There are 25 Caribbean countries that Jim Walberg follows relating to their real estate economic trends. The trends he follows includes Caribbean fractionals, villas, townhomes and condos. In spite of the current global economic crisis there are international real estate markets that are still thriving. Remember, all real estate is local. Four of the locations in the Caribbean that are thriving are the Dominican Republic, Belize, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Dominica. There is an amazing amount of cash that continues to sit on the sidelines waiting for smart values in the world of international real estate. The Caribbean is one of those locations where the cash is being spent.
Dominican Republic: The DR is one of the most stable Caribbean countries including Latin America. It continues to attract international businesses because of their business-friendly policies. Coupled with the low cost of living, the real estate values in the DR are very competitive with other Caribbean countries. At the moment, the DR is considered the golf capital of the Caribbean. There are more world-class golf courses in the DR than any other place in the Caribbean.
Also, travel to the DR is very easy because of the amount of direct flights from the U.S., Europe and South America. There are ten international airports in the country. It is a three hour flight from New York City, less than two hours from Miami, and only 45 minutes from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The luxury resorts and choices of real estate allows the DR to be the Caribbean’s most popular tourism destination.
Belize: Belize is the only English speaking country in Central and South America. It is the least populated country in Central America, and real estate opportunities are growing rapidly. The tax and business structure of the Belize has been designed to conduct your personal and business affairs in a safe and tax-favorable environment. It is an environmental paradise. From the rainforest, the exotic wildlife and birds, and white coral sand beaches, and world class diving, has elevated to my top four countries to consider purchasing real estate. Belize has the world’s second largest coral barrier reef – the top one is the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The SCUBA diving and snorkeling is world class.
U.S. Virgin Islands: Visiting or living is this Territory of the U.S. is a dream come true for me. The beauty is boundless amongst the three very diverse main islands; St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix. Each of the islands is unique even though they are just a few short miles apart. St. Thomas is the most populated and the hub of commerce and tourism. St. John is almost all a National Park. St. Croix is the quieter of the islands, but just as beautiful. The real estate opportunities range from $200,000 to millions. Because the USVI is a Territory of the U.S. its government, tax structure, and all standards are the same as in U.S. The mash potato white sand beaches, sailing, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, fine dining, and duty free world class shopping is what keeps the world coming back to this fabulous example of what the Caribbean has to offer.
Dominica: This is the smallest of the Caribbean islands. Dominica is one of the more rugged of the Caribbean islands, and it’s beauty will take your breath away. It sits midway in the chain of Caribbean islands, just a few miles from Martinique and Guadeloupe. It is an example of Nature’s unspoiled beauty. Two thirds of the island is covered by tropical forests which includes over 1,200 plant species. It is covered with lakes, rivers, streams, and waterfalls. English is the official language with a large portion of the population speaking Creole. This island appeals to who are seeking a sense of adventure, or would like a very quiet time away from the speed of light many of us have normalized around. I love this special slice of Paradise.
These are my Top Four picks for the 2009 Caribbean real estate markets. I welcome comments about any of your favorite Caribbean islands. Your Caribbean islands lifestyle detective remains on duty. Until next time…fair winds!