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RETIRING-TO-THE-CARIBBEAN

Turks & Caicos Climbing The Second-Home Charts

16.05.24

The Caribbean residential real estate sector is riding high in 2024, with a healthy return to market for second-home seekers and those looking to hybrid relocate, confirms Abode2.

The islands see more than 300 days of sunshine each year; pristine beaches and warm water, coupled with the quiet of island life, have led many high-net-worth investors to buy property on the islands to live, use as a holiday home and rent out to HNW holidaymakers from across the globe.

The Caribbean hospitality financing survey 2023 found that 56% of non-banks (80% banks) believe the current real estate boom will last for the next 12 -18 months and another 44% of non-banks (20% banks) think it will last considerably longer. Liquidity remains high for many institutions, and they are turning to real estate as the best place to invest that cash.

One island chain in particular drawing more than its fair share of attention is Turks and Caicos. These islands have seen sales increase to more than 400 overseas transactions last year, accounting for more than $335m in sales volume, according to the Realtor Network. Demand for Turks and Caicos real estate remained higher than pre-pandemic levels, with a 71% increase in first-through-third quarter 2023 sales.

While the buyer pool is global - over 60% of overseas real estate owners are from North America. Comments relocation consultant Jeremy Askew: "I've seen these islands rapidly transform from being a relatively unknown destination to a world-renowned luxury tourism hotspot, marked by a fast-growing luxury real estate market – and the pace isn’t set to slow soon."

As is to be expected - the infrastructure hasn’t necessarily kept up with how rapidly the islands have developed, although infrastructure development has now become a top priority. A new international terminal at the Providenciales International Airport is also expected to relieve some of the high wait times visitors may encounter and causeways between islands are being contemplated to make moving around the islands easier.

As to the top investment locations - Long Bay is a front runner, where homes sell from $7m to $25m for frontline beach.
North Caicos, meanwhile, which is less developed, has properties selling for upwards of $500,000, with turn-key condominiums proving especially popular. New properties are being developed and sales of existing inventory remain strong. The pre-construction market is now picking up.

Adds Askew: “Condominium sales continue to perform with a sales volume increase of 42.54%, buoyed by purchases at Palms, Grace Bay Club and Ritz Carlton to name but a few. Average condo prices exceed $1.5m - 50% higher than the national average."

Turks and Caicos is the second most tourism-dependent economy in the world, but the real estate sector offers a strong prospect for economic development.

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