Agents report Barbados boom

Property agents in Barbados are reporting a boom in demand, as Brits help to drive the best sales period in more than a decade.

“This year has been extremely good in terms of sales,” Kieran Kelly, director of the local office of Chestertons, tells the New York Times . “It’s a big turnaround from 2010 and 2011, which were tough. Sales began to show a pickup in 2012 and have been increasing. We’re currently seeing around 10 new clients per week.”

The resort of Royal Westmoreland in St. James remains one popular target for many buyers. Indeed, Westmoreland is now the sixth most searched-for Barbados location on Agents there are reporting the best sales period in more than 10 years, with $60 million of its villa sales coming largely from Brits.

Famous residents of homes at Royal Westmoreland include cricketers Andrew Flintoff, Michael Vaughan, Ian Boatham, golfers Ian Woosman and Lee Westwood, boxer Joe Calzaaghe and footballers Wayne Rooney, Andy Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Stuart Pearce, amongst others.

The estate remains the only completed gated community in Barbados with a golf course and a beach club, and is a short drive inland from the ‘Platinum Coast’ with its beautiful white sandy beaches, chic restaurants and laid back beach bars.

The area is undergoing its most intensive construction period in its history with $30 million of new villas now being built and with another $30 million of homes in the next six to nine months.

Construction Director Ian Putley says: “I can honestly say this is the busiest period for me in 11 years at Royal Westmoreland. Everything we are building is for somebody who has purchased the property so we are not building anything speculative.”

“Most of the sales are to British buyers who are feeling more confident about the economy back home and in the product that is Barbados,” adds Sales Director Kim Goddard.

“They want a sure bet when it comes to making their lifestyle choice for a second home. This means built amenities, established vibrant community and lower risk on protecting resale values.”

The estate, which is itself up for sale currently, with a price tag of $75 million, has expanded onto new land purchased in 2006 which covers 250 hectares and has planning permission for another golf course and hotel. The new collection of 31 lots are on a high ridge with sweeping views over the golf course and the southern stretch of the west coast.