Cassie Preece of the boutique estate agency West Coast Villas gives her views on the property market in Barbados and what’s in store for next year.
Preece says: "The Barbados property market has stabilised throughout 2013 but we predict there may be a slight increase in prices for luxury properties throughout 2014. With stabilised world markets, the strong pound to dollar exchange rate, and the pricing for premium property positioned to move upward for the first time in 5 years, we are seeing a very positive trend as we come into this winter season.”
Preece added that the agency has recorded 30% more transactions in 2013 when compared to 2012. For owners of premium real estate, Preece believes it is very much a sellers’ market, with properties in well-established locations such as Royal Westmoreland in high demand: "In our opinion, the most popular product is anything with a sea view - and especially those properties within a resort or community due to the facilities and security on hand.”
Preece said: "Even more so today than ever the quality of construction and finish is key - despite the slowdown in the market, buyers are more demanding for a quality product and we are even beginning to see a high demand for the more up to date and contemporary designs. Buyers are more sophisticated, knowledgeable and single minded than they were previously.”
Key to the strength of the market is the island’s ability to attract buyers for multiple reasons, as Preece explains: "Whilst Barbados property, if carefully selected offers a strong long term investment, it's really all about lifestyle. Whilst other markets promise a lifestyle or investment - Barbados delivers today on both sides.”