A sacred conversion – Bellis Homes brings Grade II listed convent school house back to life

A sacred conversion – Bellis Homes brings Grade II listed convent school house back to life

United Kingdom ,

A recent survey undertaken by RICS and YouGov identified that 9 out of 10 British people think that historic buildings are a symbol of national heritage, with 89% believing it is of a high importance to protect them.

Mill Hill in Barnet, North London is home to several historic buildings worthy of protection. One of London’s hidden gems, oozing with historic flavor, the village-cum-suburb of Mill Hill is ideally situated between Finchley and Edgware and is said to be the London district most influenced by the Christian faith.

This Christian influence can be clearly seen in the historic Rosary Manor Estate in the heart of Mill Hill village.

An altered house of late 17th-century origin, Rosary Manor was purchased by The Sisters of Charity St Vincent in 1887 and expanded it into a convent. The neighbouring St Vincent’s Roman Catholic School opened in 1896 and was run until 2007.

Now, the abandoned schoolhouse and West Lodge (a detached property left in a dilapidated state) is set to be brought back into use by luxury housebuilder Bellis Homes through the development of 11 high quality apartments and a detached house for completion in 2018.

As well as being a Grade II Listed building, the Rosary Manor Estate is ideally located within the Green Belt, the North Barnet Area of Special Character and Mill Hill Conservation Area.

It is understood that Charles II often visited the estate in the 16th century to shoot on the grounds and on Milespit-Hill, there is the non-denominational Mill Hill cemetery which was formerly known as the ‘Paddington District Cemetery’ where the iconic 1960’s pop singer Billy Fury is buried!

“We are seeing more and more clients interested in converted historical properties and the stunning architectural qualities they carry. They want all the charm and character of an older property yet all the convenience and amenities of a new build home. Rosary Manor offers the best of both worlds and with such stunning views out across green fields to London and rich history, we know this conversion will be in high demand.”

Henry Fordham, Director, Bellis Homes

The 11 apartments range between 1 and 3 bedrooms and between 1,800 sqft and 4,000sqft. Bellis Homes has submitted a further application to provide roof terraces on several of the units which will offer spectacular views across the Mill Hill countryside towards the City of London.

In addition to this, Rosary Manor residents will also be able to enjoy large communal grounds, architectural detail, high ceilings and allocated parking spaces. Mill Hill East underground station is close by served by the Northern Line and Mill Hill Broadway station also easily accessible making the location perfect for those who want the balance city and countryside living.

Apartments at Rosary Manor are available from £1.1 million – £4 million, for more information, contact Bellis Homes on 01279 424 733 or visit www.bellishomes.co.uk.

Make a splash this summer in the Venice of the North with the brand new Royal Canal Works

Make a splash this summer in the Venice of the North with the brand new Royal Canal Works

United Kingdom ,
  • Manchester house prices predicted to grow 28.2% by 2021 (Hometrack)
  • Around 4,000 jobs set to be created in the Manchester region over the next 5 years (Savills)
  • Up to 25% boost in house prices from the restoration of canals (Canal & River Trust)
  • Waterside living in Manchester from just £105,000 (Surrenden Invest)

Growing faster than any other city in the UK, it is predicted that house prices in Manchester will grow by an impressive 28.2% by 2021 according to Hometrack.

In addition to residential property growth, Manchester is expected to see faster office-based growth employment than Greater London and all key UK regional cities over the next five years reports Savills.

Increasing demands from a range of sectors such as media and technology are estimated to create around 4,000 jobs in the Manchester region over the next 10 years, with demand for housing also rising in line with this progression.

With one of the highest population densities outside the capital, living space within Manchester is at a premium forcing housebuilders to seek alternative areas of the city within which to build new homes.

Known as the “Venice of the North” due to its miles of canals (including the 36-mile long, 19th century Manchester Ship Canal which at the time was the largest river navigation canal in the world), Manchester holds a long and affectionate history with its waterways and now views them as pivotal to the making of the city once again.

