bOne of Barbados’ leading luxury estate agents is making no apologies for the cost of owning a home here.
Choosing to focus on overseas clients, Managing Director of Altman Real Estate Sir Paul Altman admitted that Barbados is indeed an expensive place to purchase homes.
However, he said the many attributes and facilities available here justify the cost. Still, Sir Paul was not certain that a study by Australia-based moving company Assured Removalists on house prices here was entirely correct.
The study found that Barbados was the world’s second most unaffordable destination to buy a house, when average house prices are measured against average income ratio
“I am not sure that the statistics are 100 per cent accurate, but we don’t make any apologies for the fact that we are an expensive destination. Prices now have come down, it depends if you are comparing prices five years ago . . . .In the old days people came and pay whatever the price was, now-a-days people are negotiating and the sellers are wiling to negotiate, so we have a lot of flexibility more than people realize,” Sir Paul told journalists yesterday during the introduction of the second phase of the Beach View Villas and Suites in Derricks, St James.
“I am not suggesting Barbados is inexpensive but I certainly don’t think it is one of the most expensive places. I think that we compete at every level with what I would say are the top tier of properties that exist in any part of the world in terms of holiday destinations. Think about what we have here in terms of our facilities – restaurants, sports and even just the natural environment – and I always throw people in that equation because the quality of people that we have around here add a tremendous value to everything. You can’t go to many places in the world and have all of those components and expect that it is going to be at the mid-level in terms of pricing,” he explained, while adding he remained upbeat about the future of the real estate market here.
Similar sentiments were shared by Managing Director of Property Consultancy Services Terry Hanton, who, also focusing on overseas buyers, agreed that Barbados was an expensive destination to own a home.
In fact, he said, just getting to Barbados is costly, and Barbadians must “live with what we are”.
“Barbados is an expensive place to get to first of all. It is remote from many other places. The strong part of the market is the UK market so if you think about where the sterling is now it is really difficult to buy because they used to buy when the value of the pound was US$2 but it is now $1.30.
So it is quite challenging from that perspective,” he said.
“We have to live with what we are.
We have to try to be a top-notch destination and we can’t compete with cheaper destination in many respects. So we have to niche ourselves at the top end,” Hanton said.