Cardea Property Consultants sell $14.5m of real estate in the First Half of 2010

Sugar Beach VillaFemale property investors are becoming increasingly confident about the overseas property market; Cardea Property Consultants, sales and marketing agents for Sugar Beach villas in St Lucia, have sold luxury villas totalling $14.5 million in their first six months of operation. Since the all-female agency set up in December 2009, four private residences and three freehold rental pool villas have been sold.

Their success is down to several factors:

– They are selling properties on a Freehold basis which is very unusual as beachfront land is leasehold in St Lucia
– Owners receive a 37.5% share of the total room revenue, which will be pooled and then split between owners proportionately according to the purchase price of their villa
– The developer is not reliant on bank finance to complete the renovation and the project.

There is a number of reasons to buy investment property in St Lucia:

A sound investment: St. Lucia offers the same advantages as other Caribbean properties, with prices currently 60-65 per cent less for the equivalent floor space. The island’s tax regulations ensure minimal taxes on re-sales; no estate taxes and no tax on rental income for the first 10 years of ownership (15 years for Sugar Beach).

Culture: St. Lucia provides the best of both worlds: a laid-back friendly island atmosphere with modern amenities and North American building standards. Influenced by a blend of African, French and English traditions, St. Lucians are known as the friendliest people in the Caribbean, if not the world. The island hosts a wide array of cultural festivals, giving visitors a true taste of the tropics.

Security: St. Lucia is a stable, independent nation, providing visitors with an established and trusted banking system, excellent medical services and a safe tourism environment.

Accessible location: St. Lucia is an ideal location for those looking to escape the cold winter months. It is easily accessible from London Heathrow and London Gatwick from where there are 5 flights per week with British Airways and 3 flights per week with Virgin. St Lucia is also accessible by sea as a popular cruise and sailing destination.

A tropical paradise: St. Lucia offers rainforest hiking and walking, some of the world’s best sailing, the Piton mountains and golden sand beaches.

Cardea Property Consultants, sales and marketing agents for Sugar Beach villas in St Lucia, have sold luxury villas totalling $14.5 million in their first six months of operation. Since the all-female agency set up in December 2009, four private residences and three freehold rental pool villas have been sold.
Lisa Basire, marketing director, puts Cardea’s success down to several factors. She says: “Sugar Beach is being sold on a freehold basis, which is extremely unusual in St Lucia as beachfront land is leasehold.

“We have been able to sell new-build rental pool villas, which form the accommodation for the resort because the existing hotel – the Jalousie Plantation – has 20 years of trading history. That’s why Sugar Beach is able to offer owners an exact 37.5% of the pooled room revenue rather than paying a split of the profit because they know what the running costs are and they know the occupancy levels. For added confidence, purchasers of these fully furnished rental pool villas enjoy a minimum 5% rental guarantee from handover and for the first 12 months after the hotel (Jalousie Plantation) re-opens as The Tides Sugar Beach in 2011.”

Owners are entitled to use their villa for four weeks each year. For a one bedroom villa this is the equivalent to a saving of around US$23,100 each year.

Lisa continues: “We are finding, however, that the three bed – roomed private residences are the most popular purchases. I think the reason for this might be that the type of purchaser coming in at this level is more focused on retaining privacy and anonymity.”

“Another positive of Sugar Beach in this difficult world market, is that the developer is not reliant on bank finance to complete the $100 million development, giving investors’ peace of mind that the resort will be re-developed as planned.”

Most investors at the Sugar Beach resort are primarily from Britain making up 56% of the total purchases, followed by Europeans and Americans which together make up for 30% of the sales. Buyers of the Private Residences get all the benefits of the ongoing US$100 million redevelopment of the former Jalousie Plantation resort which will redefine the concept of luxury when complete and re-launched as the Tides Sugar Beach Resort in 2011.

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