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State of the Market Year in Review

Our editors, Owen and Traci, look back on the year as we recover from last year’s economic crisis.

Having access to all opinions and market leaders has, in the wake or impact of a recession, been to a certain extent, revealed who is dictating the state of the market. Whilst for the majority our research, sitting back and looking at the year and recounting shoots and projects, has led to an overwhelming panicked reassurance of “Don’t worry all is okay—the BVI is the best place for your investment.” But seriously looking at the millions upon millions of dollars invested here, it has begun to speak for itself. What I have noticed in terms of a recession is a certain correction or reordering of things. Properties have been sold, and properties have never been looked at more meticulously. The potential investing client, the renter and the realtor and those of us here at Property Guide have never been in such a position of precise marketing and practical investigation. That is to say, correcting the aesthetics and looking at real solid pros and cons of a market, maintaining 100 % professionalism and integrity because in a recession, if you do not have that, you have nothing. I could now say that if I am told a property is worth 1 million dollars, it really is worth that—from the investment on its construction to the land market price, it is worth that and worth more as time goes along. My conclusion would be to say that you cannot go wrong with the BVI property market. It would take a catastrophe, and I mean a really unfair one, for it all to go wrong. The correction has happened, and we are on the other side. –Owen Waters

As the newest editor and newest BVI denizen, I can only comment on what I’ve seen this year. What I’ve noticed is that BVI firms that cater to the year-round residents of the Islands, as opposed to relying on the tourist industry and winter residents, have had steady business throughout the year. In contrast, the companies that do not actively seek long-term BVI residents as their clientele have suffered from the American and European financial downturn. It seems natural to market to the resident population, but many firms have been comfortably sustained by the non-resident population for so long that they had no need to market to those who live here every day. This applies to the real estate sector as well. Homes for BVI residents, both expats and citizens, continue to be built and bought, but the second-home market has suffered. In rentals, some landlords have converted their vacation villas or apartments into long-term rentals for BVI residents. As a vacation destination, we logically rely upon the tourist industry and “Snow Birds” for a large portion of our economy, but we can also learn from businesses who market to all who walk our streets and shores. –Traci O’Dea

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