A new younger demographic of the global wealthy wants exciting travel experiences-—like ash-boarding down a volcano in Nicaragua and heli-skiing in Iceland-— says Anthony Lassman, co-founder of Nota Bene Global, a private client service for the super-wealthy. This, he says, is influencing choices about where to buy holiday homes.
Canouan, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Since last summer’s devastation of the British Virgin Islands, Caribbean areas out of the hurricane belt are looking more appealing. Michelle Bellegarde, CEO of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Sotheby’s International Realty, has seen an 11% increase in inquiries in the archipelago from holiday home buyers since mid-September.
“Buyers are more focused than ever before on weather patterns, sustainability in conjunction with growth opportunities and flight routes,” she says. Air Canada launched its first flights to Saint Vincent in December.
The area offers good value, too. A large home with swimming pool, two acres of land and ocean views would cost around US$2.5 million on average, while a similar property in Lyford Cay in the Bahamas may be about US$3.8 million, or US$14 million in Barbados.
Hugo Thistlethwayte, head of international residential sales at Savills, says the island of Canouan, almost two-thirds of which is a resort, has an “amazing” golf course. The old Pink Sands hotel has been taken over by a Mandarin Oriental, which is also building apartments. “There is also a new deep water port, which can take in mega yachts, as well as the extended airport ,which means you can take a Gulfstream all the way there,” he says.
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Christie’s International Real Estate
Eco-friendly tropical resort markets are poised for interest from high-net-worth buyers, says Debbie Wade, a broker with Sancas Realty, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. Belize, for one, has seen a 44% increase in tourists in the last five years, and the small Central American country is about to be put on the ultra-high-net-worth map with the opening—as soon as 2019—of Leonardo DiCaprio’s eco-resort, Blackadore Caye. The luxury hotel resort will feature off-the-grid “living homes.”
Ambergris Caye, Belize’s largest island at 25 miles long, is known for its watersports and barrier reef a half-mile offshore and is currently Belize’s most expensive locality. A house can cost upward of US$1 million, an oceanfront condo about US$500,000.
Ski home buyers are concerned about climate change, Mr. Thistlethwayte says, with many resorts suffering from poor snowfalls. Those resorts investing in snow machines and indoor slopes, or at a particularly high altitude, will weather best, says Savills’ 2018 Spotlight Ski Report. Scandinavian resorts may become more popular since they’re colder, or have more snowfall, than their Alpine counterparts. On Savills’ index of resilience, Myrkdalen scores higher than France’s Courchevel.
Jeremy Rollason, head of Savills Ski, says demand there is mainly homegrown at the moment, but there is increasing interest from Dutch and U.K. tourists, particularly the Scottish, because of transport links from Aberdeen. “Prices have virtually doubled in the last 10 years,” he says. “We are predicting price growth of circa 5% per annum. It’s a dual season resort and has strong appeal in the summer with the fjords so close.” Homes are in the range of €7,000 to €9,000 per square meter, according to Mr. Rollason.
Mendoza and Patagonia, Argentina
Christie’s International Real Estate
Christie’s International Real Estate has seen a spike in inquiries, particularly from the U.S., for second homes in Argentina.
New leadership from right-leaning President Mauricio Macri has created more stability, says Andres Amos of Christie’s International Real Estate Patagonia. Mr. Macri is also opening up new airline routes, both domestic and international. An extra direct flight between London and Buenos Aires, for example, launched recently.
Mr. Amos recommends Mendoza for wine entrepreneurs and investors looking for vineyards. Land in Patagonia, which isn’t as rental-friendly, is being sought by buyers looking for Alpine-style landscapes, huge land surfaces and unique views of the Andes mountain range.
A 60-acre vineyard in full production in Mendoza will cost US$1.2 million. In Patagonia you can buy a house on four acres of land, on the lakefront of Nahuel Huapi National Park, for US$3.7 million.
Ibiza Sotheby’s International Realty
Formentera, the smallest Balearic island, now a celebrity favorite, may be a more canny investment than larger islands like Ibiza and Mallorca.
Previously known solely for its agriculture and fishing, there are now a number of glitzy new hotel and restaurant openings in Formentera, though it is still considered a relatively undeveloped paradise, with no chain-stores, no fast-food joints, and no commercial airport.
“The most expensive properties are situated around the most impressive beaches,” says Barbara Caprara, director of Ibiza Sotheby’s International Realty. These include Levante, Cap de Barbaria and Ses Illetes. Homes around Es Pujol village, the center of nightlife on the island, are popular, too.
This story first appeared in Mansion Global magazine.
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