Q&A with James Burdess, Head of Savills Caribbean

“It’s the beginning of an upward curve”

We caught up with James Burdess, Head of Savills Caribbean to get his views on the state of the  property market over the next few years why he thinks investing in property now in Antigua makes sense.

1. How would you describe the property market in Antigua right now?

The demand for homes to buy is very buoyant and the rental market is also strong with high demand for luxury homes available to rent. We wish there was more stock of homes to sell and rent to meet demand.

2. What has brought about the change?

Antigua differentiates itself from the rest of the Caribbean as a sailing destination and during the pandemic there was an influx of owners and charter guests taking to boats. It became a car park for mega yachts. I think they started noticing all the lovely bays and places they could buy a home, and it seemed to stimulate demand.

It’s the beginning of an upward curve.

3. What are property prices doing?

Property prices are increasing as demand for real estate is currently very strong in Antigua. There are not many resale homes available, so most buyers have to consider a new build if they want to buy a luxury home on the island.

4. Do properties in Antigua make good investments?

Investing in the Caribbean is normally lifestyle rather than purely investment driven, but the purchase is underpinned by value. Buying a home on Antigua will appreciate, as prices are only going to go one way and that’s up in the next few years.

There are some fabulous development and real estate opportunities in Antigua. It is still good value and you can buy right on the waterfront, which is difficult to do in Barbados and St Barts now, at a reasonable price point.

5. Where is the demand coming from?

Demand is more diverse than some islands with an eclectic mix of British, Belgian, French, Italian buyers. There are two marinas owned by Italians, so they are quite a draw for Italians.

It is more European than Barbados. In comparison the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Cayman Islands have about 90% buyers from the USA.

6. What are restaurants like in Antigua?

Antigua already has great restaurants, but I expect there will be more variety coming. The new ones so far have been quite bespoke and charming. They are not like many of the super smart ones in Barbados, they are more casual, with less focus on the décor and more on the quality of food.

7. What do you think of Pearns Point?

Pearns Point is exceptional as a piece of land and a location. Being on a peninsula gives a feeling of being on your own private island with the advantages of security, sea views and privacy.

Now the infrastructure and planning is all in place, it’s ready to go and it’s a great time to buy a plot and to build your desired home, with the Antiguan property market on the up.

8. What are your predictions for Antigua’s property market over the next few years?

The property market over the next few years is set to do very well with prices in Antigua attractive versus other islands and hence they will only go one way – up.  There are many large projects in the pipeline, including the redevelopment of Jolly Harbour, as well as a lot of energy in the hotel sector which will help generate interest. Currently the demand for property outweighs the supply of built homes, so most buyers are having to design and build their own homes.

9. Any Top Tips for buying in Antigua/ Key things to Consider?

Aside from the usual legal processes of buying a property, it is a relatively straightforward process to buy in Antigua.