Island Life In Barbados


A slice of island life in Barbados is proving irresistible for many visitors. The extensive array of tourist attractions, multi-generational appeal, high quality accommodation, dining experiences and sports and leisure facilities within a safe environment make this a highly desirable home from home.

Barbados featured in Condé Nast Traveller’s top 20 world’s best islands in September 2015 for its unique mix of the familiar with the exotic. It is regularly voted best Caribbean island for sport – offering polo, tennis, scuba-diving, horse-racing and paragliding to name a few – and has seven golf courses, two more than in 2009. Barbados is also a gateway to the Caribbean’s wider offering of 121 golf courses.


Barbados boasts 70 miles of stunning beaches. The clear, calm swimming conditions off the west coast have always attracted visitors and aspiring homeowners to the island – including resorts such as St Peter’s Bay and Port Ferdinand.

The west coast, home to some of the island’s most elegant hotels and restaurants, is Barbados’s prime residential property market, generating an average price premium of 60% over the south coast.

Property market conditions have seen a dramatic rise in buying activity in 2014 and 2015, alleviating the supply imbalance and stabilising price movement. In 2014, west coast beachfront condominium prices were some 24% below their peak 2010 values, but the gap is rapidly narrowing. With buyers more cautious following the global recession, demand has focused on prime properties offering extensive lifestyle amenities and services, as these underpin real estate values and appeal to prospective rental guests.

On-site leisure and fitness facilities, swimming pools, marinas, bars, shops and management services for convenient lock-up-and-leave homes at St Peter’s Bay and Port Ferdinand, are features which not only differentiate these homes from the rest, but also tangibly add value. Here, running costs are also much more competitive than other high-end lifestyle communities in Barbados, which can be some 1.6 to 2.2 times more expensive on an annual US$ price per square foot basis.


The global appeal of properties in Barbados contributes to market stability. Buyers come primarily from the UK and other Anglophone countries, Canada and the US, but also from other European countries, including Russia. With the new supply pipeline focused on non-prime coastal locations, opportunities to buy luxury, beachfront condominiums such as those at St Peter’s Bay and Port Ferdinand are becoming increasingly exclusive. These factors have contributed to the strong investment rationale here, meaning that approximately a third of buyers have been investors so far. The market is dominated by buyers who plan to live in their new island homes and benefit from the excellent rental market opportunities.

Although hotel operators in the Caribbean believe that growth is returning to the region, few have the resources to finance new investment. KPMG’s 2014 Caribbean hotel benchmarking survey found that twice as many respondents found it difficult to raise funding compared to those who found it easy. For tourists who are looking for new experiences from their stay in Barbados, or families seeking the flexibility of a larger living space, the property rental business is now thriving – great news for homeowners wanting to let.


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