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Know when it’s time to retreat – and where! New Savills report highlights popularity of Caribbean island retreat market
April 17, 2014Article by Ray Withers
Caribbean retreats were highlighted as some of the world’s best investment opportunities this month, with the publication of the inaugural Savills Prime Residential Retreats spotlight report. The study marked 2013 as a turning point for investment in exclusive retreats, marking out ‘turnkey’ prime resort property in the Caribbean for particular attention.
Spicing up the market
With fewer than 2,000 beds in total, the ‘spice island’ of Grenada stands out as one of the Caribbean’s most exclusive and luxurious markets, attracting a select number of highly affluent visitors, rather than appealing to mass tourism.
The highly desirable Cinnamon Suites at Bacolet Bay typify the level of elegance that investors in the retreat island of Grenada are demanding. Popular with both UK and US buyers, they have seen a marked rise in investment during 2013, as investors look to snap them up prior to prices rising across the Caribbean over the coming years.
As the Savills report highlights,
“Buyer interest has now grown again, particularly in the most wellknown and prominent islands. …Reasons for buying in the Caribbean are becoming more diverse: tax, lifestyle, investment, family ties, even flexible working arrangements, are part of the real estate story.”
Conscious of the benefits that investors in the island’s real estate can bring, the Grenadian government has introduced a range of concessions and tax exemptions to make it easier for investors to become involved in the island’s property market. Those investing US$500,000 or more in real estate are even entitled to Grenadian citizenship, thanks to a law resurrected in September 2013.
As the Savills report observes, though, investment in the Caribbean is about more than purely financial benefit (though naturally that is an essential component). Lifestyle benefits are high up on investors’ priority list as Ray Withers, Chief Executive of leading property investment company Property Frontiers, observes,
“We’ve found that our clients who have invested in the Cinnamon Suites have been drawn to the lifestyle element of the opportunity almost as much as to the financial returns. With four weeks’ personal usage, one of which is in high season, their investment provides them not just with rental income (7.2% pa guaranteed for three years), but with the opportunity to spend time with friends or family members in the five star surroundings of one of the Caribbean’s most delightful destinations.”
With deposits from $77,500 and mortgage finance available, plus a guaranteed buy back option three years after completion, it’s clear to see why Caribbean retreats such as the Cinnamon Suites have topped Savills’ list of property markets to watch out for.