Barbados is Back!

Mango Walk Barbados Pan (Custom)Last year, Cluttons said that the buzz was returning to Barbados and that property sales and rental activity was picking up. This year they can confirm that Barbados is clearly back on track.

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. 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.

Although property prices have reduced by up to 15% since mid 2008, Barbados has proven its strength. Over the last few years, Barbados was competing with long haul destinations such as Dubai and it is clear that Barbados is a prime location on the world map as many buyers are attracted by the strength of the Barbados property market. If anything, the worldwide financial crisis has placed Barbados in a better position as competing and alternative destinations have faltered quite dramatically.

Kieran Kelly of Cluttons Barbados said: “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.”

He continued: “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.”

During 2010, Cluttons saw an increase in sales between US$300,000 – 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.

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 – 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.

Kieran Kelly continued: “Barbados is a great place to own a holiday home or investment property; 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. 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.”

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.

Cluttons Barbados has recently launched “Mullins Walk” across from the famous Mullins Beach on the Platinum West Coast in St. James. There will be 18 three bedroom apartments starting from US$420,000.

Last March, Cluttons launched Weston, St. James with 45 one to four bedroom apartments from US$150,000 – US$475,000. All apartments have now been sold, which proves that the British still love Barbados.

The Ixora, a sister development to Weston, has been launched recently, and consists of 10 one bedroom apartments from US$198,000 and one apartment with two bedrooms at US$346,000. The Ixora is ideally located next to the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre in St. James, only moments from the West Coast beaches and finest restaurants.

There are a number of west coast luxury beachfront developments and luxury homes such as Four Seasons, Beachview, Portico, Coral Cove, The Sands, Sandy Cove, Schooner Bay, and Waterside, to name a few, on this stretch of coast with prices ranging from US$600,000 – US$40m. .

Royal Westmoreland, Sandy Lane and Apes Hill are currently the premier residential golf resorts on the west coast. 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. 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. In Sandy Lane, known as the most exclusive area in Barbados, you can purchase homes from approximately US$2.5million and upwards.

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 with prices starting around US$350,000.

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$4million and a one bedroom apartment starts from around US$1million.
A real boost to the market is that a year on it has now been confirmed that the finance is in place to complete the Four Seasons project, being 35 luxury beachfront villas and a 110 room hotel. In 2009 the Four Seasons project stalled as financing dried up and sales of its private villas slowed, after initially attracting a cast of celebrity buyers.

Beachlands, located on the west coast has broken ground and is a luxury US$300 million development by The Lewis Trust, which is also the owner of the River Island retail chain. Prices range from US$2 million to US$10 million.

Bruce Ritchie and Nick Leslau have teamed up and purchased a beachfront site to build multi million dollar ultra luxury homes. The project details have not yet been released to the market; however Cluttons is confident that Mr Ritchie and Mr Leslau will deliver something extra special.

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 sq ft and larger and start at US$900,000. 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 home.

Prices on the south coast range from US$250,000 – US$2million.

Investors are seeking out countries where property values are safer and set to increase. Barbados offers very good property investment possibilities as the island is stable and growing and the south coast remains affordable.

The East Coast

The east coast is on the stunning Atlantic side of Barbados and there are clear indications that hotels and property developments are planned for this side of the island.

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 – 12% is achievable through a good marketing strategy and solid property management programme. Full service luxury villas can be rented including chefs, housekeepers, butlers, and even a water sports boat driver if required. Most rental customers become repeat clients so the market is renewing and growing, which is positive.

Barbados continues to become more diversified with world class restaurants and a host of activities including sailing, golf, cricket, rugby, sports fishing, tennis and polo and visitor numbers continue to grow steadily. The island is loved 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 a number of similarities and an obvious English influence.

The Barbados property market has survived these tougher times and is moving in a very positive direction.

Cluttons Barbados
00 1 246 432 4663

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