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House Hunting on Anguilla: Modern Elegance, Steps From the Caribbean


This contemporary six-bedroom villa on the southern coast of Anguilla overlooks a small beach with a cove within the Caribbean Sea. Inbuilt 2006 on 0.65 acres within 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 has the listing. Quite a few balconies and patios surrounding a pool and artificial turf lawn offer views of the nearby Caribbean islands of St. Martin and St. Barthélemy, she said.

“The property has sea frontage and access to a small cove via a natural stone staircase, where there is beautiful snorkeling,” Ms. Hearn said. “All of Anguilla’s beaches are public, but I’ve never seen anyone on that cove apart from the owners of the 4 homes around it.”

A circular drive approaches a portico opening to a foyer with a curved marble staircase. A number of stairs from the foyer lead all the way down to the predominant front room and dining area, with large sliding glass doors out to the pool terrace. An adjoining game room with a pool table results in the kitchen, which has an island, granite countertops, a blue tile backsplash and a breakfast nook with built-in seating. The sport room also opens to a covered terrace furnished for dining, in addition to the 52-by-13-foot pool. The primary floor also has a gym, bathroom, laundry room and storage rooms.

The villa’s furniture, mostly imported from Europe, is included within the asking price. Floor tiles are a mixture of marble, travertine, sandstone and native coral stone.

The second floor has 4 en suite bedrooms, all with access to an prolonged balcony with sea views. Each bathroom is marble-tiled with a glass-walled shower; two have bathtubs and walk-in closets with built-in shelving.

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

There may be air-conditioning throughout the house, in addition to three outdoor showers. The property, which has parking for not less than six cars, is landscaped with cottonwood, palm trees, bougainvillea and hibiscus. Plans have been approved to construct a separate one-bedroom structure, Ms. Hearn said.

The villa is a brief drive from the village of Blowing Point, where Anguilla’s ferry terminal is situated, and Rendezvous Bay Beach, a two-mile stretch of white sand. The Valley, Anguilla’s capital with about 1,000 residents, is a 10-minute drive, Ms. Hearn said. Also nearby is a golf course, tennis academy and boat tour firms. Anguilla’s international airport, which receives nonstop flights from Miami, is about eight minutes from the villa. Visitors can even fly into St. Maarten and take a 20-minute boat ride to Anguilla.

The housing market on Anguilla, a British overseas territory with about 15,000 residents within the eastern Caribbean Sea, suffered the tandem shocks of Hurricane Irma in 2017 and the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but has bounced back up to now 12 months, said Neil Freeman, a manager with Freeman Caribbean Investments.

Anguilla doesn’t publish official housing-price statistics. Nevertheless, Mr. Freeman said, after the federal government lifted quarantine requirements for vaccinated visitors in July 2021, tourism, which dominates the island’s economy, picked up and lent some momentum to real estate sales.

While government statistics show that tourism in 2021, with 28,696 arrivals, plummeted by 82.7 percent from 2019, this January saw a number of the island’s highest tourism numbers lately, in accordance with the Anguilla Tourism Board. Stopover arrivals were up 22 percent over the board’s base 12 months of 2016.

This was due partially to nonstop flights from Miami, which began in December 2020, said Lisa DeLong, an actual estate sales manager with Tranquility Beach Anguilla, a recent 15-unit beachfront condo development — the primary of its size in a decade.

The flights from Miami, in addition to increased traffic from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Thomas, “have been a big factor for increased tourism and investor interest,” as have relaxed visitor entry protocols, Ms. DeLong said. “Having the ability to skip the additional transfer in St. Maarten and be on the beach in Anguilla earlier is a game-changer and makes a weekend getaway from the U.S. viable.”

Mr. Freeman, who’s a principal with Tranquility Beach Anguilla, said that greater than half the event’s 15 units have sold up to now 10 months, including about $4.2 million value of units up to now few weeks. Two-bedroom beachfront units are asking $1,100 a square foot, with other units priced as little as $750 a square foot, he said.

At the identical time, the marketplace for villas continues apace, he said: “I’ve heard of several villa owners who’ve received purchase offers, often unsolicited, at almost double the worth from a number of years ago and have chosen to carry.”

Initiatives comparable to Anguilla’s Residency by Investment program — which was introduced in June 2019 and offers everlasting residency to foreigners who invest not less than $750,000 in Anguilla real estate — could also be bolstering the island’s economy. The Digital Nomad program, which allows travelers to work in Anguilla for 3 to 12 months, launched in August 2020 and has been one other boon to the actual estate market, with greater than 500 applicants, brokers said.

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

An absence of inventory on other Caribbean islands considered Anguilla’s competitors, including Turks and Caicos and Saint Barthélemy, can also be affecting Anguilla’s housing market, Ms. Hearn said. “Since borders reopened, sales have been good, especially within the under-$1-million range,” she said.

Among the many qualities that attract foreign home buyers to Anguilla, a flat 35-square-mile island of coral and limestone, are a famously laid-back and friendly population, favorable tax laws, exceptional beaches and restaurants, and a low crime rate, Ms. Hearn said. “There aren’t any casinos, no fast-food chains, no inheritance tax and no capital gains,” she said.

Houses on Anguilla are costlier than in countries like Costa Rica and Jamaica, but a greater deal than comparable properties on neighboring islands, Mr. Freeman said. “Anguilla properties range from $1,000 a square foot to $1,500 a square foot for beachfront locations, and $500 to $1,000 for inland or waterfront with a rocky shore,” he said. “In St. Bart’s and Turks and Caicos, prices are higher, from $2,000 to $3,000 a square foot.”

About three-quarters of foreign buyers on Anguilla hail from the US, and about 10 percent come from Canada, Mr. Freeman said. “Anguilla attracts a mixture of snowbirds, retirees and high-net value individuals,” he said. “At Tranquility Beach specifically, we’ve sold to several young families on the lookout for investment income.”

Lots of the remaining foreign buyers are British, Ms. Hearn said. “The island is so small, there aren’t any bad areas to purchase, but many buyers are on the lookout for the West End, where the vast majority of five-star hotels are, including Belmond Cap Juluca, 4 Seasons and Aurora Anguilla Resort and Golf Club,” she said.

Foreign buyers on Anguilla must apply for an Alien Land Holding License, a reasonably straightforward process with a $400 application fee that typically takes between one to 4 months to be granted, brokers said.

There may be a 5 percent duty on the Alien Land Holding License, together 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 variety of days the condominiums can be found for vacation rental,” Ms. DeLong said.

Generally, purchases by foreigners are limited to a half acre (industrial developments excepted), and residential construction have to be accomplished inside 30 months, though exceptions are made, Ms. Hearn said.

While Anguilla’s official currency is the East Caribbean dollar, many transactions are conducted in U.S. dollars. Buyers often hire a neighborhood lawyer, which generally costs about 1 to 2 percent of the sale price. Sale commissions are typically 5 percent and paid by the vendor.

Mortgages from local banks can be found. “Rates of interest are about 6 percent in the intervening time,” Ms. Hearn said. “Most of my buyers pay in money.”

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

Annual property taxes on this villa are about $2,500. Foreign owners selecting to rent out the villa must pay an annual licensing fee of about $1,000 to the federal government, Ms. Hearn said.

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

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