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Property prices in the most sought after locations in Barbados could rise in 2012

The new Barbados Residential Insight report assesses the market's performance over the past year and looks at who's buying where and which properties are in greatest demand.

‘Last year saw prices fall by between 5% and 10% on the island with the average price for a prime property now around $900 per square feet,’ said Christian de Meillac, head of Knight Frank's Caribbean desk.

He said that this downward trend in prices can largely be attributed to those vendors who, keen to sell, were more realistic ahead of the traditional selling season.

As a result he is upbeat about market prospects in 2012.‘Momentum in the market is improving as buyers are reacting to price corrections and supply remains limited. If we add to this the scale of wealth generation globally, the island's tax friendly regime for High Net Worth Individuals and the quality of the homes on offer, I believe prices will stabilise and possibly start to rise again in the most desirable locations,’ he explained.

He pointed out that Barbados stands out from other Caribbean islands due to its established resorts, pristine beaches, relaxed lifestyle and its easy access, boasting over 20 international flights a day two of which are from the UK.
‘Most prime property in Barbados is purchased by UK, Canadian, US, Irish and French nationals. Most are looking for a long term lifestyle investment which they aim to use as a second home. Others choose to make Barbados their primary residence due to its benign tax environment,’ he added.

When it comes to the properties in greatest demand he said that most buyers are seeking a turnkey home on the island. Few want to undertake renovations, buy off plan or take on a self build. Frontline beach or golf properties are particular favourites.