Millions have been spent on clearing and restoring Manchester’s waterways, enabling formerly derelict canal side land to be put back into use thus creating communities with space, leisure activities and high living standards.

Indeed, a report by Dr Nicholas Falk for URBED found that the urban waterfront is a vital part of national heritage and the Canal and River Trust suggest that property values can be boosted by as much as 25% from the restoration of canals.

“Waterfront living provides welcome breathing space for people living in overcrowded communities. Living on a canal has and always will hold great appeal; the calming nature of being close to the water combined with the leisure activities available makes homes such as those at Royal Canal Works a true urban oasis.”

Jonathan Stephens, Managing Director, Surrenden Invest

Royal Canal Works, available through leading investment agency Surrenden Invest, is a brand-new canal side development adjacent to the tranquil suburb of Choltorn – one of the most sought after areas to live in southern Manchester.

A stunning contemporary collection of 43 beautifully appointed one and two bedroom apartments with private terraces and waterfront views, Royal Canal Works offers architecturally landscaped gardens and a courtyard along with secure parking and CCTV.

Being just 15 minutes from the city centre, Royal Canal Works boasts city standard living but all of the perks of life in the suburbs. The apartments are expected to be highly prized by families and young professionals who have been priced out of the city centre but are not prepared to compromise their standard of accommodation.

Apartments are available from just £105,000 with an attractive 6% NET yield. For more information, visit www.surrendeninvest.com or contact Surrenden Invest on 0203 3726 499.

Property buyers increasingly drawn to Liverpool’s magnetic North

Property buyers increasingly drawn to Liverpool’s magnetic North

United Kingdom ,
  • Liverpool named top place to invest in the UK with up to 8% NET yields (Private Finance)
  • Liverpool offers low average rents and house prices (Private Finance)
  • Eldon Grove, offering 7% NET yield for 2 years, attracting investors to north Liverpool (Aspen Woolf)

More and more property investors have been steering towards the north for great investment opportunities.

Latest research by mortgage brokers Private Finance has revealed Liverpool to be the next hotspot for property buyers, naming it the best place in the UK to invest.

The study also found that Liverpool can offer net yields of up to 8% once mortgage costs are taken into account. Not only does the Northern Powerhouse city benefit from such attractive returns but it also boasts low average house prices (£122,283) and strong rents (£1,021 pcm).

Indeed, Liverpool is proving to be a promising market in all aspects with the recently appointed Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, calling for the government to prioritise rail investment in the north by committing to building the HS3 rail link, also known as Northern Powerhouse Rail.

Other recent investment in Liverpool’s connectivity is already yielding positive results as the city’s extremely popular cruise terminal broke records on its 10-year anniversary this month contributing £1.5 boost to Liverpool’s tourism economy.

Further reports also stand testament to Liverpool’s magnetic appeal with the city experiencing a boom in the buy-to-let market as demand for quality rental accommodation continues to vastly outweigh supply.

The Mistoria Group revealed a surge of tenant demand at 19% year on year with an average of 6.6 tenants chasing every shared room of a new rental property in the city. A trend also being seen by leading buy-to-let investment agency, Aspen Woolf.

“We are seeing no end of interest in the Liverpool investment market with over 70% of all enquires are for the city. Whilst the city centre remains popular, we are seeing more and more investors being drawn to the northern areas such as Vauxhall where prices are lower yet demand and rental returns remain high. Our Eldon Grove project in the heart of Vauxhall is just that and with a 2-year guarantee of 7% NET rental income, it really is a market-leading investment opportunity”

Oliver Ramsden, Founder & Director, Aspen Woolf


Eldon Grove provided some of the best pre-war social housing built by Liverpool city council, setting a new standard for the whole country which it was officially opened by the Countess of Derby in 1912. The layout, with its central square, well-maintained garden and bandstand, along with the chocolate-box look, helped create a vibrant community, lifting up some of Liverpool’s poorest residents.

