Apartment Hunt on Anguilla: Modern elegance just steps from the Caribbean

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

“The property has an ocean frontage and access to a cove via a natural stone stairway where there is great snorkeling,” said Ms. Hearn. “All of Anguilla’s beaches are public, but I’ve never seen anyone on this bay other than the owners of the four surrounding houses.”

A circular driveway approaches a portico that opens to a foyer with a sweeping marble staircase. A few stairs from the foyer lead down to the main living and dining area with large sliding glass doors to the pool terrace. An adjoining game room with a pool table leads to the kitchen, which features an island, granite countertops, a blue tile backsplash and a breakfast nook with built-in seating. The game room also opens to a covered patio set up for dining and the 52 x 13 foot pool. The first floor also has a gym, bathroom, laundry room and storage rooms.

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

The second floor has four ensuite bedrooms all with access to an extended sea view balcony. Each bathroom is tiled in marble and has a glass-walled shower; two have soaking tubs and walk-in closets with built-in shelves.

The third floor features a central living area 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 offers parking for at least six cars, is landscaped with poplars, palms, bougainvillea and hibiscus. Plans to build a separate one-bedroom structure have been approved, Ms Hearn said.

The villa is a short drive from the village of Blowing Point, home to Anguilla’s ferry terminal, and Rendezvous Bay Beach, a two-mile stretch of white sand. The Valley, Anguilla’s capital of about 1,000 people, is a 10-minute drive, Ms Hearn said. Also nearby is a golf course, tennis academy and boat excursion companies. Anguilla International Airport, which receives non-stop flights from Miami, is approximately 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 of about 15,000 people in the eastern Caribbean, suffered from the tandem shocks of Hurricane Irma in 2017 and the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but has bounced back over the past year, said Neil Freeman, a manager at Freeman Caribbean Investments.

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

While government statistics show tourism in 2021 is down 82.7 percent from 2019, with 28,696 arrivals, the island saw some of its highest tourism numbers in recent years this January, according to the Anguilla Tourism Board. Stopover arrivals increased 22 percent from the board’s 2016 baseline.

That was partly due to nonstop flights from Miami that began in December 2020, said Lisa DeLong, a real estate sales manager at Tranquility Beach Anguilla, a new 15-unit beachfront development — the first of 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 major factor in increased tourism and investor interest,” as have relaxed visitor entry protocols, Ms. DeLong said. “Being able to skip the extra transfer in St. Maarten and get to the beach in Anguilla earlier is a game changer and makes a weekend trip from the US viable.”

Mr. Freeman, who is a director of Tranquility Beach Anguilla, said more than half of the development’s 15 units have been sold in the past 10 months, including about $4.2 million in units in recent weeks. Two-bedroom beachfront units are $1,100 per square foot, while other units are as low as $750 per square foot, he said.

At the same time, the villa market lives on, he said: “I’ve heard from several villa owners who have received offers to buy, often unsolicited, at almost double what they were a few years ago and have decided to hold.”

Initiatives like Anguilla’s residency by investment program — which launched in June 2019 and offers permanent residency to foreigners who invest at least $750,000 in Anguilla real estate — could bolster the island’s economy. 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, realtors said.

“After dealing with the pandemic, people have realized that they don’t need to be tied to a city or physically present to get their jobs done,” said Janine Edwards, administrative director at Sunset Homes Anguilla and director at Tranquility Beach Anguilla.

A lack of inventory on other Caribbean islands considered Anguilla’s competitors, including Turks and Caicos and Saint Barthélemy, could also impact Anguilla’s housing market, Ms Hearn said. “Since the borders reopened, sales have been good, especially in the sub-$1 million range,” she said.

Qualities that attract foreign homebuyers to Anguilla, a flat, 35-square-mile island of coral and limestone, include a notoriously laid-back and friendly population, favorable tax laws, exceptional beaches and restaurants, and a low crime rate, Ms. Hearn said . “There are no casinos, no fast food joints, no inheritance tax and no capital gains,” she said.

Homes on Anguilla are more expensive than in countries like Costa Rica and Jamaica, but a better deal than comparable properties on neighboring islands, Mr Freeman said. “Anguilla real estate ranges from $1,000 per square foot to $1,500 per square foot for beachfront locations and $500 to $1,000 for inland or coastal areas with a rocky shoreline,” he said. “Prices are higher in St. Bart’s and Turks and Caicos, from $2,000 to $3,000 per square foot.”

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

Many of the remaining foreign buyers are British, Ms Hearn said. “The island is small enough that there aren’t bad areas to buy, but many buyers look to the West End, where most five-star hotels are located, including Belmond Cap Juluca, Four Seasons and Aurora Anguilla Resort and Golf Club . ” She said.

Foreign buyers on Anguilla must apply for an Alien Land Holding 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 percent levy on the Alien Land Holding License, along with a 5 percent transfer tax on the sale of a property.

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

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

Although Anguilla’s official currency is the East Caribbean dollar, many transactions are conducted in US dollars. Buyers often hire a local attorney, which typically costs around 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 currently around 6 percent,” Ms. Hearn said. “Most of my buyers pay cash.”

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

Annual property taxes for this villa are approximately $2,500. Foreign owners who choose to rent the mansion will have to pay the government an annual license fee of about $1,000, Ms Hearn said.

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

Sign up here to receive weekly email updates on residential real estate news. Follow us on Twitter: @nytrealestate.

Leave a Comment