Investment Watch: Buyers snap up private islands

The villas, located in the Bahamas and Greece, have an asking price of £389,521, including the land parcel and a private swimming pool facing the beach. Investors in the development also co-own the rest of the island.

The listing received 40 per cent more enquiries than the second most popular opportunity on in December: a property fund in London, which promised up to 26.1 per cent returns with an entry fee of £15,000.

The rise of the Caribbean

The rankings round off a positive year for the Bahamas, in which investor demand for both property and land has been high. Indeed, a building plot in the Bahamas was the second most popular listing on for the whole of 2014, while interest in the Caribbean has also increased throughout the year. (According to the portal’s Top of the Props report, the Bahamas were the ninth most popular country in the world in 2014.)

The hunt for winter sun showed no signs of slowing as the new year arrived: a new development in St Kitts and Nevis entered the Investment Watch chart to become December’s 10th most popular listing. While the island villas are a lifestyle purchase, though, the Kittitian hotel is an investment opportunity, advertising a 4 per cent return per annum for five years.

Alternative goes mainstream?

Investment activity in 2014 has been driven by demand for high yield products, as buyers seek out the strongest returns for the lowest prices. This has led to a notable rise in interest in alternative products. Indeed, the most popular investment on in 2014 was a UK-based wind energy opportunity.

Nonetheless, the listing that generated the third biggest response last year was the London property fund. This consistent performance of the listing across the year, compared to the varying popularity of alternative investments, such as oil and carbon credits, highlights the importance investors still place upon the stability of bricks and mortar, even within the alternative sector.

The fourth most in-demand property listing of 2014 was a medical facility in the UK. The care home sector has been a frequent presence in the Investment Watch charts during the past 12 months. In December, a property in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, guaranteed 10 per cent returns for 10 years on a £55,250 investment, enough to generate the seventh biggest volume of enquiries.

Student housing has also been a major star of the 2014 property world, appearing in the Investment Watch chart for 14 months in a row. December was no exception, with university accommodation in Leicester driving the third largest number of responses, offering 10% NET income for 10 years for an entry cost of £49,950.

The return of the lifestyle buyer

Lifestyle buyers returned with a vengeance in the second half of the year, as improving economic conditions in several countries boosted confidence. Indeed, in November 2014, half of the top 10 listings on were lifestyle opportunities, with two located in Spain.

Demand for Spanish property continued to surge in the final month of the year, with apartments in La Manga receiving the fourth biggest response of all listings on the site. The properties are priced at 40 to 50 per cent below the market peak, with 100 per cent financing available, typical of the Spanish market conditions that are attracting foreign buyers.

Demand for other lifestyle property was also evident in December, with an apartment in London in sixth place as well as the island villas in first place.

Director Dan Johnson comments: “Investors are starting to loosen their belts as 2015 approaches. After a tightly budgeted first half to 2014, the Investment Watch chart has become increasingly populated by more expensive properties. The shift is partly driven by the return of lifestyle buyers to Spain and other European destinations, as investors increasingly turn away from US real estate.

“The island villas that dominated December’s investment activity are located in Greece as well as the Bahamas, emphasising the long-term appeal of familiar lifestyle markets. With the IMF declaring Spain’s property prices to have already bottomed out, we expect the prospect of capital growth, combined with winter sunshine, to continue driving demand for residential property in Europe, as long as prices remain attractive and concerns surrounding Greece do not worsen.”

The top 10 most popular listings on in December 2014 are below.


Notes to Editors

About Lead Galaxy and

Founded in 1999, is the leading independent website for international property, with more than 800,000 listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners. is one of more than a dozen international property sites operated under the Lead Galaxy brand. Lead Galaxy provides online marketing solutions to thousands of property companies worldwide, focusing on portal listings, email marketing, qualified leads, paid search and social media advertising.

The business is headquartered at 24 Jack’s Place, Corbet Place, Shoreditch, London, E1 6NN.
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