Investors Taking a New Look at Bahamas Real Estate

Investors Taking a New Look at Bahamas Real Estate

Residential News » North America Residential News Edition | By Michael Gerrity | May 2, 2014 8:53 AM ET

According to Brookes & Company, the Bahamas' property market is making a comeback with investors.
Along with much of the world, the property market in the Caribbean has suffered since the global financial crash of 2007. According to the recently released Savills Prime Residential Retreats 2014 Report, property across the Caribbean lost around 30% of its value in the years following the economic downturn. In some areas, such as the Bahamas, real estate prices dropped by as much as 40% between 2007 and 2010.
Now, however, it seems the Caribbean is surging back to life.
As previously reported by World Property Channel, resort investments in leading locations - like the Baha Mar Resort, Atlantis Resort and Royal Ocean Club in the Bahamas - being flagged by Savills as some of the hottest property investments in the global marketplace. The two key words in the report were 'retreat' and 'resort,' with investment in exclusive holiday destinations on the rise.
As the report explains, "The recovery which started in cities in 2009 is now rolling out to the hinterlands and boltholes inhabited during weekends and vacations by equity rich homeowners."
The Caribbean sits firmly within this category, as Philip Button, Managing Director of property investment specialists Brookes & Co explains: "The Caribbean luxury property market - and in particular the Bahamian market - was undeniably affected by the economic downturn. However, now that prices have bottomed out, we are seeing a marked upsurge in interest, with clients taking advantage of being able to pick up five star properties at reduced prices, in anticipation of prices increasing once more in the months and years ahead.
"Investors are also looking for strong returns when it comes to the Bahamas, which is why the Royal Ocean Club on Grand Bahama has attracted such attention. With deposits as low as £29,790 and ocean front units from £99,300, plus non-status developer finance at 70% LTV, clients are keen to obtain a stake in the resort before prices across the Caribbean rise to their former levels once more."
According to the Caribbean Tourism Organization's Latest Statistics 2013 report, released in early 2014, the Bahamas attracted some 1,136,898 stop-over arrivals during 2013. The figure positions the Bahamas as the fifth most popular destination in the Caribbean for the year.
Many of those who visit the Bahamas fall instantly for the island chain's charms, from its crystal-clear waters full of darting, brightly colored fish, to rum cocktails sipped on powdery white sand beaches, to spicy and flavorful cuisine that makes the most of the islands' varied natural food sources. Investors are also charmed by the Bahamas' tax incentives, with many who purchase property there choosing to take advantage of the home owner's residence scheme and the lack of taxes on income, sales, estates, inheritance and real estate capital gains.
With so many attractions, it is unsurprising that the Bahamas is seen by those in the industry as one of the most exciting property investment markets available in 2014, with investors rushing to pick up bargain properties and be part of the islands' revival.

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