Barbados is Booming


Despite the turbulence over the 18 months, the property market in Barbados is going from strength to strength, as agents report record interest and transaction in property fuelled by the new working visa, a favourable exchange rate, new airlift and some major new leisure and tourism developments.

In July 2020, faced with seriously depleted tourism numbers because of Covid, Barbados introduced the Welcome Stamp Visa. This allows non-nationals to live on the island for a year while working remotely for their employers back home without being liable for Bajan income tax. The visa costs $2,000 (£1,470) per person or $3,000 for a family.

Chris Parra from One Caribbean Estates reports that they are finding a new wave of younger affluent buyers that are moving to Barbados and says “The Welcome Stamp has made Barbados a popular place for people to move to. The pandemic has motivated people in their 40s, which is 10–15 years younger than the pre-pandemic buyer. Figures from Barbados Tourism Marketing show that to date more than 5,000 people have applied for the Welcome Stamp, 71 per cent of them aged 45 or under.

“People’s attitudes have changed post Covid – they have stopped procrastinating and are now taking action to improve their lives and fulfil their dreams. People are realising that they can now work well remotely, and if they had a second home in Barbados, they could spend more time here working and holidaying. There is a big market of wealthy individuals that are still working, retired or semi-retired that want to escape the winters in the UK or US.”

Property agents report that they have seen some very large transactions on the beachfront ranging from $10m to U$40m. In addition, over 20 transactions have been completed on the Sandy Lane Estate in the last year and quarter with most villas being rebuilt or completely renovated.

Over the summer, the UK pound climbed as high as $1.411, fuelled by a weaker dollar, improved UK economic outlook and market relief that a Scottish independence referendum looks unlikely in the near term. In comparison, in May 2020 the exchange rate was $1.22. This meant UK buyers’ purchasing power had improved significantly and they could get more for their money, since the Caribbean currencies are pegged to the US dollar. The UK’s economic revival is meanwhile being tipped to step up a further gear now the economy is opening up once more.

For the first time ever, Barbados will be directly connected to Edinburgh, following the recent announcement that Virgin Atlantic will be launching a new service from December 2021. The new service will mark the first time that Scotland has had a flight route to the Caribbean.

In addition, M Jets recently launched a private jet lounge to help service Barbados’ growing high-net-worth residents and travellers.

Some of the most highly anticipated tourism projects of the last decade are expected to either begin or be completed during the next financial year including Marriott, Park Hyatt, Sam Lord’s Castle, and Apes Hill Golf Resort & Community, which is undergoing a £30 million renovation.

Set to become the most environmentally responsible golf community in the Caribbean and one of the most sought-after places to own a home on the island, Apes Hill will officially launch in November 2022 with beautiful 3–4-bedroom homes available for sale from US$1,675,000.

Sales Director at Apes Hill, Kim Goddard comments “Apes Hill is one of the largest tourism projects Barbados has seen in the last 20 years and it is creating a unique space to expand Barbados’ established tourism appeal internationally.  Providing a fresh take on a planned community in Barbados, Apes Hill has embraced the farm to table movement with 17 acres of pocket farming around the 18-hole championship golf course and 60 acres of livestock farming, building on the sustainability values of the community moving Barbados forward in the Green economy.”

Residents will have access to a stunning 18 Hole golf course with 10 wow-factor holes with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, a state-of-the-art Golf Performance and Teaching Centre, and the only farm to table offering in Barbados and recreational facilities including nature hiking trails, fishing, beach club, spa, outdoor calisthenic gym, fitness and paddle sports centre with the indoor gym overlooking a lap pool with swim up bar.

Kim Goddard reports that she has never seen this much excitement for Barbados since working in Barbados’ real estate market since 1999 and says, “The strong airlift, excellent support facilities such as great health care, shopping, restaurants, consistent year-round perfect weather and the warm and genuinely welcoming Barbadian people will always keep Barbados at the top for investment.”



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