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Live The Caribbean Dream For Less Than Ever Before

October 22, 2009Article by Ray Withers

The credit crunch has had a strange and wonderful effect on Caribbean property markets; it has made them affordable.

According to an article in the Telegraph October 24th demand for Caribbean property has been increasing since the spring, because a number of factors have converged to make Caribbean property more affordable than at any time in the last decade.

Briefly the factors were:

* Caribbean property prices have fallen between 15 and 20% since the peak in 2007.
* Developers are removing non-essential luxuries like moorings and spas to make properties even more affordable.
* And Caribbean property is priced in US Dollars for the most part, giving British buyers a further advantage in that the Pound is currently worth about 30c more than it was at the start of the year.

The rising demand is evident in the fact that you can read such a positive article in the Telegraph. For the last year or so, when there has been very little appetite for overseas property from the British public, there has been very little coverage in the UK press. Now that the appetite is returning we can see positive press coverage of overseas property markets increasing also.

The UK economy is still officially in recession, after the Office of National Statistics revealed a 0.4% contraction in GDP for the 3rd quarter. This does not alter the fact that the UK economy is in recovery following several months of rising consumer confidence, and that converting into growth in retail sales in August and September. Both months saw retail sales value up over 1% and volume up over 2% on the same month last year.

It is no coincidence that this is also when the first reports of increased activity in overseas property markets also began to emerge. It seems that retail purchase spending only increases when confidence in the economy is sufficiently high to look at buying property overseas.

However, the fact that UK interest rates are at an all time low is undoubtedly also a factor in the current increase in demand for overseas property, says Ray Withers, director of global property investment consultancy Property Frontiers, he said:

“Throughout the downturn lifestyle buyers have kept markets like the Caribbean afloat, and one would expect the increasing demand now to be coming from increasing lifestyle purchases. That is partly true, but the majority of those buying property in the Caribbean at the moment are doing so partly for lifestyle reasons and partly as an investment to rent out. The common sentiment is, if it is not going to earn me any interest I might as well treat myself to something that my family and I can enjoy, while I also enjoy higher returns.”

Author

Ray Withers

Ray has over 17 years’ experience in the international property market and bought his own first international property investment back in 2002. Aside from running Property Frontiers, Ray has been involved in residential, hotel, student and commercial property investment and development in both the UK and overseas and co-wrote "Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide". As Founder and Trustee of the Frontiers Foundation, Ray is directly involved with many of its projects to ensure they have a direct and tangible impact in individual communities across the globe. He is passionate about property, travelling, scouting out new opportunities and finding time to spend with his young family.
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