The recent strong performance of the pound against the dollar means savvy British buyers can take advantage of significant savings on properties in the Caribbean. Having peaked at 1.65 in December 2013, and now sitting at 1.64, the strengthening UK economy means the exchange rate is at its highest level for almost two and a half years.
However, financial experts predict this period will even itself out by the end of 2014, meaning buyers need to strike now to take advantage of the financial gains. Jane Foley, a senior currency strategist at Rabobank International in London explains: “The pound will be able to hold its own against the dollar over the next couple of months but by the end of the year the dollar will have fought back.”
Buyers purchasing a US $1M property today can make savings in excess of $37,000 (£23,000) compared with January 2013, while a US $2M property will exchange for £1.21M today – saving over $75,000 (£46,000) compared to this time last year.
Lifestyle resorts such as Royal Westmoreland overlooking the west coast of Barbados continue to prove popular due to the extensive estate facilities and security. Kim Goddard, Director of Sales at Royal Westmoreland agrees it is a prime time for UK buyers to purchase, explaining: “Not only is the exchange rate favourable for UK buyers but distressed inventory has been absorbed by the market and prices have stabilised; historically this has meant that the market will begin to rise.”
Long established as the premium second home destination in the Caribbean, Barbados’ recent changes to residency rules have created further positive conditions, especially for high net worth buyers.
Kieran Kelly of Chesterton Barbados explains: “The changes in residency laws have helped to boost the market, encouraging high net worth individuals to buy and invest in Barbados. The new Special Entry Permit laws allow them an unlimited stay without the need to extend through the Immigration Department.”
A very positive trend
These favourable market conditions have been attracting purchasers keen to secure investment properties, as Cassie Preece of Sotheby’s International Realty notes: “The new residency rules are attracting a stronger UK market looking to make Barbados a second home. The exchange rate at 1.6 or more combined with the positivity in the UK market means we are seeing a very positive trend this winter season.”
Currently available at $895,000 is Apartment 121, a 3-bedroom property which features a large balcony with sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea. A furniture package is available on application.
Ideal as lock-up-and-leave properties, the apartments’ panoramic views of the coast also make them an ideal investment option. Designed in colonial architectural style with open plan living spaces, the properties are intended for easy, comfortable living. Finishes are of the highest standard with natural stone floors, coral rendering and pickled pine ceilings. All apartments include a private four seat golf buggie for transport around the resort.
This seven bedroom home, including a detached cottage, within the Royal Westmoreland Estate is situated on a spacious 61,637 sq.ft plot dotted with mature mango trees.
The large patio on the southwest side of the living room faces an infinity pool, with the Caribbean Sea beyond completing the scenic vista. A powder room and media room are also accessed from the living room together with an elegant outdoor dining room with seating for 12 guests.
The second floor leads to a master bedroom with a wide private balcony providing spectacular views, a spacious walk-in closet and double master bathroom. The floor also has a study, two guest suites with en suite bathrooms and a shared ocean view balcony.
The detached two-bedroom cottage with bathroom offers guests or staff a private dwelling and opens directly onto the pool deck. A two-car garage completes the amenities.
The extensive resort facilities include a 7,045 yard, par 72 championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., a stunning clubhouse, gym complex, flood lit tennis garden courts, luxurious spa and an elegant private beach club.
For more information visit www.royalwestmoreland.com