Home search in Anguilla: modern elegance, steps from the Caribbean

This contemporary six-bedroom villa is located on the south coast of Anguilla, overlooking 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 25 feet above sea level and has 6,000 square feet of interior space, complete with hurricane-resistant windows and doors, said Elaine Hearn, one of the The founders of a real estate company in paradise that has a show. She said many balconies and patios surrounding the pool and artificial turf lawns offer views of the Caribbean islands near St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.

“The property has waterfront access and access to a small bay via a natural stone staircase, where there is lovely snorkeling,” said Ms. Hearn. “All Anguilla’s beaches are public, but I’ve never seen anyone on this bay except the owners of the four houses around it.”

A circular drive approaches the portico opening into a foyer with a curved marble staircase. A few stairs from the lobby lead to the main living room and dining area, with large sliding glass doors leading to the pool terrace. An adjoining games room with a pool table leads to the kitchen, which has an island, granite countertops, blue backsplashes, and a breakfast nook with built-in seating. The games room also opens onto a covered terrace for dining, as well as a 52-by-13-foot pool. The first floor also contains a gym, bathroom, laundry room and storage rooms.

Villa furniture, mostly imported from Europe, is included in the asking price. Floor tiles are a mixture of marble, limestone, sandstone, and local coral stone.

The second floor has four bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, with access to an extended balcony overlooking the sea. Each marble tiled bathroom with glass-walled shower. Two have bathtubs and a walk-in wardrobe with built-in shelves.

The third floor has a central living area with balcony and kitchenette, surrounded by two en-suite bedrooms with walk-in wardrobes and sand-tiled bathrooms.

There is air conditioning throughout the house, as well as three outdoor showers. The property, which seats at least six cars, is landscaped with cottonwood, palm trees, bougainvillea, and hibiscus. Ms Hearn said plans to build a separate one-bedroom structure had been approved.

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. Ms Hearn said the valley, the capital of Anguilla with a population of about 1,000, is a 10-minute drive away. 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 to Saint Martin and take a 20-minute boat trip to Anguilla.

Neil Freeman said the housing market in Anguilla, a British overseas territory of about 15,000 residents in the eastern Caribbean, suffered the tandem shocks of Hurricane Irma in 2017 and the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but rebounded in the last year. Manager with Freeman Caribbean Investments.

Anguilla does not publish official home 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, has rebounded and has given some impetus to property sales.

While government statistics show that tourism in 2021, with 28,696 tourists arriving, is down 82.7 percent from 2019, this January saw some of the island’s highest tourism numbers in recent years, according to the Anguilla Tourism Board. The number of inbound stops increased by 22 percent compared to the Board’s base year of 2016.

This is partly due to non-stop flights from Miami, which began in December 2020, said Lisa DeLong, director of property sales at Tranquility Beach Anguilla, a new 15-unit beachfront residential development — the first of its scale in a decade.

Ms DeLong said flights from Miami, as well as increased traffic from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Island in St. Thomas, “has been a significant factor in increasing tourism and investor interest” and eased visitor entry protocols. “Being able to skip the extra transfer in St Maarten and be at the beach in Anguilla early is a game-changer and makes a US weekend viable.”

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

At the same time, the villa market continues in full swing, he said, “I have heard of many villa owners who received purchase offers, often unsolicited, at nearly double their value a few years ago and chose to keep them.”

Initiatives such as the Anguilla Residency-by-Investment Program — which was introduced in June 2019 and provides permanent residency to foreigners who invest at least $750,000 in Anguilla real estate — may boost the island’s economy. Brokers said the Digital Nomad programme, which allows travelers to work in Anguilla for a period of three to 12 months, launched in August 2020 and has been another boon to the real estate market, with more than 500 applicants.

“After getting through the pandemic, people have realized that they don’t have to be tied to a city or physically present to do their jobs,” said Janine Edwards, director of management at Sunset Homes Anguilla and director of Tranquility Beach Anguilla.

Ms Hearn said stock shortages in other Caribbean islands that are considered rivals to Anguilla, including the Turks and Caicos Islands and Saint Barthelemy, may also affect the housing market in Anguilla. “Since the reopening of the borders, sales have been good, especially in the less than $1 million range,” she said.

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

Mr. Freeman said homes in Anguilla are more expensive than in countries like Costa Rica and Jamaica, but better than comparable properties on neighboring islands. “Anguilla properties range from $1,000 per square foot to $1,500 per square foot for beachfront locations, and $500 to $1,000 for an interior or waterfront with a rocky beach,” he said. “Prices are higher in St. Barts, Turks and Caicos, from $2,000 to $3,000 per square foot.”

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

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

The brokers said that foreign buyers in Anguilla must apply for an exotic land ownership license, which is a fairly straightforward process with a $400 application fee that typically takes one to four months to grant.

There is a 5 percent tax on an alien land ownership license, along with a 5 percent 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 housing units are available for rental while on vacation,” Ms DeLong said.

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

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

Mortgages from local banks are available. “Interest rates are around 6 per cent right now,” Ms Hearn said. “Most buyers pay in cash.”

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

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

Eileen Hearn, Properties in Heaven, 264-497-1964, propertiesinparadise.com

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