Anguilla House Hunting: Modern Elegance, Steps to the Caribbean

This contemporary six-bedroom villa on the south coast of Anguilla overlooks a small beach with a cove in the Caribbean Sea. Built in 2006 on 0.65 acres in the LockRum Bay area, the three-story home sits approximately 25 feet above sea level and features 6,000 square feet of interior space, with windows and hurricane-proof doors, said Elaine Hearn, co-founder of Properties in Paradise, which has the listing. Many balconies and patios surrounding a pool and an artificial grass lawn offer views of the neighboring Caribbean islands of St. Maarten and St. Barthelemy, she said.

“The property has sea frontage and access to a small cove via a natural stone staircase, where there is lovely snorkeling,” Ms. Hearn said. “All the beaches in Anguilla are public, but I’ve never seen anyone on this cove other than the owners of the four houses that surround it.”

A circular walkway approaches a portico opening into a foyer with a curved marble staircase. A few steps from the hall lead to the main living and dining room, with large sliding glass doors leading out to the pool deck. An adjacent game room with a pool table leads to the kitchen, which features an island, granite countertops, blue tile backsplash, and dining area with built-in seating. The game room also opens onto a furnished covered dining terrace, as well as the 52-by-13-foot swimming pool. The first floor also includes a gym, bathroom, laundry room and storage room.

The villa’s furniture, mostly imported from Europe, is included in the asking price. The floor tiles are a mix of marble, travertine, sandstone and local coral stone.

The second floor has four en-suite bedrooms, all with access to an extended balcony with sea views. Each bathroom is tiled in marble with a glass-walled shower; two have baths and walk-in closets with built-in shelving.

The third floor has a central living room with a balcony and a kitchenette, flanked by two en-suite bedrooms with walk-in closets and stoneware bathrooms.

There is air conditioning throughout the house, as well as three outdoor showers. The property, which has parking for at least six cars, is landscaped with poplars, palms, bougainvillea and hibiscus. Plans have been approved to build a separate one-bedroom structure, Ms Hearn said.

The villa is a short drive from the village of Blowing Point, where the Anguilla ferry terminal is located, and Rendezvous Bay Beach, a two-mile stretch of white sand. The Valley, Anguilla’s capital with around 1,000 people, is a 10-minute drive away, Ms Hearn said. Also nearby are a golf course, tennis academy and boat tour companies. Anguilla International Airport, which receives nonstop flights from Miami, is about eight minutes from the villa. Visitors can also fly to St. Maarten and take a 20-minute boat ride to Anguilla.

The housing market in Anguilla, a British Overseas Territory with a population of around 15,000 in the eastern Caribbean Sea, suffered the tandem shocks of Hurricane Irma in 2017 and the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but has rebounded over the past year, said Neil Freeman, a director at Freeman Caribbean Investments.

Anguilla does not publish official housing price statistics. However, Mr Freeman said, after the government lifted quarantine requirements for vaccinated visitors in July 2021, tourism, which dominates the island’s economy, picked up and gave some boost to property sales.

While government statistics show tourism in 2021, with 28,696 arrivals, down 82.7% from 2019, this January has seen some of the island’s highest tourism figures in recent years. , according to the Anguilla Tourism Board. Layover arrivals increased 22% from the board’s 2016 base year.

That was partly due to nonstop flights from Miami, which began in December 2020, said Lisa DeLong, director of real estate sales at Tranquility Beach Anguilla, a new 15-unit beachfront condo complex — the first its size in a decade.

Flights from Miami, as well as increased traffic from Puerto Rico and the U.S. virgin island of St. Thomas, “have been a significant factor in increasing tourism and investor interest “, as did the relaxation of visitor entry protocols, Ms. DeLong said. “Being able to skip the extra transfer to St. Maarten and be on the beach in Anguilla sooner is a game-changer and makes a weekend getaway from the US viable.”

