As we publish this 10th edition we cannot ignore that it falls at a time in the 50th year of independence of our small island state. As a nation we have all been struggling to focus on what we can be proud of when there is so much that is not meeting the high standards that we set for ourselves 50 years ago. From a real estate perspective I choose to focus on the words and meaning in the the chorus of our national anthem:
Thursday December 15 was a night to remember for the Terra Caribbean team: the venue, the newly finished and amazingly stunning Apes Hill Club House; the occasion, a cocktail reception officially launching our new Terra Caribbean website.
This Independence, create your own milestone by owning a piece of the rock! Join us at The Grove Open Day this Saturday November 19th from 9am-2pm to reserve your very own land lot with an extra special financing offer from Scotia Bank!
Barbados is a special place for surf, and we have seen an increase in surf tourism and the demand for holiday rental properties that are close to surf breaks. Even the most recent WSL World Champion Jon Florence, and surfing legend Kelly Slater have visited and spoken highly of surfing in Barbados. So, there is no better month than Barbados’ independence month to embrace the Independence Pro.
The old Barbadian adage ‘owning a piece of the rock’ is as relevant today as it has ever been. Developments such as The Grove ensure that Barbadians have the chance to keep the tradition alive, while enjoying peace of mind knowing that they have secured a sound, lucrative investment.
Barbados’ economic stability, plus a growing and constant demand, makes land one of the most sound investments on the island. This is even more pertinent given the depressed present state of the industry, where land prices have declined over the past six years and the prospect for good appreciation is at last in sight. This has re-kindled buyers’ interest and has given trend followers good reason to anticipate significant land value appreciation in the coming four-to-six years. Such appreciation will likely outstrip interest on most other available investment options. But, before making the final decision on a land investment, it is crucial to have an overall appreciation of the market, and be acquainted with the benefits of investing in our ‘Rock’.
The allure of the beachfront holiday rentals is unmistakable, and its sustained - and growing - demand is widely credited for the success of Airbnb as well as continued big business for Terra Group’s Blue Sky Luxury arm. Prospective owners looking to invest in a holiday rental in Barbados are faced with options ranging from inland hideaways to stately homes and bold, modern villas. In reality, the determining factor sometimes comes down to basic personal preference, but on an island nation like Barbados, the experience of seaside living is the proverbial jewel in the crown. To sway this argument in favour of a rental on the beach even more, here are three reasons to keep in mind when looking to invest in a holiday rental property.
Over the past five decades, Barbados has offered investors a climate of steady appreciation on property values thanks to a resilient economic standing. This steady appreciation, doubled with economic factors, saw land values in some areas of the island go from $0.12 per square foot to $100 per square foot in more recent times. For several investors, this value served as a direct reflection of physical and perceived value of their investment, and would be made official through a solid valuation provided by a qualified, trusted valuer.
Barbados’ most intricate sector is its tourism industry, and for property investors, this offers an attractive holiday rentals market. It encompasses several sub-sectors which feed what is considered the foremost driver of the island’s economy.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, businessman or woman, attorney, doctor, restaurateur, barber or retailer, at some point you will need commercial space. This space has to first suit your budget and it also has to be the ideal location for your clients. Typically, your choice of commercial space will fall under the general term of either A, B or C class rental space. A class - being the most prestigious premier office space with rents at the top end of the scale. Whilst, B & C spaces compete for a wide range of users with rents in the middle to lower end of the spectrum.
If you haven’t had the chance to dine at Primo, the new culinary hotspot on the South Coast of Barbados, it’s a must. Tucked away in a secluded beachfront location just as you enter the St-Lawrence Gap, this two-level restaurant not only serves up some sumptuous meals, but also delivers on those must-capture sunset views. But don’t just expect to snap beautiful pics over a delicious meal. Primo is the latest venture for the owners of Cin Cin located on the West Coast of Barbados, so here’s the best spoiler alert you’ll ever get: it’s a completely luxurious experience from start to finish.
You never get a second chance at a first impression. This saying is true whether we are meeting someone for the first time or when showing a property to a potential tenant. Whether the tenant walks away with a decision already made that ‘this home isn’t for me’ or ‘maybe I’ll shortlist this one’, is entirely based on the impact of the first viewing.