Falling into disrepair, Eldon Grove is now being brought back to life 100 years later. Incorporating three original Grade II-listed blocks alongside three newly built blocks of stylish and contemporary apartments, New Eldon Grove has been carefully designed to preserve the heritage of the site while serving the needs of a new generation. Comprised of 45 apartments including 1,2 and 3 bedroom units, New Eldon Grove is set within peaceful surroundings of inner city Vauxhall (where once the late Cilla Black called home) yet on the edge of the vibrant Liverpool city centre.

Apartments situated in the original blocks have been re-imagined for 21st century living, with fully modernised fitted kitchens and bathrooms, while benefiting from the character of the Tudor buildings, with mullioned bay windows and their own front doors leading from the external walkways.

New Eldon Grove residents will also benefit from a community garden and shared landscaping, as well as parking, bicycle storage and secured entrance hallways. From just £94,950, with ready to rent furniture packs available, New Eldon Grove provides investors with an assured 2-year NET rental of 7%.

For more information, visit http://www.aspenwoolf.co.uk/ or contact Aspen Woolf on +44 203 176 0060.

Aqua Platinum reports boom in home spa market

Aqua Platinum reports boom in home spa market

United Kingdom
  • Global wellness industry now worth $3.7 trillion per year (Global Wellness Institute)
  • Elite athletes like Andy Murray spreading knowledge of how to achieve wellness
  • Bio-saunas, Russian banyas & aquarium walls hottest at home spa trends for 2017

The Global Wellness Institute reports that the global wellness industry is a $3.7 trillion market and high end swimming pool design and build company Aqua Platinum has revealed that consumers are taking an ever more educated approach to their wellness.

“The wellness and vitality industry has boomed in recent years and as the range of products and experiences on offer has expanded, so too has consumers’ curiosity. As we become more appreciative of the value of wellness to our daily lives, consumers are educating themselves on how best they can take advantage of both ancient traditions and modern technology.”

Aqua Platinum spokesperson

The sauna is a prime example. The centuries-old Finnish concept, present in almost every Finnish home, has long been a favourite of spa-goers in the UK.

Now, increasing numbers of UK homeowners are opting for one as part of a personal suite of spa facilities, along with a plunge pool (maintained at 5-10°C) that they can jump into immediately afterwards, for maximum benefit.

This combining of treatments in order to use them most effectively is catching on. Heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill, tennis player Andy Murray and runners Paula Radcliffe and Mo Farah are among several elite athletes who have spoken out about the benefits of ice-cold water on muscles and blood flow.

Consumers are also becoming interested in different sauna styles. While the hot, dry, atmosphere of the Finnish sauna has long been popular, cooler, wetter bio-saunas are now very on trend, along with the Russian banya (a high humidity room that is similar in many ways to a bio-sauna).

“It’s not just about having an indoor pool any more. Those who are committed to their health and wellbeing are opting for saunas, steam rooms, Jacuzzis, plunge pools, experience showers and spa pools with volcano jets and sprays for back, neck and shoulder massage. It’s about blending scientific advances in fields like sports exercise with ancient relaxation wisdom to create the ultimate bespoke vitality experience in your own home.”

Aqua Platinum spokesperson

The mixture of traditions and environments allows for some exciting design elements. Saunas remain simple in their presentation, with wood and natural stone constituting their main elements. Soft lighting is concealed beneath benches and backrests, while fibre optics can provide a delightful twinkly effect in the ceiling.

One more modern design feature that is becoming increasingly popular in home spas as well as many hotel spas is an aquarium wall. According to Allan N. Schwartz, PhD, “fish tanks are a wonderful way to further reduce anxiety and stress” when combined with other stress-busting activities. Aquarium walls are the ideal example of blending ancient relaxation knowledge such as this with modern design techniques.

As the high-end home spa market expands, so too do the range of facilities and treatments that are on offer. It was once enough to have an indoor pool. That’s now only the beginning.

