House Hunting in Anguilla: modern elegance, steps from the Caribbean

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

“The property is oceanfront and has access to a small cove via a natural stone staircase, where you can snorkel,” Ms. Hearn said. “All the beaches in Anguilla are public, but I have never seen anyone in that cove other than the owners of the four houses that surround it.”

A circular driveway approaches a portico that opens into a foyer with a curved marble staircase. A few stairs from the foyer lead to the main living room and dining room, with large sliding glass doors opening onto the pool deck. An adjacent game room with a pool table leads into the kitchen, which has an island, granite countertops, a blue tile backsplash, and a breakfast bar with built-in seating. The game room also opens to a covered terrace furnished for dining, as well as the 52-by-13-foot pool. The first floor also has a gym, bathroom, laundry room and storage rooms.

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

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

The third floor has a central living room with balcony and kitchenette, flanked by two en-suite bedrooms with walk-in closets and sandstone-tiled 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 cottonwoods, palms, bougainvillea, and hibiscus. Plans have been approved to build a separate one-bedroom structure, Ms. Hearn said.

The villa is just a short drive from the town of Blowing Point, home to the Anguilla Ferry Terminal, and Rendezvous Bay Beach, a two-mile stretch of white sand. El Valle, Anguilla’s capital of about 1,000 people, is a 10-minute drive away, Hearn said. Also nearby are a golf course, tennis academy and boat tour companies. Anguilla International Airport, which receives non-stop flights from Miami, is about eight minutes from the villa. Visitors can also fly into St. Maarten and take a 20-minute boat ride to Anguilla.

The housing market in Anguilla, a British Overseas Territory with some 15,000 residents in the eastern Caribbean Sea, suffered from the tandem of Hurricane Irma in 2017 and the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but recovered last year, Neil Freeman said. , a manager at Freeman Caribbean Investments.

Anguilla does not publish official house price statistics. However, Freeman said, after the government lifted quarantine requirements for vaccinated visitors in July 2021, tourism, which dominates the island’s economy, rebounded and gave real estate sales some boost.

While government statistics show tourism in 2021, with 28,696 arrivals, plummeting 82.7 percent from 2019, this January saw some of the island’s highest tourism figures in recent years, according to the Board. Anguilla Tourism. Layover arrivals were up 22 percent from the board’s base year of 2016.

This was due in part to nonstop flights from Miami, which began in December 2020, said Lisa DeLong, real estate sales manager for Tranquility Beach Anguilla, a new 15-unit beachfront condominium development, the first of its size in a decade.

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

Mr. Freeman, who is a director of Tranquility Beach Anguilla, said that more than half of the development’s 15 units have sold in the last 10 months, including approximately $4.2 million worth of units in recent weeks. Two-bedroom oceanfront units are asking $1,100 per square foot, and other units are priced as low as $750 per square foot, he said.

At the same time, the villa market continues apace, he said: “I have heard of a number of villa owners who have received offers to buy, often unsolicited, for almost double the value of a few years ago and have opted for hold”.

Initiatives like Anguilla’s Residency by Investment program, which was introduced in June 2019 and offers permanent residency to foreigners who invest at least $750,000 in Anguilla real estate, may be boosting the island’s economy. The Digital Nomad programme, 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 navigating the pandemic, people realized they don’t have to be tied to a city or physically present to do their jobs,” said Janine Edwards, managing director of Sunset Homes Anguilla and director of Tranquility Beach Anguilla.

The lack of inventory in other Caribbean islands considered to be Anguilla’s competitors, including the Turks and Caicos Islands and Saint Barthélemy, may also be affecting Anguilla’s real estate market, Ms Hearn said. “Since the borders have reopened, sales have been good, especially in the sub-$1 million range,” she said.

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

Houses in Anguilla are more expensive than in countries like Costa Rica and Jamaica, but are better than comparable properties on neighboring islands, Freeman said. “Properties in Anguilla range from $1,000 per square foot to $1,500 per square foot for oceanfront locations, and $500 to $1,000 for inland or oceanfront locations with a rocky shoreline,” he said. “In St. Bart’s and Turks and Caicos, prices are higher, $2,000 to $3,000 per square foot.”

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

Many of the remaining foreign buyers are British, Hearn said. “The island is very small, there are no bad areas to buy, but many buyers look to the West End, where most of the 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 Tenure License, a fairly straightforward process with a $400 application fee that typically takes one to four months to grant, the brokers said.

There is a 5 percent tax on the Foreign Land Holding License, along with a 5 percent transfer tax on the sale of a property.

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

In general, purchases by foreigners are limited to half an acre (except commercial developments) and residential construction must be completed within 30 months, although exceptions are made, Ms. Hearn said.

Although Anguilla’s official currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar, many transactions are made in US dollars. Buyers often hire a local attorney, which typically costs 1 to 2 percent of the sale price. Sales commissions are typically 5 percent and are paid by the seller.

Mortgages from local banks are available. “Interest rates are around 6 percent right now,” 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 about $1,000 to the government, Hearn said.

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

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