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Property sales and transactions in Barbados picking up as buyers seek out discounts

The potential to negotiate a discount and also the fact that sellers are being more realistic about asking prices could see the island’s real estate market blossom this year after the global downturn, according to Cluttons Barbados.

Expectations of rental and capital growth are higher than they have been for some time as the island is proving to have a stable economy. Favourable currency rates, location and the quality of properties for sale are also driving demand, the agents have found.

The worldwide economic downturn has created opportunities in the Barbados property market as some vendors and developers are forced to reduce prices to increase enquiries and reduce transaction times.

‘This phenomenon is extremely rare in Barbados and Cluttons does not expect this situation to last for too much longer,’ said Kieran Kelly.

Barbados is also popular with celebrities. Singer Cliff Richard owns a house there, director Michael Winner is a frequent visitor, footballer Wayne Rooney has been there on holiday and Prince Harry is due there soon for a charity polo tournament.

Kelly reports that the first six months of 2009 were fairly quiet except for buyers with US$4 million or more to spend.

‘However, Barbados has an extremely strong property market and the level of offers and sales increased after July 2009,’ he explained.

‘The economic downturn created a buyers market and it took a little while for owners and developers to accept it, with an initial stalemate between the buyers and vendors expectations.

We are now seeing more flexibility in vendor’s willingness to negotiate and as a result, more sales, most due to price reductions,’ said Kelly.

He believes that there are very clear signs that the Barbados property market is extremely resilient and very capable of bouncing back quickly.

Kelly feels sales within the next six months will increase considerably as buyers can achieve a discount on the purchase price and then look forward to capital appreciation as the market strengthens further.
‘Barbados is an extremely strong brand and clients want a safer market that can offer good potential on the upturn.

If anything, this financial crisis has placed Barbados in a better position as competing and alternative destinations have faltered quite dramatically,’ Kelly added.

It is widely believed that property in Barbados is owned by only the rich and famous but Kelly says this is a myth.

Although there are many wealthy owners, over the years the market has spread and diversified with prices ranging from US$145,000 to US$40 million for the seriously rich.

The west coast has some of the highest property prices in the world but now the south coast is seeing expansion, development and growth due to its fantastic beaches, amenities and lower prices, he added.
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