Mr. Freeman, director of Tranquility Beach Anguilla, said more than half of the development’s 15 units have sold in the past 10 months, including around $4.2 million worth of units in the past few weeks. Two-bedroom beachfront units are asking for $1,100 per square foot, with other units costing as little as $750 per square foot, he said.

At the same time, the villa market continues at a brisk pace, he said: “I have heard of several villa owners who have received offers to buy, often unsolicited, at around the double the value of a few years ago and who have chosen to keep.”

Initiatives such as the Anguilla Residency-by-Investment Program – which was introduced in June 2019 and offers permanent residency to foreigners who invest at least $750,000 in real estate in Anguilla – could boost the economy of island. The Digital Nomad program, which allows travelers to work in Anguilla for three to 12 months, launched in August 2020 and has been another boon to the real estate market, with more than 500 applicants, brokers said.

“After going through the pandemic, people realized they didn’t need to be city-bound or physically present to do their jobs,” said Janine Edwards, Sunset’s chief administrative officer. Homes Anguilla and manager of Tranquility Beach Anguilla.

A lack of inventory on other Caribbean islands seen as competitors to Anguilla, including the Turks and Caicos Islands and St. Barthelemy, could also affect Anguilla’s housing market, Ms. Hearn said. “Since the borders reopened, sales have been good, especially in the sub-million dollar range,” she said.

Among the qualities that draw foreign home buyers to Anguilla, a flat 35-square-mile coral and limestone island, are a reputedly laid-back and friendly population, favorable tax laws, exceptional beaches and restaurants, and a low rental rate. crime, Ms. Hearn said. “There are no casinos, no fast food chains, no inheritance tax and no capital gains tax,” she said.

Homes in Anguilla are more expensive than places like Costa Rica and Jamaica, but a better deal than comparable properties on neighboring islands, Freeman said. “Anguilla properties range from $1,000 per square foot to $1,500 per square foot for beachfront locations, and $500 to $1,000 for inland or beachfront with a rocky shore,” he said. “In St. Barths and the Turks and Caicos Islands, prices are higher, $2,000 to $3,000 per square foot. »

About three-quarters of foreign buyers in Anguilla are from the United States and about 10% are from Canada, Freeman said. “Anguilla attracts a mix of snowbirds, retirees and high net worth individuals,” he said. “At Tranquility Beach in particular, we have sold to several young families looking for investment income.”

Most of the remaining overseas buyers are British, Ms Hearn said. “The island is so small that there are no bad areas to buy, but many buyers are looking for the West End, where the majority of five-star hotels are located, including Belmond Cap Juluca, Four Seasons and Aurora Anguilla. Resort and Golf Club,” she said.

Foreign buyers in Anguilla must apply for a Foreign Land Possession License, a fairly straightforward process with a $400 application fee that typically takes between one and four months to be granted, brokers said.

There is a 5% license fee on possession of foreign lands, as well as a 5% transfer tax on the sale of property.

“For Tranquility Beach Anguilla, the license fee has been reduced to 2%, based on the number of days the condominiums are available for vacation rental,” Ms. DeLong said.

As a general rule, purchases by foreigners are limited to half an acre (with the exception of commercial developments) and residential construction must be completed within 30 months, although exceptions are made, Ms Hearn said.

While Anguilla’s official currency is the East Caribbean dollar, many transactions are conducted in US dollars. Buyers often hire a local lawyer, which usually costs around 1-2% of the sale price. Sales commissions are usually 5% and paid by the seller.

Mortgages from local banks are available. “Interest rates are around 6% right now,” Ms. Hearn said. “Most of my buyers pay cash.”

English; East Caribbean dollar (1 East Caribbean dollar = $0.37)

Annual property taxes on this villa are approximately $2,500. Foreign owners who choose to rent the villa must pay an annual license fee of around $1,000 to the government, Ms Hearn said.

Elaine Hearn, Properties in Paradise, 264-497-1964, propertiesinparadise.com

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