Barbados real estate market back on track after global downturn, report reveals
The real estate market in Barbados is back on track with last year seeing surge in activity as the global economic downturn has placed the location in a better competitive position, according to a new report.
Although property prices have reduced by up to 15% since the middle of 2008 many buyers are attracted by the strength of the Barbados property market in the face of alternative destinations that have faltered quite dramatically, says the report from property consultants Cluttons.
In 2010 Cluttons Barbados has had a successful year with an increase of approximately 70% in sales completed versus 2009. As Barbados enters its winter peak buying months, it is obvious that buyers are now returning to the Barbados property market, the report suggests. Villas, hotels and flights are booked up and it is even becoming harder to secure a table at the top restaurants, which is a glimmer of pre–recession times.
‘We do expect an increase in property values during the next 12 months, however this still remains an extremely good time for purchasers to negotiate. Home buyers are attracted by the potential to negotiate a discounted price with high expectations of rental and capital growth. This is based on the stability of the economy, currency exchange rates, location and the quality of properties that Barbados has to offer,’ said Kieran Kelly of Cluttons Barbados.
‘During an economic downturn or market swing, it is always the exclusive locations that win through first. For buyers and for good reason, there is a certain comfort level attached to securing a good deal or discount on a property in prime locations such as Central London or Barbados! Those buying now will do well, as Barbados has an exciting future ahead,’ he added.
During 2010, Cluttons saw an increase in sales between US$300,000 and US$600,000. The over US$600,000 and under US$2 million market is showing positive signs of coming back, with a number of recent offers and sales.
Also with the re-start of the Four Seasons project and a more positive outlook on the future, Cluttons has seen a surge in the US$5 million to US$15 million budget range. A number of multi million dollar sales have been completed on the west coast and within luxury estates such as Royal Westmoreland and Sandy Lane.
‘Barbados is a great place to own a holiday home or investment property because the people are lovely, the economy is stable, there is a host of top end restaurants and beach bars, the pure white sandy beaches are heaven and, the clear blue waters of the Caribbean Sea provide many with the opportunity to truly relax and escape the world’s woes,’ explained Kelly.
‘With property prices starting from US$198,000 up to US$40,000,000 Barbados has homeowners from all walks of life, including an extremely long list of well known celebrities and captains of industry,’ he added.
Along the Platinum or West Coast that begins on the outskirts of Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, in the south and extends northward to Harrisons in the parish of St Lucy at the northern tip of the island, the market is currently strong and exciting, according to the report.
The south coast, from Carlisle Bay in Bridgetown towards East point on the Atlantic east 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 buyer, it adds.
The east coast on the Atlantic side of Barbados the rental market for villas and condominiums is expanding and generating a good rate of return for homeowners. Holiday renters have a vast choice such as villas on the beach, golf course, polo estate, tennis estate or with expansive private gardens. A conservative net return of 8 to 12% is achievable through a good marketing strategy and solid property management programme, the report also reveals. ‘The Barbados property market has survived these tougher times and is moving in a very positive direction, it concludes.