For more information, call 0203 362 0442 or visit www.aquaplatinumprojects.co.uk.

Brazilian economy set for US$3 billion boost as World Cup countdown begins

Brazilian economy set for US$3 billion boost as World Cup countdown begins


With only 15 days until the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off, it’s all eyes on the largest country in Latin America, Brazil.

According to the Brazilian government some 3.7 million World Cup visitors are expected, generating an impressive US$3 billion boost for the economy. Raising its estimate of the number of overseas ticket holders attending the World Cup by 66% to 500,000, the impact of foreign tourists, who are forecast to spend the most, will be felt in particular.

Taking into consideration the average spending of tourists at last year’s FIFA Confederations Cup, Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism estimates that direct World Cup tourists will attend an average of four games, spending almost US$2,500 each, not including airfares.

Andrew Thompson, Group Sales Manager of leading Brazilian property developer Ritz Property, who himself is attending a number of World Cup games, comments;

“With the slight slowdown in the Brazilian economy seen in recent months, the US$3 billion forecasted income generated by the World Cup will be most welcome. Direct spending of some US$1.83 billion by visitors is expected with another US$1.19 billion set to be spent on other events and festivities linked to the FIFA World Cup.

“The revenue won’t all be from foreign visitors though, domestic spending, especially from the ever-growing Brazilian middle class is forecast to be significant. You only have to look at the consumer market where sales of TVs on Walmart’s Brazilian site have surged by 35% since the Brazilian soccer team was announced earlier this month!”

The positive effects of travel and tourism on the Brazilian economy in 2014 are also echoed by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). In the WTTC’s Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2014 – Brazil report, the total contribution of Travel & Tourism to Brazil was BRL443.7 billion, some 9.2% of GDP in 2013. This is forecast to rise by 5.2% in 2014 and by 4.1% per annum to BRL696.6 billion by 2024.

Indeed with reduction of unemployment one of President Dilma Rouseff’s priorities, the WTTC’s report prediction that the number of jobs directly supported by Travel & Tourism will rise by 2.8% in 2014 and a further 1.9% to 3,787,000 by 2024 is yet more welcome news.

So with the Brazilian economy set to score a billion dollar hat trick this year, isn’t it time that you considered investing in this thriving market? Offering double digit capital appreciation and generous rental income, investing in real estate in the booming North East of Brazil is a shrewd move.

One example of hot property for sale in the North east city of Natal is Ritz Property’s Costa Azul in the upmarket district of Petropólis. Here two and three bedroom luxury apartments offer breathtaking views towards the Potengi River, the Atlantic Ocean and the Fort of the Three Wise Men, and are fitted with contemporary décor and stylish appliances. A bar, pool, gymnasium and spa complete the luxurious experience and provide Costa Azul residents with a private retreat.

Prices start from R$411,488 / £111,000. To find out more, contact Ritz Property today on +44 207 183 7565 or visit www.ritzproperty.com