Corporate Rental experts Jeanie Mahon and Patrice Gill answer some vital questions for this key segment of the real estate market. Some of this information can be found in the Corporate Rentals E-book and right here on our blog.
The six-year period leading up to the peak of the market in 2006 is widely regarded as a period of unprecedented growth in the Barbados market. This boom period saw compound annual growth in some market segments of 12% and staggering prices being achieved for property in some areas of the West Coast. The reality is that this growth cycle paled in comparison with the island’s first property boom, which occurred much earlier in our history.
Why do we publish The Red Book? The truth is that we think it is a showcase for our culture. Specifically our culture of knowledge. All firms have a DNA and ours certainly is a strong mix of knowledge, innovation, integrity, excellence, caring and fun. Let’s not forget fun. We like our clients, we like what we do, and we have a great deal of fun doing it – sometimes too much!
"Market conditions are key in determining value. To a large extent, the value of the home is currently driven by what the average purchaser is willing to pay for a property, rather than what we would consider a ‘bricks and mortar’ or replacement cost value."
-Annalisa Sealy, Real Estate Agent
You are invited to an Open House at South View, this Saturday, February 7th from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. This is your opportunity to get a guided tour of the development, including the individual land lots available for sale and the modern, well-designed South View 222!
Sue Armfield - Real Estate Agent
"With the start of a fresh new year, it’s a good time to take a holistic look at the changing demands and trends in office leasing - in order to plan and to budget more effectively, to make adjustments where indicated and, to generate prosperity for landlords, developers, tenants and agents alike."
The reaction to a price quote for home insurance in Barbados is often disbelief: “But my home in (the United Kingdom, Canada etc.) is worth so much more and I am only paying a few hundred pounds/ dollars...for broader coverage!”
One of the significant costs for homeowners in Barbados is insurance against the risks of fire, weather, natural disasters etc.that comes at a higher rate than for the equivalent or better cover internationally.
It’s seven year itch time! Yes, this is the seventh edition of The Red Book. The challenge each year is to make it better, and by ‘better’ we mean more relevant to you the reader. This year we have added more statistics, more professional articles and we have even done some “ancient history” research with Hayden interviewing the two agents responsible for the sales at Sandy Lane Estate in the 1960s. I think you will find that article both informative and entertaining.
Heritage in its broadest sense refers both to the tangible objects produced by past generations that have survived the ravages of time as well as the physical world around us, the natural landscape with its geological and biological features. Heritage therefore is not fixed or fossilised but rather, an ongoing, dynamic tapestry.
The term “green” in recent times has taken on a whole new light when associated with any kind of physical land development. Today it is not only part of a colour palette being used, but a term that measures the level of sustainability of a project from its design through to its construction. It also takes into account the project’s operation and maintenance over its projected life cycle.
Relocating to a new country can be both exciting and challenging. There’s the initial thrill of exploring a new country but there’s also the anxiety of leaving friends and family for an unfamiliar location. Choosing the right home is a key decision for successfully transitioning from one country to another.
After nearly forty years in the insurance business, it is very difficult to avoid the topic. Invariably, the cocktail party discussion begins with....”Oh, so you’re that insurance guy (awkward silence).. well (heavy emphasis here), last year after ‘Tomas’.....” by now, others are listening, and the tales of woe begin to flow.
The International Business and Financial Services sector contributes nearly US $500 million (BDS $1 billion) to the Barbados economy. The greatest portion of this spend does not emanate from direct taxes paid to the Barbados Government but from indirect spending in the Barbados economy. Real estate in particular, with earnings of just over US $15 million (BDS $30 million) in 2010 is one of the primary beneficiaries of this sector.
Real estate in Barbados has taken many turns in the last eighty years. My personal experience in real estate tracks back to 1972 when I invested in my first project, a small shopping centre. Three friends and I purchased the land and constructed the building with borrowed money. The shopping centre was relatively successful but after a few years we were only covering interest costs so we sold it for the grand sum of BDS $350,000, with which we just about broke even. Recently a real estate agent offered me the same property for BDS $5 million not realising that I had previously owned it.
Our children want many things that we have to decline for any number of reasons; maybe they have too much already, or maybe what they want is not good for them. But sometimes, our children know best. And sometimes the simplicity of their requests should be considered.
