Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or seasoned veteran, buying in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) has an array of opportunities available.
The last major construction boom in St. Thomas was in the 1970s. This period saw many USVI waterfront locations developed including a large portion of its rentals. Afterwards, the pace of development in the U.S. Virgin Islands slowed considerably even though its global reputation as an incredible vacation spot continued to grow. This has created a situation where hotel room market supply in the USVI is 2,500 rooms below ideal capacity. Adding new units by converting residential properties into timeshares or short-term rentals is a sensible way to make the most of the current market and earn a great return on initial investment.We foresee a steady demand for new long-term (corporate), multi-family, and short term (Airbrb, HomeAway, or VRBO) rentals well into the future.
LUXURY REAL ESTATE MARKET
The wide range of luxury properties currently available along with a temporary slowdown in demand means that right now is a great time to check out the unique opportunities available within the USVI luxury market. We expect demand to increase sharply once the USVI government finishes retooling its Economic Development Commission Tax Incentive Program.
THE CONDOMINIUM LIFESTYLE
For those looking for the luxury lifestyle without the luxury price tag, condominiums in the USVI are an excellent place to start. In fact, we often recommend them as a great way to get your feet wet as a first time homebuyer in the Islands. As many were built years ago, and those that haven’t been renovated yet, offers the opportunity to purchase one at a more conservative price point. You can fix-it-up for yourself or for that future vacationer looking for a place to relax for a week or more.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (NAR)
New developments recently reported by economists from the National Association of Realtors and realtor.com will also likely drive investors to seek opportunities off shore to places like the USVI.
“A key development in existing-home sales activity in June could predict relief for homebuyers, especially first-time buyers,” according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession. Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines,” Yun continues.
Sales to investors—who often have an advantage over other types of buyers due to all-cash offers—trended down to a year low in June. “It appears the ongoing run-up in price growth in many areas and less homes for sale at bargain prices are forcing some investors to step away from the market,” says Yun. “Fewer investors paying in cash is good news as it could mean a little less competition for the homes first-time buyers can afford.”
Due to the above we expect our market to enjoy an increase in offshore investment.