After a rush to purchase before Stamp Duty was increased in June, Turks and Caicos Sotheby's International Realty President/Broker Joe Zahm says the Turks and Caicos real estate market continues to show steady activity.
According to TCSIR's quarterly market report, at the end of the third quarter of this year, the market is 8.55% ahead of last year (Click here to see a graph). Zahm says momentum from a strong Q2 - which showed a 30+% increase in sales dollar volume over last year - can be credited for the increase. Third quarter sales slowed, with a 20% decrease in sales dollar volume which Zahm says can be attributed to the following factors:
- Many buyers rushed to the June 30 to take advantage of the lower stamp duty rates
- Market adjusting to the newer increased rates
- Less motivated sellers for top tier of the market (water and beach front)
- Shrinking inventory for the top tier of the market
"The third quarter, however, is historically our slowest quarter," says Zahm, with the transactions stemming from the busy season now closed and slowing until the weather up north turns colder. "However, with strong buyer interest, bustling tourism, a pro-growth government and wonderful international Turks and Caicos Islands brand recognition (e.g. Parrot Cay by COMO was recently voted No. 1 in the World by Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards Top 100, a most significant nod from the hospitality and travel industry towards TCI), we anticipate a solid fourth quarter."
"Shrinking inventory, especially in the upper tiers, has made sellers a bit more bullish on price, but these sellers must beware that the buy-in is now a few percentage points, on average, higher with the higher stamp duty rates applicable. Buyers must however be cognizant that there are limited opportunities on the water, as scarcity now exists for prime beach and waterfront, and upper level condos."
An increase in inquiries from Europe, stemming primarily from changes in European taxation policies, is a trend Zahm says he is seeing in the Turks and Caicos real estate market in 2013. "The opportunity for investment-based permanent residency in the Turks and Caicos is attracting new buyers seeking re-location for a combination of lifestyle and tax advantages," he said.
As international investors are flocking to Turks and Caicos for potential development opportunity, Zahm reports strong inquiry activity on Dellis Cay and a pending agreement on Joe Grant’s Cay.
Other positive developments in the third quarter include the construction of The Residences on Grace Bay (by Grace Bay Resorts) with two of three already sold. The Shore Club announced in Septmeber they would be breaking ground soon in Long Bay and BEACH ENCLAVE, a nine home, elevated beach front development, is expected to launch later this year.
photo: TC Sotheby's International Realty/Steve Passmore