I found that to be the case during a vacation in 2006. My family was in Barbados, and one of my children asked, “Dad, can we live here?”
Having decided to buy property, the question that is frequently posed by our Private Clients is how they should pay for it - should they finance or use cash?
In answering this question, I find myself torn between two mindsets. My family upbringing wants to blurt out that cash is king and that you should never borrow if you don’t need to, but the banker in me is almost legally bound to say “Why finance, of course. How much do you need?” Here’s why my banker alter-ego is actually right this time around.
Last year I opened the Pink Pages by speaking to uncertainty in the market. This year I thought I would provide you with “miscellaneous ramblings” of what we have seen in the market and what we are likely to see. While it is probably impossible to predict with complete certainty the direction of the market in every segment, I hope that from these perspectives you will have an indication of the direction that the market is likely to take. (Please do not skip to the conclusion as it may make no sense without following the progression in thought.)
Valley View is the island’s newest neighbourhood. Located in Vaucluse, St. Thomas, adjacent to the desirable Countryside neighbourhood, the development features 37 architecturally styled and designed homes set in a cool, convenient location with gorgeous country views. This development is one of the most compelling offers on the market today! Here’s why:
Globally the residential markets continue to underwhelm with only a handful of markets demonstrating year on year price growth. A recent Business Week article appropriately characterised the sector as ‘limping into 2012.’ The Irish and Spanish markets continue to lead the underperforming category, while conversely the Canadian and French markets have experienced up to 5% inflation-adjusted YOY price growth. In addition to the obvious fundamentals, this growth is underpinned largely by a tighter supply and a considerably more sensible approach to underwriting residential mortgages.
This morning several Barbadian real estate agents had the opportunity to view the island's latest property released to the market ... Valley View. A new 37-home community in Vaucluse, St. Thomas, priced from BBD $722,000 (including house and land), this new development demonstrates one of the most compelling options for middle-income homes in Barbados.
The 36th annual Holetown Festival kicks off this weekend in celebration of 80 English Settlers that landed in 1627, sometime between February 17th and 20th. Each year the island marks this occasion with a week of festivities.
Back then accomodations would have been non-existant, but now as we all know, the areas surrounding Holetown boast some of the finest homes and communities in Barbados. Real estate on the West Coast of the island ranges from the modest Sunset Crest bungalow to the lavish Sandy Lane estate villas, with commercial buildings and beachfront apartments all available in the mix.
Check out the week's activities, and a short video on some Barbados property picks we think you might like.
Whether it’s your first real estate purchase or you are looking for a sound investment, for just under US $400,000 you can have your ideal Caribbean home. From beautiful finishes to excellent locations, our Barbados real estate suggestions are fresh and exciting
It’s the best value for property on Barbados’ South Coast. With prime land lots averaging 8,500 sq. ft. in size and starting at US$ 99,000, South View is five-star value!
Returns are certainly satisfying at Sapphire Beach!
Featuring modern, competitively priced, beachfront units, this condominium complex is a great investment opportunity.
Certainty is what we want; uncertainty is sometimes what we get. Making real estate decisions in times of uncertainty requires good research, experience and courage. We have seen courage paying off in the past six months; and we have seen weakness punished. My father told me that the best time to buy something was when you did not need to buy, but the vendor needed to sell. The reverse is also true.
On Tuesday August 16th, The Minister of Finance, The Honourable Mr. Christopher Sinckler presented to the House of Assembly, the Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals for the year 2011. Relevant to the real estate industry, there was a proposal to modify the land tax value bands, which at first glance would mean lower taxes.
LEX Caribbean explains the laws and procedures of buying and selling Barbados property in their article taken from The Red Book 2011, written by Vidisha Hathiramani and Alana Goodman-Smith. We trust you will find this informative and please let us know if there are any other questions or comments you might have on the subject.
When buying or selling real estate in Barbados, purchasers and vendors alike often wonder what goes on behind the scenes, in terms of the process involved. Sometimes this question is posed in relation to the length of time it may take ...
The Gardens townhouses at South View in Kent are well under way. Construction of the first ten units is moving ahead on schedule and the building team at Creative Designs Barbados Limited are up to roof level on most of the units.
