Barbados a hit with rich and famous
Barbados may have been unable recently to attract foreign investors for its US$250 million bond offering, but the country is certainly high on the list of billionaires looking for comfort, luxury and tranquility.
According to the British real estate firm, Savills, Barbados is on the list of the world’s six most exclusive resorts, where prices for upscale properties are on the rise.
The wealthy men and women interested in acquiring real estate in Barbados are coming mainly from Canada, the United States and Britain and if the Savills report reflects the true state of the Barbados real market, the typical five bedroom property can fetch as much as CAN $23 million. That’s more than BDS$44 million.
And the billionaire wouldn’t be lonely.
He or she can find company in Canadian billionaire, Eugene Melnyk, who owns the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League, a pharmaceutical company in Ontario, a stable of racehorses with Bajan names and a large property in St Philip. Melnyk is one of Canadians wealthiest 100 people.
Next on the list of five-bedroom houses in the Caribbean, France, the United States, Switzerland and Canada are:
Cote d’Azur in France, where a five-bedroom property of interest to Americans, Canadians, Europeans, Middle Easterners and Russians can be bought for the equivalent of more than BDS$55 million.
St Bart’s in the French West Indies: Russians and Americans shell out US$14 million or BDS$28 million The Russian oligarch Roman Abromovich and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen may live around the corner.
Palm Beach in Florida: US$8 million (BDS$16 million). Americans, Canadians and Russians are the major buyers.
Verbier in Switzerland, a typical five-bedroom can be bought for US$9.4 million less than half what the Barbados property commands. Billionaires from Britain, Northern Europe and Asia find them attractive.
Whistler’s property value of US$2. 8 million is pocket change for the billionaires from Europe and North America, including Frank Giustra and British high tech billionaire John Caudwell now call home away from home.
Canadians and Americans are buying in North America and the Caribbean; Middle Eastern money is going to the Mediterranean. And the Russians? Well, they buy everywhere, stated Savills.
Barbados’ decision to withdraw its bond offering from financial markets because of lukewarm investor interest hurt the country because, explained Standard & Poor’s, it contributed to the Wall Street firm’s downgrading of the island’s once stellar credit rating to BB-minus, two notches below where it stood earlier this year.