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Good place to buy property


Tony Best

Good place  to buy property

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Barbados may be experiencing its worst economic crisis in decades, but the Caribbean island remains among the 20 best places in the world to invest in high-end real estate these days.
As the Freundel Stuart Administration grapples with the effects of an economy in deep recession by laying off more than 3 000 public workers, and as private firms let go scores of employees as a cost cutting measure, luxury properties on the real estate market may be doing much better than the economy itself.
Indeed, buoyant may be the best way to describe the market. That may explain why the London Telegraph newspaper, one of Britain’s great publications, has placed Barbados among the Top 10 spots in the world where investors can live as expatriate “millionaires”.
But then to buy any of the properties you would have to be a multimillionaire or have just won the lottery in Europe or North America.
In its latest global real estate rankings, the Telegraph put Barbados in the 16th spot among the 20 leading countries, cities, towns or tourism destinations where investors with big bucks can find choice properties at good prices that would bring them healthy returns.
Interestingly, Grenada was in the sixth position with Spain heading that list.
The paper’s brief description of Barbados was decidedly upbeat: “As if the prospects of owning property in the jewel of the Caribbean were not enough, the Barbados government is dangling new carrots in front of high-net-worth individuals,” was the way the Telegraph put it the other day.
“It has already introduced new Special Entry Permit laws and is considering offering economic citizenship to overseas buyers. Not surprisingly, the top end of the property market is buoyant with Chestertons reporting a 70 per cent increase in sales during 2013. This year should bring continued strong performance, driven by supply and the natural charms of the island.”
The paper and its real estate editors and specialists were quick to explain that the worldwide property market hadn’t done well in recent years but Barbados and some of its Caribbean neighbours offered value for money.
“The past few years have been sobering for global property,” stated the Telegraph. “Falling house prices have torpedoed buy-to-let markets” but there are places where investors were still being tempted “by the dream of buying a property in the sun, spending their holidays there” while converting it into a hard-cash proposition, which by the way has its “own risks”.
Incentives
Spain was a market where property values had nosedived in recent times. Hence the incentives it was offering to encourage people to invest their money in the European Union member-state. But Barbados wasn’t alone in the Caribbean in offering value for money. Grenada was one such country.
“Grenada only accounts for a small slice of the Caribbean market, but Roy Withers of Property Frontiers reckon now is a good time to buy on the Spice Island,” the paper noted.
“The government (in St George’s) is about to introduce a citizenship by investment scheme, which should attract a new wave of wealthy buyers, he says. Property prices soared in St Kitts-Nevis, another little-known Caribbean bolt-hole, when a similar scheme was launched.”
While a four-bedroom villa at the Royal Westmoreland resort in Barbados is on the market for) £1.6 million (BDS$5.1 million), a two-bedroom villa in Grenada overlooking Grand Anse beach can be bought for £395 000 (BDS$1.3 million). However, properties in Barbados and Grenada were on the market for a drop in the proverbial bucket when compared with a six-room villa at St Jean Cap Ferrat on the French Riviera with an asking price of £13.3 million (BDS$42.4 million).
Mauritius, Italy, Austria, France, Poland, Dubai, Portugal, United States, Brazil and Switzerland were on that list as well. Many of those countries were also singled out for being the best places to buy homes if an investor wanted to be an “expat millionaire”.
Barbados found itself on that listing as well. Porters Great House in St James which is up for sale with a $32 million price tag was a good place to consider. If you have the money to buy a vacation home then the Great House may be appealing.
“Barbados is sixth on the list with the average second home costing $46 million,” according to the Telegraph.
Porters Great House is set on a 23-acre estate with an “impressive driveway” that winds through what the paper called a “mahogany forest.” It has six bedrooms and “beautiful grounds”.
Barbados is in impressive company, if you will, that ranges from Colorado, Monaco and the French Alps to the Maldives and the Seychelles, to mention a few. Just ahead of Barbados was a three-bedroom penthouse “boasting the fabulous views of the beaches”.
The typical property in Monaco costs almost $50 million. Clearly, investors would have to be multimillionaires to acquire and maintain these properties or had recently struck it rich by winning the lottery in Europe or North America.

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