Take a look at some of the progress photos here, and give us a call to arrange a site visit (246) 421-HOME (4663)
Being the start of our hurricane season we thought we would share one of the informative insurance articles from The Red Book 2011, written by Richard Ince of CGM Gallagher (formerly Atria Insurance Brokers) ... Enjoy! We hope you will find it helpful and please let us know your thoughts!
So, you have found your “dream-of-a-lifetime” home! You walk off your patio and it is twenty yards to a perfect Barbados beach encircled by the calm blue water of the Caribbean Sea. A natural paradise!
Within the past week the new notices of valuation have been arriving at mailboxes around the island. In Barbados, every three years is a valuation year. The last valuation year was in 2008, thus making this year, 2011, a valuation year as well. Here is a quick background on the valuation legislation and the process to be followed.
Barbados now has the international distinction of being included on the United Nations-managed World Heritage List. News of this came this past weekend from Paris, France when the World Heritage Committee determined that “Bridgetown and its Garrison deserved a place on the List.” The list includes over 900 cultural or natural sites all over the world, which are deemed to be of outstanding universal value.
Yesterday comScore, one of the leading Internet marketing research companies, reported that Android has overtaken BlackBerry as the top US Smartphone Platform in the United States.
Historic Bridgetown and the nearby Garrison are the first areas to be nominated by the government of Barbados for inclusion on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Many believe that should this bid be successful it will be a boon to our tourism industry. Supporters also believe it will ensure that these areas, so closely linked with our colonial history, are well preserved for future generations as development in Barbados continues.
In today's highly competitive real estate market landlords can struggle to get properties rented at the rate that they want. For many this creates a dilemma. Should they continue to wait for the right tenant who is willing to pay what they're asking? Or should they consider reducing the rental rate and get a new tenant in the property as soon as possible? Of course there are advantages and disadvantages in either approach.
Most people who offer property for rent want a tenant moved in as soon as possible. Recently we helped one of our clients to get their apartment rented in just over 48 hours! The client was thrilled, the tenant was thrilled and so were we. While scenarios like this are uncommon, there’s much that can be done to reduce the length of time it takes to get your property rented. Here are some key tips to take you on the fast track from “For Rent” to “Rented”.
After seeing one of our emails with land for sale in Barbados, Ron, a first time buyer sent us a question. He asked:
How much would I have to pay upfront to secure this piece of land?
We’re always happy to answer real estate questions, especially from a first time buyer!
Garry Sobers, when you call his name...he's the one and only!
Today marks the birthday of Barbados' only living national hero - Sir Garfield Sobers. Born 74 years ago, Sir Garry as he is widely known, is a cricketing legend heralded in the Caribbean and across the globe. Wherever people play cricket they know of Garry Sobers and we thank him for placing Barbados and the Caribbean on the map.
The new Lanterns Mall in Hastings is the newest addition to the Barbados retail landscape.
Four stores including the Bella Casa pictured here, have opened their doors to customers and are already proving a welcome destination for people on the south coast.
Before the end of summer, they will be joined by several other outlets, some new to Barbados and others familiar to local shoppers!
Ever had trouble finding the “right” place to call home or to lay your hat for that matter? Terra Caribbean presents the inaugural edition of the Terra Caribbean Corporate Rentals E-book! A paperless easy to flip through selection of properties for rent in Barbados. Especially designed for those new to Barbados.
With confidence returning to the Barbados market we are happy to announce the appointment of four new staffers who will assist in the expansion of our service offering in the months to come.
More and more of our Barbados property for sale on Youtube. Check it out via our property pages or go directly to our Terra Caribbean Real Estate - YouTube Channel.
Have you driven through St. Philip recently? The island’s largest parish is a hub of housing activity!
Sol Rally Barbados is one of the premier annual sporting events in Barbados. This year, Terra Caribbean will sponsor the Mayers brothers - Roger and Barry in a BMW M3 during the May 29 and 30 event.
South View PHASE 1 - Official Launch - Land Lots NOW ON SALE
Option A of three proposed designs - view the floorplans for these duplexes here.
Vuemont - Open House - March 19th & 20th - Come see if you'd like to call it HOME!
New land development on the South Coast is getting set for release.
Sunrise at Rowans is on track to be finished in late 2010. It's a new family oriented development in one of Barbados' most well established residential neighbourhoods!