Home Searching in Turks and Caicos: Open-Air, Oceanfront Solitude

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House Hunting in Turks and Caicos: Open-Air, Oceanfront Solitude

This 3 bedroom villa is set back from a 12m cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on South Caicos Island, one of nine inhabited islands and cays in the Turks and Caicos Archipelago.

The Caribbean-inspired home, known as the Coral Villa, consists of a series of interconnected pavilions with metal roofs. Its 2,020 square meter interior opens up to an additional 2,580 square meters of outdoor living space on a 1.54 hectare property.

Completed in 2019, it is one of nine completed houses (and the first resale) in the Peninsula Villas area of ​​the Sailrock Resort, a 770 hectare complex with 300 residential areas set amidst natural vegetation, unique topographies and diverse coastlines.

"It's a barefoot, luxury lifestyle," said Michael Bovell, a sales rep at Sotheby’s International Realty Turks and Caicos, who has the list.

The single story house is accessed via a dirt road to a dirt driveway lined with rugged stones at the front of the house, with a detached single garage on one side.

A glazed front door opens to a hallway that leads to a central large room with nearly 5 meter high vaulted ceilings, exposed wood and travertine floors. To one side is a kitchen with custom-made wooden cabinets, white quartz countertops, and a center island with a wine cooler. Four wooden stools fit under the breakfast bar.

A table with wooden benches on each side anchors the dining area. The living area has matching sofas, a sisal carpet and a television on a wooden sideboard. The house, which can be rented through the resort's hotel program, will be sold furnished.

Large sliding glass doors suitable for hurricanes open from the living area to a pergola-covered terrace with wicker furniture by Janus et Cie, a heated pool and panoramic ocean views. Another pergola-shaded terrace is at the opposite end of the large room.

The bedrooms occupy the pavilions that frame the large space. Each has its own bathroom with an outside shower in a brick garden. A separate door leads from the bedrooms to private oceanfront terraces.

The two master bedrooms also have walk-in closets and washbasins with quartz plates, trough sinks and Grohe sanitary fittings in the bathrooms. Every room is air-conditioned.

The villa is a 5-minute golf cart ride from Sailrock's Great House. Resort amenities include two restaurants and bars, a spa, fitness center, infinity pool, bike paths, and secluded beaches.

The 8 square mile island of South Caicos with about 1,200 residents is known for its natural harbor, diving and deep sea fishing. Cockburn Harbor, about two miles from the house, has restaurants and corner grocery stores. South Caicos Airport, with an international terminal under construction, is 20 minutes from Sailrock. The flight to Providenciales, the largest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, takes 25 minutes; The ferry takes 90 minutes.

Beyond the serenity of the powdery white sandy beaches and the crystal clear turquoise waters of Turks and Caicos, the properties sizzle.

In the second quarter of 2021, the islands posted $ 328 million in sales, a 105 percent increase from Q2 2020 and "as much as Turks and Caicos Islands would normally do in a very strong year," said Joe Zahm. the President of Turks and Caicos Sotheby & # 39; s International Realty, citing data from the Turks and Caicos Real Estate Association. Residential and commercial prices rose an average of 26 percent.

Coupled with the islands' tax neutral status, the security of investing in a UK overseas territory, and easy access via a three-hour flight from New York, the pandemic has fueled the recent boom, with wealthy shoppers arriving in droves.

"Turks and Caicos figured out how to quickly manage Covid logs," said Mark Durliat, CEO of Grace Bay Resorts, who "emerged as a place where people want their second home experience."

“Quarantine in paradise.” This is how Robert Greenwood, partner and director at Regency-Christie & # 39; s International Real Estate, described those who moved to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Due to the low population density of the islands, Covid “became an insurance policy in addition to an insurance policy. We had very good sales during Covid, ”said Mr Greenwood.

As of September 3, Turks and Caicos Islands had reported 2,624 Covid-19 cases and 20 deaths in a population of around 39,000 year-round residents. As of September 1, proof of full vaccination has been required to enter the area and agents expect the security measure to make buyers comfortable and the market buzzing.

"Our goal is to be the safest place you can come," said Mr. Greenwood.