Andalucia attracts the most Spanish house hunters

Andalucia attracts the most Spanish house hunters

Andalucia attracts the most buyers of Spanish property, according to new research from TheMoveChannel.com. The portal´s infographic, which compares activity in the last 12 months with two years ago, reveals that Andalucia has overtaken Valencia as the number one place to buy property in Spain.
Andalucia accounted for one in three property enquiries in the 12 months between February 2013 and January 2014, an increase from the previous At a Glance infographic, which saw the region receive 30.84 per cent of enquiries between February 2011 and January 2012. Two years ago, the Community of Valencia dominated enquiries, with a 32.24 per cent share of activity. Now, the region accounts for one in four enquiries (25.41 per cent).
Murcia remains the third most popular area of Spain among house hunters, with its share of enquiries actually increasing over two years from 19.04 per cent to 20.28 per cent.
Together, the three regions show that the buyers still have a clear favourite corner of the country: even though they now prefer the south coast of Spain to the west, buyers are mostly interested in property in the Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca, Costa Calida and Costa de la Luz.
Buyers are also increasingly keen to seek sun and sand away from mainland Spain: the Canary Islands account for 9.48 per cent of enquiries, up from 7.35 per cent to years ago, making them the fourth most popular region of Spain. The Balearic Islands, on the other hand, have seen their share of enquiries fall from 5.13 per cent to 3.59 per cent.
Some things do not change: international buyers still prefer real estate closer to the coast, with even high profile inland areas such as Madrid accounting for just 0.26 per cent of enquiries. Nonetheless, buyer interest is spreading across Spain: apart from six regions, every area of Spain has seen enquiries increase since 2012.
The Valencian Community Valencia continued to dominate property searches, accounting for four of the 10 most looked-for locations, ahead of Andalucia´s three. While Denia and Xabia led the region´s popularity in 2012, though, now Valencia´s appeal is driven by Torrevieja and Benidorm. Torrevieja is the most sought-after city in Spain, attracting 3.15 per cent of searches, ahead of third place Benidorm (1.79 per cent) and seventh place Denia (1.46 per cent). Estepona was the second most sought-after location, while Marbella was the target of the fourth highest number of searches (2.26 per cent).
Catalonia, Castile and León and Murcia all made it into the top 10 searched-for locations, with El Raso enjoying the biggest rise in searches. The city accounted for no searches whatsoever two years ago, but now makes up 1.51 per cent of searches on TheMoveChannel.com, as buyers look all over the Costa Blanca for bargains.
The infographic also records search behaviour from property buyers on Google. Over the past two years, internet searches for “property in Spain” have multiplied by an average of eight times. Buyers now prefer to search for “property in Spain” rather than “Spanish property”, although the latter also saw the number of searches rise by an average of 50 per cent. “Houses for sale in Spain” remain the most searched-for type of property.
Editor Ivan Radford:
“What a difference two years makes. Our second in a series of “Two Years On” infographics shows that buyers of Spanish property remain committed to the Costas, but are starting to look further south. Interestingly, Andalucia, which received the highest number of enquiries, is also the area of Spain with the most property listings on TheMoveChannel.com. The average price of a two-bed apartment in Valencia is cheaper, at £104,240 compared to £278,111 in Andalucia, which suggests that quality is perhaps being prioritised over value, with Estepona and Marbella some of the most popular places to buy.
“With the majority of regions all enjoying rising numbers of enquiries and Google searches for ‘property in Spain’ soaring 800 per cent, TheMoveChannel.com´s infographic paints a brighter picture of a property market compared to two years ago, where low prices are attracting more buyers – and a hint of a widespread recovery may be beginning to appear.”
Click here to see the full infographic.
Notes to Editors
Founded in 1999, TheMoveChannel.com is the leading independent website for international property, with more than 800,000 listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners.
The website address ishttp://www.TheMoveChannel.com and the office address is 24 Jack’s Place, Corbet Place, Spitalfields, London, E1 6NN.
Contact Dan Johnson on 0207 952 7650 for further information.
Lettings agents charging £210m in tenant fees each year

Lettings agents charging £210m in tenant fees each year

United Kingdom

Following yesterday’s vote by MPs to reject a ban on letting agent fees to tenants and the government’s announcement regarding greater transparency of fees, research by the UK’s largest online letting agent sheds light on just how urgently the reform is needed, including how £210 million is charged by agents to tenants in fees each year.

Last month Upad asked 740 tenants who had recently moved about their experiences. They found that a third rated high street lettings agents as either ‘poor’ or ‘terrible’ and only a third rated their experience ‘good’.
On average, those tenants surveyed had been charged £210 in “admin” fees. With over 1 million tenancies created in the UK each year, tenants are being charged at least £210 million in “admin” fees. Many agents charge further renewal fees on the anniversary of the tenancy.

The research also revealed that half of all tenants were not made aware of the costs of letting before they viewed a property and that 70% had not met their landlord before moving in.

