Country houses for sale

Off the beaten Caribbean track

Turquoise waters, pure white sand and year round sunshine (give or take the odd tropical storm) it’s no surprise that places such as Mustique, Barbados and Bermuda consistently rank within the top 25 sun-belt destinations around the world. But if hotspots on the jet set radar often have head spinning prices property in Mustique easily costs more than EUR10,000 per square metre other Caribbean locations are far more pocket-friendly. Rustic Grenada is one such place. In 2004, the island was ravaged by Hurricane Ivan, but a vast regeneration programme, coupled with regular, direct air links with the UK, has seen it emerge as a strong property destination. ‘Grenada has an excellent international airport in regular use by many airlines and charter companies,’ says Jana Caniga of Le Phare Bleu Marina & Resort.

And, she adds, ‘it’s a very beautiful island’. If majestic landscape weren’t enough of a draw, Grenada also has a genuine Caribbean culture, mingling African and Indian influences with the colonial heritage of the spice trade. Hard-nosed property buyers come here because the island has plenty of picture-perfect homes with sea views at excellent prices. ‘As agents, we were looking for a Caribbean island that was perhaps a bit less established than Barbados, a place that offered competitive pricing and wasn’t overdeveloped and Grenada offers that,’ says Knight Frank’s Grenada specialist Julian Cunningham. ‘On other Caribbean islands, it’s difficult to find property on the coast with sea views and easy access to a beach. In Grenada, it’s possible, and at quite an interesting

price.’ Properties are about a third cheaper than in neighbouring Barbados. ‘Villa residences with beautiful sea views in Peter de Savary’ Mount Cinnamon developments cost $650,000 $685,000,’ says Mr Cunningham.

‘For similar property in Barbados, you’d be looking at about $900,000.’ New houses must also be fully hurricane proof, lest another Ivan strikes in the next 50 years. That said, Grenada lies south of the main hurricane paths and it’s one of the few islands where you can get insurance for a boat in the hurricane season, according to Mr Cunningham. ‘This has lead to a huge demand for marina berths.’ British buyers looking at Grenada have another inducement these days the weak dollar, which makes Caribbean properties significantly more affordable.

‘With the US market being down, the Caribbean is seen as the perfect vehicle for dollars. It’s a very safe place, with very even demand and supply and an established resale market,’ says Mr Cunningham. ‘Capital growth isn’t great, but Grenada, which is a slightly less developed market, has more opportunities for that we’ve seen increases of up to 10% 15% between phase one and phase two of the development we’re marketing there.’