In the second quarter of 2021, 82 single-family homes were sold at an average price of $ 2.31 million, according to the Turks and Caicos Real Estate Association. Over the same period in 2020, 45 homes were sold at an average price of $ 1.85 million. In the condominium market, prices rose 10 percent year over year, with 69 units sold in the second quarter of 2021 at an average price of $ 1.02 million. A year earlier, 30 units were sold for an average of $ 928,600.

Although activity across the market was robust, there were "more sales in redevelopment than in resale," said Zahm. The trophy properties also increased. In Providenciales, nearly 5 acres of land with a panoramic waterfront was sold for just over US $ 20 million in May.

The significant increase in new developments with a strong focus on residential resorts is "in response to limited inventory and high and increasing demand from luxury lifestyle buyers," said Robert Cooper, director of 7th Heaven Properties, a Caribbean real estate company and Central America. Coupled with its "world-class beaches, high quality lifestyle, proximity to the US and extremely attractive tax environment, the Turks and Caicos Islands are one of the leading upscale travel destinations in the region," he said.

The Capri-like Rock House Resort on Providenciales' north coast is slated to open in early 2022, with 26 of 28 homes being sold in the first phase, Durliat said of the Grace Bay Resorts property. The two remaining two-bedroom cottages charge $ 2.25 and 2.025 million, including the use of day beds on a 130-foot jetty, a beach club, and a 30-foot infinity pool on a 25-foot limestone cliff .

In the islands, prices start at around $ 500,000 for a two- and three-bedroom home. Waterfront homes range from $ 700,000 on the low end to around $ 15 million for luxury beachfront homes, Cooper said.

Earlier this year, land sales soared for those looking to build island dreams and flooded architects and builders, said Ian Hurdle, founder and director of The Agency Real Estate, a luxury brokerage firm. House and land prices rose so much that the housing market, which had become "very weak," picked up in the first quarter of the year, added Hurdle.

Condos range from $ 250,000 to $ 9 million, Greenwood said, with 99 percent "going back into the short-term rental market". With no income tax levied on the islands, "it's a great way to have an income-generating nest egg offshore."

A new Ritz-Carlton Residences on Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales is slated for completion by October 1, with 59 of 60 condos in two 12-story towers being sold or under contract, said Walter Gardiner, the resort's director of sales. Presales started at $ 2 million for a 2,200-square-foot two-bedroom, ocean-view apartment. Three-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot penthouses sold for about $ 7 million, Gardiner said.

Private islands are also available. Water Cay's 432-acre, 7,000-foot-long white sand beach is currently on the market for $ 49 million.

"We're known for A-listers and industry captains," said Greenwood, noting that about 85 percent of buyers are from the United States.

In recent years, the "geographic footprint" has expanded from the traditional gateway markets on the east coast to Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas and Miami. Mr. Zahm said: "We are definitely seeing a broader group geographically."

The proportion of European buyers is low, although many are wealthy, "in dollar terms, it is high," said Zahm, adding that Canadians who cannot travel continue to shop virtually.

Buyers are also from Panama and South America, Mr. Greenwood said.

There are no restrictions on foreign ownership of real estate in Turks and Caicos Islands. The owners are registered on the title and the Crown guarantees ownership, Mr. Greenwood said. Title insurance is not required.

Mortgages at 50 percent down and interest rates of 5 to 7 percent are available from three Canadian banks, Hurdle said.

Most of the property is free and clear title, said Mr Durliat.

A lawyer takes care of the graduation; the fee is 0.5 to 1 percent, depending on the deal, said Zahm.

English; U.S. dollar

The community of owners fee for this property is $ 1,800 per year.

Turks and Caicos Islands have no annual wealth taxes, inheritance taxes, or capital gains taxes on property sales or ownership, nor are there any income taxes on income from real estate.

Stamp duty fluctuates with the economy and varies from island to island. In South Caicos, the tax is 6.5 percent on properties over $ 100,000. In Providenciales, the tax is 8 percent on land between $ 250,000 and $ 500,000 and 10 percent on land ownership transfers over $ 500,000.

Michael W. Bovell, Sotheby’s International Realty Turks and Caicos, 649-232-1163; turksandcaicossir.com

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