Great time to buy in Barbados as the Pound hits two year high against the Dollar
The recent strong performance of the pound against the dollar means savvy British buyers can take advantage of significant savings on properties in the Caribbean.
Having peaked at 1.65 in December 2013, and now sitting at 1.64, the strengthening UK economy means the exchange rate is at its highest level for almost two and a half years.
However, financial experts predict this period will even itself out by the end of 2014, meaning buyers need to strike now to take advantage of the financial gains. Jane Foley, a senior currency strategist at Rabobank International in London explains: “The pound will be able to hold its own against the dollar over the next couple of months but by the end of the year the dollar will have fought back.”
Buyers purchasing a US $1M property today can make savings in excess of $37,000 (£23,000) compared with January 2013, whilst a US $2M property will exchange for £1.21M today – saving over a staggering $75,000 (£46,000) compared to this time last year.
Lifestyle resorts such as Royal Westmoreland overlooking the west coast of Barbados continue to prove popular due to the extensive estate facilities and security. Kim Goddard, Director of Sales at Royal Westmoreland agrees it is a prime time for UK buyers to purchase, explaining: “Not only is the exchange rate favourable for UK buyers but distressed inventory has been absorbed by the market and prices have stabilized; this historically has meant that the market will begin to rise.”
Long established as the premium second home destination in the Caribbean, Barbados’ recent changes to residency rules have created further positive conditions, especially for high net worth buyers.
Kieran Kelly of Chesterton Barbados explains: “The changes in residency laws have helped to boost the market, encouraging high net worth individuals to buy and invest in Barbados. The new Special Entry Permit laws allow them an unlimited stay without the need to extend through the Immigration Department.”
These favourable market conditions have been attracting purchasers keen to secure investment properties, as Cassie Preece of Sotheby’s International Realty notes: “The new residency rules are attracting a stronger UK market looking to make Barbados a second home. The exchange rate at 1.6 or more combined with the positivity in the UK market means we are seeing a very positive trend this winter season.”