Barbados property is a winning investment formula
Property prices in Barbados are appreciating at between 15 – 20% per year at the middle of the market and often even higher at the luxury end.
Such price increases have been driven by a strong economy, well established tourism industry, direct flights, climate and the strength of the pound against the dollar which, even after recent falls, remains historically high. This has all led to a winning formula for British buyers.
In the recorded history of property on the island, property values have never declined. Unlike larger countries where property values have come under pressure from issues such as the sub prime mortgage problem in America, Barbados property values have continued to show significant strength.
It is widely believed that property in Barbados is owned by the rich and famous. Although this is still the case, over the years the market has spread and diversified with prices ranging from US$400,000 to US$40,000,000.
The west coast has some of the highest property prices in the world and now the south coast is seeing extreme growth due to fantastic beaches, amenities and lower prices.
Tim Morgan, managing director of Cluttons Barbados said: "Barbados is truly a beachfront island paradise with some of the most beautiful properties in the world. The market is currently strong, expanding and very exciting."
The "Platinum" or West Coast
The west coast of Barbados begins on the outskirts of Bridgetown (Capital of Barbados) in the south and extends northward to Harrisons in the parish of St. Lucy at the northern tip of the island.
With the Four Seasons luxury residences and hotel under construction at Pile Bay, close to Batt's Rock on the southern end of the west coast and the Portico condominiums very close by at Prospect St. James, this has shifted the critical mass of luxury property from the centrally located Holetown area where the Sandy Lane and Royal Westmoreland properties are located. There are a number of other west coast luxury beachfront developments on this stretch of coast with prices ranging from US$1m – US$10m.
Royal Westmoreland and Sandy Lane are currently the premier residential golf resorts on the west coast, with two more major golf developments currently underway at Apes Hill and Banyan Tree. Barbados is very quickly becoming a major golf destination within the Caribbean and world. The Apes Hill development is located in an extremely beautiful part of the island that overlooks the west coast and in some parts, the east coast as well. One can purchase a one third acre plot of land for approximately US$500,000 and then have a villa designed and built for you. Banyan Tree has plans to build a five star resort that will encompass approximately 180 luxury villas starting at US$3m each. Royal Westmoreland is an extremely well established prestigious golf resort with a host of wealthy and famous owners. The prices at Royal Westmoreland start at around US$520,000.
Heading northward along the west coast, there are numerous townhouse and condominium developments in the Mullins, St. Peter area, most of which are not directly on the beach but within easy walking distance to the beach starting around US$750,000.
Port St. Charles is a luxury residential marina development located just north of the historical Speightstown. One could purchase a resale villa directly on the beach for US$4m, however one bedroom apartments do start from around US$1m. The Barbados government has just announced a joint venture project with the Rosewood Hotel Group of the USA to build a five star hotel and villas project at the now defunct naval base at Harrisons Point at the northern end of the west coast. Looking further in the developer's field, Cluttons has a 240 acre parcel of ocean front land that forms a part of the Harrison's plantation for sale at US$50m
There are a number of new projects breaking ground on the Platinum west coast including Beachlands, a luxury US$200m development being planned by The Lewis Trust, who are also the owners of the River Island retail chain. In addition, it has been reported that Bruce Ritchie and Nick Leslau have teamed up and purchased a beachfront site to build a multi million dollar high end luxury residential development.
The market is currently strong and exciting on the prestigious west coast of Barbados.
The South Coast
The south coast begins at Carlisle Bay in Bridgetown and heads in an easterly direction towards East point on the Atlantic east coast.
The south coast has seen tremendous growth within the last five years. There are a number of new developments under construction and the prices are lower than on the west coast, which suit the middle market and investment purchaser very well.
Higher end developments include The Palm Beach Condominiums which are spacious and offer very good value with quality finishes. These units are 2,200 square feet and larger and start at US$950,000. The Sapphire Beach Condominiums and White Sands Villas are two very good examples of new developments in the heart of the south coast. They both have direct beach access and start at US$700,000 for a one bedroom unit.
Prices on the south coast range from US$350,000 – US$2,000,000.
With real estate values declining in some of the world's more established and developed economies, many investors are seeking countries where property values are still climbing. Barbados offers very good property investment possibilities as the island is stable and growing and the south coast is still very much affordable, especially whilst the Pound is historically strong.
The East Coast
The east coast is on the stunning Atlantic side of Barbados and there are clear indications that will soon be starting to see plans for hotels and property developments on this side of the island. Watch this space.
The rental market for villas and condominiums is expanding and generating a good rate of return for homeowners. A conservative net return of 8 – 15% is achievable through a good marketing strategy and solid property management programme. Full service luxury villas can be rented that include chefs, housekeepers, butlers and even a water sports boat drivers if required. Most rental customers become repeat clients so the market is renewing and growing, which is positive. Flights to Barbados are cheaper than people think ranging from US$600 which is another fundamental reason why tourism across Barbados is growing.
Barbados continues to diversify with world class restaurants and a host of activities including sailing, golf, sports fishing, tennis, polo and surfing and visitor numbers continue to grow steadily. Everyone loves the island for its friendly people, laid back lifestyle and warm, Caribbean flavour. There are even home comforts in Barbados with supermarkets stocking Waitrose and Marks and Spencer products. In fact Barbados is known as "Little England" as there are quite a few similarities and an obvious English influence.