: Austin cements its status as an innovation hub, attracting startups with its vibrant entrepreneurial community and progressive policies. The city’s robust infrastructure and access to capital foster a conducive environment for business growth and innovation.

9. Durham’s Emerging Entrepreneurship Scene: Durham’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene positions it as a promising destination for startups, fueled by its supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives. The city’s collaborative culture and access to resources contribute to the success of new ventures.

10. St. Petersburg’s Thriving Business Community: St. Petersburg rounds off the top 10 with its thriving business community and supportive ecosystem for startups. The city’s strategic advantages and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high inflation, these top Florida cities remain resilient and well-equipped to overcome obstacles, offering promising opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.


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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.


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