Lower prices attracting buyers to Barbados, it is claimed

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Favourable prices attracting British, Americans and Canadians

Property owners in Barbados are reducing their asking prices by more than 10% to attract buyers ahead of the traditional selling season, according to real estate experts in the region.

Christian De Meillac, who heads up sales for Knight Frank on the Caribbean island, said the move has whet the appetite of applicants who are already planning their visits.

‘A client of ours reduced their asking price last week from US$2.5 million to US$1.8 million. This follows other reductions on a similar scale, and we expect more to follow suit,’ he said.

‘The fact that prices are coming down, following a period of sustained growth, is the opportunity many have been waiting for. Many of these home owners are not cash strapped and are looking to sell for lifestyle reasons, which is why they are willing to make such substantial reductions,’ he explained.

A favourite amongst Brits, Barbados offers something for everyone, according to De Meillac. The west coast remains the most popular spot on the island, boosted by the launch of a number of new developments including St Peter’s Bay, which completed this year.

Typical second home properties on the island range from new developments of townhouses and apartments priced around US$500,000 to luxury golf and water view homes at the top end of the market.

‘It means that there are some good deals a round. You can pick up a two bedroom property in Barbados, for example, for £500,000, less than the price of many homes in London,’ he said.

Properties at the island’s renowned Sandy Lane development command up to US$28 million and attract high profile guests including pop star Rihanna, Mick Jagger, Leonardo DiCaprio and Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber.

It is the British, Americans and Canadians who make up the bulk of buyers in the region, mostly due to easy access in terms of flights. But there is also a growing number of other Europeans such as Italians and also wealthier South American buyers who are arriving in the Caribbean.

Potential rental yields are good according to Richard Young of Sotheby’s International Realty in Barbados. A number of UK owners who have been hit by the recession and economic downturn and believed their only option was to sell their second home have been able to rent out on a long term basis and keep their properties.

‘There are a growing number of companies with offices and headquarter in Barbados and they have executives, often with families, who are looking for good quality properties to rent. This can offer the difference between having to sell a much loved property and holding onto it for a couple of years when the economy globally should have improved,’ he explained.

‘The owner can’t use the property but they are not losing money on it, have a regular monthly income from it and can hopefully take it up again when the financial outlook improves,’ he added.

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