The importance of today’s announcements was further highlighted by the research’s additional findings, which revealed that 29% of tenants think getting rid of the administration, reservation and contract writing fees charged by agents is the No.1 element they would change about renting. A further 19% said the cost of renting was the most important issue. The third most important issue, highlighted by some 17% of respondents, was ‘poor agents’.

“Our research shows that the high fees charged by letting agents to tenants are seen by many of today’s ‘generation rent’ as unacceptable, particularly given the already high costs of paying rent and providing deposits upfront.” says James Davis, founder and CEO of.

The company, which lets over 1,000 properties a month and enables landlords to manage their properties directly, offers the services of a traditional high street lettings agent but at a fraction of the cost for both tenants and landlords.

Note: Amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill voted on yesterday in parliament and tabled by Labour follows last year’s OFT reports into the lettings industry which examined nearly 4,000 complaints by landlords and tenants about letting agents. Some 30% of these complaints were about fees and charges while 23% were complaints about poor service from agents.

OFT Report: http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/markets-work/lettings/oft1479.pdf

Notes to editors
Upad has taken the traditional high street lettings agent model and deconstructed it. Like the dating and travel categories before it, Upad empowers the customer with all the tools and support they need to self-manage their properties. Upad.co.uk offers immediate cost savings over using a traditional agent and offers landlords the largest online property distribution platform, ensuring extensive exposure for their properties – thereby maximising tenant leads. Tenants find a great choice of properties from professional landlords, and are treated openly and fairly throughout.

In September 2013, Upad reached its 6,000th transacted landlord and continues to grow exponentially every quarter as it drives true change in the lettings market.

Positive Portugal: Buyer confidence up as new property show announced

Positive Portugal: Buyer confidence up as new property show announced

United Kingdom

The newly released RICS/Ci Portuguese Housing Market Survey has recorded a positive rise in buyer confidence in the Portuguese housing market, as well as property sales in the country, showing that Brits are again looking to European shores when buying property overseas.

  • Growing interest in Portuguese property from prospective buyers; rise in number of properties sold (RICS/Ci Portuguese Housing Market Survey)
  • The Overseas Property Show Friday 16th to Monday 19th May 2014 at National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham
  • Tony and Belle Birkbeck, from Epsom, Surrey, recognise benefits of visiting show and bought in Portugal

The Survey, which covers estate agents and developers who operate in the Portuguese residential sales market, highlighted a growing interest from buyers in property for sale in the country, with increasing numbers of new buyer enquiries. Not only this, but the survey also revealed that there had been a moderate rise in the numbers of properties sold in the country as well as steady activity in the lettings market.   Having been party to the downturn in the global housing market, these are all positive signs that the industry is again on the up, reflected also in the announcement of a new property show in the UK, focussing on the options available to buy in key overseas markets including Portugal.

The Overseas Property Show, taking place from 16th – 19th May at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham will give people the chance to find out about the types of properties being offered on foreign shores and will see a host of overseas property experts on hand to answer any questions about purchasing property overseas.   The show will provide important assistance on every aspect associated with buying outside of the UK, from currency to mortgages to legal requirements, providing advice for those considering purchasing as an investment option, holiday home or even for relocation reasons.

Chris White, Director of The Overseas Property Show, explains,   “The fact that prices remain affordable in many overseas markets, yet with increasing buyer confidence, means that now is a fantastic time to look at buying that dream home abroad. We hope that through The Overseas Property Show, those considering making such a purchase, for whatever reason – be it personal or financial – will feel empowered through the knowledge that they gain after talking to our experts. Our aim is to make the process easy and stress-free, and the Property Show educational and fun!”

Covering the popular markets of Portugal, Spain, Italy and Florida in the US, The Overseas Property Show will also offer visitors the chance to learn about the types of apartments and villas available in the locations covered and the property bargains on offer, starting at as little as €79,000.

