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The Market State

Digs With Docks  –  During these troubled times, it’s very interesting to note that the top end of the market for luxury yachts is apparently still doing very well indeed. Around 450 of these luxurious floating palaces, all 40 metres or more, are currently under construction. And if you want yours ready for next season, forget it. You will have to wait until something like 2013.

Now hold on. Don’t turn the magazine upside down. You are reading it the right way up and this is the Property section, not the Yacht Guide. The point is, having cracked your bottle of vintage champagne on the hull of your gleaming vessel – hopefully without scratching the very expensive paintwork – where are you going to park it? You could, I suppose, float around the world’s oceans indefinitely and helicopter in as needs be but at some point it really will have to dock. You’ll be needing a marina then. And wouldn’t it be nice to have somewhere to stay whilst you are waiting for your megayacht to be scrubbed and polished to perfection and for the Beluga and champagne to be replenished, before setting off on yor next adventure on the high seas. Could this explain then, that whilst much of the global property market is distressed, the development and sales of marina properties or indeed any home with a dock at all continue to flourish?

 

In the perfect and tax efficient sailing waters of the BVI, whilst we attract many of the finest vessels afloat, we historically have had relatively few homes to offer where you can achieve the dream of parking your boat out front. Getting permission for a new dock is, perhaps rightly, subject to great scrutiny and pretty darn difficult. Which explains, perhaps, why any property with a dock continues to command a premium price and why developments such as the waterfront townhouses with docks at Nanny Cay marina continue to be a hot seller. Nanny Cay will guarantee a slip in the marina for any purchaser whose yacht is too large to fit under the bridge. Any home with a dock at Leverick Bay in Virgin Gorda, for example, is likely to be snapped up. Scrub Island Resort, Spa and Marina, despite tripping over its feet a few times on the way, looks like it really will succeed in becoming the first new Resort and Marina of any scale to be built in the BVI in the last 20 years. The developers of Oil Nut Bay have just broken ground on a project that includes a megayacht marina in North Sound. And a new 15 acre waterfront residential project, only accessible by boat, at Blunder Bay is currently on the drawing board.

Since the majority of our property buyers in the BVI first discovered and fell in love with our islands by boat, it’s really not that much of a surprise then that despite the global meltdown, our property market continues to hold up well. Yes, if you surf through www.coldwellbankerbvi.com, you will notice the odd price reduction here and there (there’s also a couple of handsome increases) but if you look more closely you will see that these tend to be properties that were ‘ambitiously priced’, to be polite, in the first place. Any property that can boast anything vaguely resembling a dock is likely to hold its price.

As evidence of our lack of housing inventory for avid boaters, each year we at Coldwell Banker assist with finding accommodation for crews racing in the BVI Spring Regatta. Yet again this year there is simply not enough – anyone have a tent they’d like to rent?

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