21 Aug 2014
Barbados draws in overseas clients to purchase property like no other island. Investors from the UK, US, Canada and mainland Europe flock to buy their second or third home on the island, due in no small part to its progressive infrastructure, stable economy, and unbeatable weather. This is why Barbados has a thriving real estate market and one of the most established networks of realtors in the world.
Initially, the real estate industry in Barbados started with only a handful of estate agents, but began to flourish when a few wealthy Englishmen built magnificent homes on the beach on the west coast of the island in the early 1960s. They then went on to develop the renowned Sandy Lane Hotel and the Sandy Lane Estate and golf course, with house lots interspersed around the fairways. “Many wealthy Brits and Americans bought these lots in Sandy Lane and built luxury second or third homes thus the Platinum Coast was born. Sandy Lane Estate quickly became the address to own in Barbados and has remained so until today.
Investors from the UK, US, Canada and mainland Europe flock to buy their second or third home on
“Essentially, this was the pivotal step that launched tourism as a prime income for Barbados,” explains Suzanne Davis, Managing Director of Realtors Real Estate Limited in Barbados.
The Platinum Coast has continued to attract wealthy buyers both for beach front and inland luxury properties. The island now boasts two marinas with luxury condominiums, together with a wide variety of property types across the island.
Primarily, because of the demand for the west coast, there has been a huge upswing of real estate firms in Barbados over recent years, as well as a very diverse property market islandwide. The local real estate association known as the Barbados Estate Agents and Valuers Association (BEAVA), protects the integrity of the real estate industry in Barbados and presently, most realtors on the island are members. This has helped maintain Barbados’ image as a good place for realty investment despite the crisis.
“Barbados has always attracted overseas buyers because of its very stable government and economy, and this is not likely to change,” explains Davis, who is also the President of BEAVA. “Because of the global financial crisis, the last couple of years have been slower than usual. However, there is still an interest from the ultra-wealthy for luxury properties, with several €14m to €37m beachfront properties changing hands over the last year. Many of the overseas owners rent their properties on a holiday basis and these are managed and let by experienced real estate agents who have been in the business for many years.”
To this end, some buyers use their Barbados property as holiday homes for themselves, but also choose to rent them out while they are not in residence. As this is an island-wide trend, agencies such as Realtors Luxury Villa Rentals, handle this aspect of business year round, taking on the day to day running of such homes.
“The properties represented are diverse in character and located across the island. We appreciate the unique challenges that may arise when purchasing property here, especially for our overseas clients, and so we do our best to assist however we can. Our sales agents are intimately involved throughout the entire sales transaction and provide buyers with all the support that will facilitate the purchase of their properties quickly, efficiently and at the agreed upon price,” says Davis.
In this respect, local firms have continued to evolve and establish strong reputations for serving overseas clients. It is these vital services, such as dealing with legal issues, year-round handling of houses and services from representative offices overseas, which have made Barbados an ideal location to welcome new residents to the island.