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Living The Caribbean Dream

March 24, 2009Article by Ray Withers

The Caribbean – everyone can imagine sitting on a sun-kissed, palm fringed beach sipping rum and lazily gazing out over the brilliant blue seas. For a lot of people, this daydream is not so far from reality, as property prices coupled with growing tourism and a low cost of living make property investment in the Caribbean an attractive prospect. For many, life gets even better with some of the tax advantages of retirement or moving to the Caribbean are taken in to account. Many of the larger islands nearer to the US are reaching the end of their investment potential after several years of building, but some untouched gems still remain…for now. A big boost in tourism has seen even the most far flung islands join the cruise ship routes and property speculators have moved in with the first phase of development. So, if you are looking for a Caribbean real estate bargain, where do you start?

The property market is fragmented – no one web site caters for property across all the islands, but there are several property consultant companies that have a good working knowledge of Caribbean investment.

One company, Property Frontiers can show prospective buyers three resort investments on different islands:

Silver Reef resort, St Kitts

This select development will offer just 62 villas and apartments set in lush tropical landscaped gardens with free form and lap pools. The resort will offer full rental pool administration for only a 15% cost with predicted net yields of 8-11%. With apartments available from £153,000 investors can purchase their property with just £46,000 cash plus legal costs.

Indigo Bay, Tobago

The 79 apartments at Indigo Bay are in such high demand that the developer has a letter of intent from a leading European travel company for the complex stating room rates of $150 per night. Virgin Holidays are also keen to get the contract. With this in mind the developers are happily offering investors a leaseback agreement of 10% net yields for 5 years. Plus, to ensure investors don’t miss out on the beauty of this island paradise this contract comes with 2 weeks personal use per year!

Using a 65% loan-to-value completion mortgage, investors can purchase an apartment with just £35k plus purchase costs, enabling a cash-flow positive investment with forecasted annualised return on investment of 55%.

Bacolet Bay, Grenada

A 5 star resort set in 41 acres of tropical gardens state-of-the-art facilities. Investment with a 70% loan-to-value mortgages offered enabling buy-in from £71,550 The resort has world-class spa, leisure and dining facilities and offers high net yields of between 11.3% and 14.3% Owners receive 4 weeks personal use per year

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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