In these uneasy times of flat or falling house values, it makes cheery reading discovering how property prices are appreciating between 15-20% a year in the middle market – and often even higher at the luxury end – in Barbados.
Driven by a strong economy, well-established tourism, direct flights, a fine climate and the strength of the pound against the dollar, prices still remain historically high, which could be good news for British buyers.
According to the study by Cluttons, beliefs that property on the Caribbean island is only for the rich and famous, the market has spread and diversified over the years offering homes ranging from $400,000 (£226,422) to $40 million (£22.642 million).
The west coast has witnessed some of the highest growth and now the south coast, with its alluring beaches, amenities and lower prices, is experiencing a surge.
‘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,’ says Tim Morgan, managing director of Cluttons Barbados (00 1 246 432 4663 www.cluttonsbarbados.com).
The ‘platinum’ or west coast is most popular with the British, with the famed Royal Westmoreland and Sandy Lane premier residential golf resorts. A detached Royal Westmoreland air-conditioned three-bed villa with views of the Caribbean and access to the golf, tennis, gym, spa and private beach on the 500-acre estate is currently for sale through Cluttons for £600,000.
Two more major developments are underway at Apes Hill and Banyan Tree, with prices starting at £283,488 at Apes Hill and 180 luxury villas from £1.7 million at Banyan Tree.
On the east coast, there are plans for hotels and development, with a rentals market for villas and condominiums offering a net return of 8-15%.
The south coast has seen tremendous growth over the last five years, suggests Mr Morgan, with higher end schemes such as the Palm Beach Condominiums offering good value from £538,493 for a 2,200-square foot home.
The Sapphire Beach Condominiums and White Sands Villas are two more examples of new developments in the heart of the south coast. Both have direct beach access and prices start at £396,784 for a one-bedroom home.