Is now the time to buy in Barbados?

The buzz is returning to Barbados and activity is picking up.  Cluttons Barbados is optimistic about 2010 with figures over the last quarter showing significant signs of improvement in property sales enquiries and actual transactions. The number of serious enquiries are up by 80% this December and January compared with the same period last year…

Home buyers are attracted by the potential to negotiate a discounted price with high expectations of rental and capital growth. This is based on the stability of the economy, currency exchange rates, location and the quality of properties that Barbados has to offer.

The worldwide economic downturn has created some "never seen before" opportunities in the Barbados property market as some vendors and developers are forced to reduce prices to increase enquiries and reduce transaction times. This phenomenon is extremely rare in Barbados and Cluttons does not expect this situation to last for too much longer. 

The first six months of 2009 were fairly quiet except for buyers with US$4m or more to spend.  However, Barbados has an extremely strong property market and the level of offers and sales increased after July 2009.  

Kieran Kelly from Cluttons Barbados says: "Now is the time to buy. The Barbados property market, like everywhere else in the world, saw the number of transactions reduce in 2009, and the number of buyers looking for discounts increase.  The economic downturn created a buyers market and it took a little while for owners and developers to accept it, with an initial stalemate between the buyers and vendors expectations.  We are now seeing more flexibility in vendor's willingness to negotiate and as a result, more sales, most due to price reductions. During an economic downturn, it is always the exclusive locations that win through first. Places such as Central London and Barbados will be fine.  For buyers and for good reason, there is a certain comfort level attached to securing a good deal or discount on a property in Central London or Barbados!"

There are very clear signs that the Barbados property market is extremely resilient and very capable of bouncing back quickly. Kelly feels sales within the next six months will increase considerably as buyers can achieve a discount on the purchase price and then look forward to capital appreciation as the market strengthens further.  Those buying now will do well, as Barbados has an exciting future ahead. 

Kelly continued: "Barbados is an extremely strong brand and clients want a safer market that can offer good potential on the upturn.  If anything, this financial crisis has placed Barbados in a better position as competing and alternative destinations have faltered quite dramatically.  Our homes are stunning; the people are lovely; the economy is stable; there are top end restaurants and beach bars everywhere; the pure white sandy beaches are heaven; and, the clear blue waters of the Caribbean Sea provide many with the opportunity to truly relax and escape the world's woes."

It is widely believed that property in Barbados is owned by only the rich and famous. Although there are many wealthy owners, over the years the market has spread and diversified with prices ranging from US$145,000 to US$40m.

The west coast has some of the highest property prices in the world and now the south coast is seeing extreme expansion, development and growth due to fantastic beaches, amenities and lower prices.