Caribbean property attracts wealthy buyers

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Recent sales figures for the Caribbean property market report some conflicting results which show two different trends currently in operation.

Overall sales transaction numbers have fallen, with corresponding dips in asking prices across the board showing a classic supply and demand response.

The positive aspect for the domestic market is that as prices on high end properties have fallen between 10% and 20%, there is an increasing interest from wealthy overseas buyers, especially those from Russia and Latin America.

Online searches for top of the range properties in Barbados, Grand Cayman and St Barts saw a large rise in the final quarter of 2012 compared to the previous year.

The biggest proportion of searches originated with US residents when it came to the more expensive properties on the market, while over 85% of all luxury purchases went to overseas buyers.

Although yet to match the level of increase in high net worth individuals that has been seen in the newly emergent strong economies of Brazil and Russia, which are expected to rise by 59% and 76% by the year 2017, the increase in the number of big money property transactions in the islands is having a marked effect.

The Barbados Government has relaxed residency permit rules in a direct effort to attract more wealthy individuals and this is one of the reasons for the luxury sector of the property market to have avoided the effects that austerity has had on other parts of the market.

With a reputation for political and social stability as well as attractive tax regimes, the Caribbean has always offered wealthy investors good reasons to consider moving funds to the region.

Of course the perfect climate and high end facilities that the islands offer also have a massive impact.

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