Island Living: The Booming Real Estate Market in the Caribbean, with a Focus on the Turks and Caicos Islands

The Caribbean real estate market has been experiencing a period of great prosperity, buoyed by a pandemic-induced buying spree as people sought refuge in its picturesque beaches and basked in its sunny weather, to escape the Covid-19 lockdowns. The islands, with their tropical climate, offer an idyllic setting with pristine beaches, turquoise waters and the tranquillity of island life, making them a popular choice for high-net-worth individuals who either purchase property as a primary residence, a vacation home or as a rental property for tourists.

According to the Caribbean hospitality financing survey for 2022, the current real estate boom is expected to continue for at least the next 12 months, as 56% of non-banks and 80% of banks believe in its longevity, while 44% of non-banks and 20% of banks anticipate it will endure even longer. As a result, many institutions are turning to real estate as an investment avenue, given its high liquidity and stability, with 75% of non-banks and all the banking respondents indicating their preference for this asset class over stocks or cash.

Interestingly, there is an equal appetite for investment opportunities across the 15 nations surveyed in the Caribbean, except for the Turks and Caicos Islands, which stand out as the preferred destination for non-banks. The real estate market in the Turks and Caicos Islands has experienced a surge in sales, with more than 324 transactions and sales volume exceeding $335 million up to August of the current year, as reported by The Agency, a leading real estate company. Demand remains high, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, with a 71% increase in sales during the first three quarters of 2022 compared to the same period in 2019.

Despite the rapid development of the islands, infrastructure has not kept pace with growth in some areas, and many institutions are prioritizing infrastructure development to make the islands more accessible. Plans are underway to build a new international terminal at the Providenciales International Airport to address long wait times, while causeways between islands are being considered to enhance mobility. Amid economic concerns and rising costs, Trevor Musgrove, managing partner at The Agency T&C and president of the Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association, urges buyers to proceed with building, as prices are expected to continue increasing.

The future of the real estate industry in the Turks and Caicos Islands appears promising, with efforts underway to diversify and expand the range of options available, accompanied by a commitment to infrastructure development. The islands, with their stunning natural beauty and bright future, are poised to remain a desirable destination for high-net-worth individuals seeking a slice of paradise in the Caribbean.

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