Tony and Belle Birkbeck, from Epsom in Surrey, know only too well the benefits of visiting a property show, having purchased their perfect overseas home after visiting an exhibition in London last year. The couple bought a holiday home in Portugal after holidaying there for many years and deciding they wanted their own bolt-hole in the sun to escape to for rest and relaxation.   Tony explains how a visit to a property show helped them to make their dream a reality,

“I wasn’t really thinking about buying a holiday home but watching ‘A Place in the Sun’ with my wife got the cogs turning. Out of the blue I got an email regarding a property show in London and as I happened to be in London when the show was on we set off to see what is was all about.

“We ended up buying through Ideal Homes International who were incredibly helpful. From meeting the staff from at the show who started our journey of finding the perfect property, the whole of the team has shown a professional and accommodating manner throughout. We are over the moon with our new home!”

Ideal Homes International will be one of the companies represented at The Overseas Property Show and tickets for the event are free. Open into the evening, from 10.30am until 7.00pm (6.00pm on the Monday), there is plenty of opportunity to visit the show, which is being held in the Museum’s ‘Bracebridge Suite’.

To reserve free tickets for The Overseas Property Show, call 0800 133 7644 or email info@theoverseaspropertyshow.com or for more information, visit www.theoverseaspropertyshow.com 

Relax to the max in Latin America with wellness tourism on the rise

Relax to the max in Latin America with wellness tourism on the rise


Latin America is set to steam ahead in the coming years with its share of the ‘wellness’ tourism industry, according to new figures released by the Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC), part of the Global Wellness Institute (GWI).

  • Latin American wellness tourism to grow by 13.4% annually (Global Wellness Tourism Congress)
  • Region’s market share predicted to reach $42billion
  • Baymen Resort and Spa in Belize is a luxury hotel focussed on relaxation and rejuvenation 

The figures, from the ‘Global Wellness Tourism Economy Report’ which monitors the growth of this increasing sector, reveal that Latin America (a region that covers Mexico/the Caribbean and Central and South America) is on the up, with a notable 13.4% annual growth predicted until 2017. These figures put Latin America behind only the Middle East in terms of wellness tourism growth, outperforming the long-established regions of the US and Germany, on track to record just 5% annual growth, as well as the predicted global average of 9.9%.


Wellness tourism is described as ‘all travel associated with enhancing one´s personal well-being’ and can encompass aspects such as spas, retreats, fitness facilities, yoga and beauty. It is a large part of the travel industry, currently taking up one in every seven tourist dollars, and sure to be a sector to watch for continued future growth as people work longer hours and focus their free time increasingly on relaxation and rejuvenation.


Taking Latin America’s market share to a predicted $42billion, one resort that is certain to enhance this figure is The Baymen Resort and Spa in the Cayo region of Belize. This luxurious rainforest resort has ‘wellness’ at its heart and features a sumptuous spa with infinity pool and hot tub, fed by stunning natural Maya spring pools and waterfall.


The Baymen’s eco-credentials are also central to its feeling of wellbeing, with the majority of the lodge sitting amongst the rainforest canopy, and an infinity pool that appears to float like a tablet of water suspended in mid-air, allowing guests to feel as though they are truly part of nature, making it easy to unwind.


Wolf Worster, MD of Wolf Wörster Associates, Inc, the global property consultancy specialising in the sale and rental of ultra-luxury villas in some of the world’s most sought-after locations, who are marketing The Baymen, explains,


“With the everyday stresses of modern life getting increasingly intense, it is no surprise that wellness tourism is on the up and with a great deal to offer the discerning traveller searching for true relaxation, it is easy to see why Latin America’s slice of this market is growing too. Belize is one location that is rich in ‘wellness’ attributes – a warm and sunny climate, a wealth of natural features, amazing wildlife – and it is these factors combined with the development’s focus on luxurious relaxation and revitalisation that make The Baymen the perfect wellness retreat.”


With a choice of deluxe suites or two-bed suites available, each individual residence encompasses the notion of old world colonial charm, with four-poster beds, the highest quality finishes, stunning bathrooms with indoor and outdoor shower areas, and a large outside deck, all utilising natural materials of the highest specification.


Investing in a property at The Baymen provides above-average potential to benefit from the growing wellness tourism market, but also the opportunity to use the hotel, or Belize Ocean Club (one of the other properties in the Wolf Wörster Associates, Inc collection) for 30 days personal use annually.


To find out more about The Baymen Lodge and Spa, visit www.thebaymen.com or contact Wolf Wörster Associates, Inc on free-phone 0808 169 6526 or  info@thebaymen.com


To discover Belize Ocean Club, which is part of the 30 days personal use, visit www.belizeoceanclub.com

The Future’s Bright for Brazil’s City of the Sun

The Future’s Bright for Brazil’s City of the Sun


Basking in more than 3,000 hours of sunshine each year, it is easy to see how Rio Grande do Norte’s capital city, Natal, has rightfully earned the title of ‘City of the Sun’. This city in North East Brazil has a tropical climate with year-round temperatures sitting comfortably between 22°C and 31°C. However Natal also boasts a wealth of attractions that make the city one of the Brazil’s top tourist destinations and on top of South America’s ‘must visit’ list.

  • Wealth of attractions make Natal increasingly popular tourist destination
  • Rental prospects high in city with FIFA World Cup 2014 on the horizon
  • Opening of new international airport on 22nd May set to boost investment appeal 

Whilst being well known for its small town-feel, the city’s expansive 1,172 hectare Dunas State Ecological Park is Brazil’s second largest urban park and provides ample opportunities for tours of the natural vegetation and wildlife, as well as for jogging and exercise. Natal also holds a Guinness World Record for the world’s biggest cashew tree, with a circumference of 500 metres and covering an area of 7,300 – 8,400 square metres!


Often also referred to as ‘City of the Dunes’, Natal’s famous natural landmarks also extend to its white sanded beaches, with the most popular being Ponta Negra (or ‘black tip’) where tourists and locals alike enjoy Caipirinhas on the beach while they gaze on the traditional jangadas, local fishing boats that brighten up the horizon with their brilliantly coloured sails.


It is these dunes that have lent their name to the recently developed Estadio das Dunas that will host 42,000 people as part of the much-anticipated 2014 FIFA World Cup this summer. With the second match of the tournament kicking off on 13th June at the brand new Natal stadium, a global audience will be watching Natal with more interest and anticipation than ever before.


Andrew Thompson, Group Sales Director of leading Brazilian property developer, Ritz Property, explains,


“With the Brazilian Tourism Ministry forecasting that the 2014 FIFA World Cup will bring over 62 billion Reais to the country’s economy, and four major games scheduled to be played in Natal itself, the City is firmly set to take its slice of this prosperous pie, making now the ideal time to invest in property.


“Natal offers the chance to purchase land as well as bricks and mortar at a more affordable rate than São Paulo or the ever popular Rio de Janiero, yet with huge potential gains in terms of growth and rental prospects.It is also set to open its new  Greater Natal International Airport on May 22nd which will take the old airport capacity of 2.6million passengers a year to 6.2million passengers a year – an excellent indicator that the City is on the up and ready for business, always encouraging for property prospects.”


Ritz Property is quietly building a substantial and diverse portfolio and a good example of an excellent investment option in Natal is Costa Azul in the exclusive neighbourhood of Petrópolis. This new, bold and exclusive three tower design has 168 two and three bedroom luxury apartments, and offers breathtaking views towards the Potengi River, the Atlantic Ocean and the Fort of the Three Wise Men. All apartments are equipped with modern appliances, stylish contemporary decor, high speed internet and satellite smart TVs, whilst daily laundry and cleaning services ensure an effortless living experience. A bar, pool, gymnasium and spa complete the luxurious experience and provide Costa Azul residents with a private retreat for work, pleasure or play.


Prices from R$411,488 / £110,000. To find out more, please contact Ritz Property today on +44 207 183 7565 or visit www.ritzproperty.com