House Hunting on Grenada: Caribbean Views for $2.5 Million
House Hunting on Grenada: Caribbean Views for $2.5 Million
A Hillside Villa on the Island of Grenada
This Mediterranean-style villa, on a one-acre hillside lot sprinkled with tropical fruit trees, is situated on a narrow peninsula jutting from the southeastern coast of Grenada. The three-bedroom main house, built in 1995 and renovated in 2009, and its one-bedroom guesthouse, share a 30-foot dock and views of Westerhall Bay, which feeds into the Caribbean Sea.
The 6,000-square-foot, split-level house exemplifies Grenadian-style indoor-outdoor living, said Renee Charles, the brokerage manager at Terra Caribbean, which has the listing. A covered veranda spanning the back of the villa with several French doors serves as the de facto entrance and hub.
“The open-plan kitchen, dining and living room all flow through into the veranda and onto the pool deck, creating a perfect space for entertaining,” Ms. Charles said.
From the road, a gently sloping driveway leads to a semi-attached garage and the white concrete house with a red and white tiled roof. Past a gazebo, a covered, open-air hallway descends a few steps to the columned veranda, which overlooks the bay and a verdant neighboring peninsula. Sofas and a dining table are arranged for outdoor living. The house is being sold furnished.
Mullioned French doors with half-moon tops lead to the great room, which has a lofty beamed ceiling and creamy porcelain tiles on the floor. A small office is tucked beneath the staircase.
Beyond the dining area, the kitchen has granite countertops, pine cabinets and a center island with a built-in wine rack. There is a pantry and storage room with an extra freezer behind the stainless-steel refrigerator.
Between the living and dining areas, a short wood staircase leads up to a TV room with a Brazilian hardwood floor and another lofty beamed ceiling. The room, on the street side of the house, could revert to a formal entry hall.
Up four steps to the left, the air-conditioned master suite has an oak floor, a walk-in closet and a balcony overlooking the bay. A large Jacuzzi, open to the bedroom, occupies a niche with a picture window facing the waterfront.
Up separate stairs, two air-conditioned guest bedrooms each have a balcony and share a hall bathroom.
French doors in the living room open to a covered built-in bar and a cabana bath. On the far side of the 30-foot saltwater pool, more shade can be found under a gazebo with a green aluminum roof. The deck is a patterned red clay tile.
Down a few steps on the back of the garage is a large laundry room. Past that, a one-bedroom guest apartment has a waterfront balcony, a kitchenette and a full bath.
Beyond the large back yard, the garden is filled with mango, banana, grapefruit, coconut, sugar apple, lime, orange, golden apple and soursop trees. A path leads down to a 30-foot-long dock.
Grenada is a 135-square-mile island in the south Caribbean Sea, about 100 miles north of Venezuela. This property is in the gated Westerhall Point neighborhood, on the southeast coast. A gas station, mini mart, small marina and restaurant are close by. More restaurants, shops and sandy beaches are in Grand Anse, a 20-minute drive along winding roads. The eight-mile drive to Maurice Bishop International Airport takes about 25 minutes; government offices in St. George’s, the capital, are slightly closer.
In 2019, Grenada, a sovereign state of about 110,000 residents, enjoyed “another incredible year of growth,” said Paula La Touche-Keller, president of the National Realtors Association of Grenada and owner-broker of Century 21 Grenada Grenadines, in an email message. The total value of real estate transactions increased 35 percent, from $64 million in 2018 to $86 million in 2019.
The island nation saw especially robust growth in 2018 as it continued its recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, according to the Grenada Real Estate Market Report, compiled by Century 21 Grenada Grenadines. A total of 758 sales were recorded that year, an increase of 23 percent from 2017, with an average transaction value of $84,316.
Increased activity in “prime, large, development sites” has bolstered the market, Ms. La Touche-Keller said, driven by a growing number of international buyers drawn by the “attractiveness and growth of Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment program.”
The program, launched in 2013, offers a path to citizenship to those who invest $350,000 in a government-approved real estate development. Most of the properties sold through the program are condominiums within resorts, such as the branded residences at Kimpton Kawana Bay.
Overall, sales of vacant plots make up the largest portion of transactions on Grenada. “Great swaths of the country” have very low density, with ample available land, Ms. La Touche-Keller said. Additionally, “there is always a steady exchange of luxury villas and prime residential projects.”
Though most residences on Grenada are single-family, the vacation-home market “slowly died a natural death” and “went away completely after the global downturn in 2008,” said Leila Maria LaTouche, a director of Terra Caribbean. When the market resumed, it resurfaced in “a different form,” owing to “the expansion of the villa rental market and Airbnb.”
“People are interested in buying a second home, but they want a return,” Ms. LaTouche said.
Owning an acre or more of land on Grenada is not unusual, but “more and more we see the leaning toward condos by the baby boomers and Gen Y,” said Victoria Williams, broker-owner of Coldwell Banker Grenada Grenadines, adding that condos are “a fairly new addition to the Grenadian landscape.”
Property prices tend to be lower than on other Caribbean islands, as the market is smaller and less mature, said Robert Cooper, a director of 7th Heaven Properties, which specializes in luxury Caribbean properties. “Luxury homes for sale in Grenada can be 25 percent less expensive than on islands such as St. Lucia or Antigua,” he said. “Grenada has been hit by hurricanes in the past but due to its southerly location, it tends to be affected far less frequently than other Caribbean islands to the north.”
At the Mount Cinnamon Resort, 23 of 24 new two- and three-bedroom turnkey villas have sold since 2007, said Mark Scott, the director of development, with five lots left. At 1,500 square feet, the fully decorated three-bedrooms with landscaping and pools run about $1.5 million.
Most condominiums developments are in the Grand Anse-St. George’s area, also the center of the island’s tourist belt, Ms. Williams said. Two-bedroom, two-bath units range from $450,000 to more than $750,000, depending on proximity to the beach. Vacation houses begin at around $750,000 for a three-bedroom and rise to more than $3.5 million for a stand-alone property in a gated community.
But much of that is on hold as Grenada responds to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The advent of Covid-19, and the necessary suspension of business activities, has temporarily paralyzed the real estate market,” Ms. LaTouche-Keller said. “Despite the challenges, most buyers and sellers have remained committed to ongoing sales. We continue to receive a steady flow of inquiries for sales and rentals. We won’t understand the impact until we have greater clarity on how long and how deep the disruptions will be.”
Added Mr. Cooper, “Many of our clients have been telling us that they view the Caribbean as a safe haven and they can’t wait to be able to get back there. After an initial decline, website traffic and enquiries for Grenada are up, so we will just have to wait and see how things pan out.”
Who Buys on Grenada
Most buyers of vacation homes are part of the “Grenadian diaspora — Grenadians who have moved away,” Ms. Charles said. “Grenadians who work outside Grenada want a second home in Grenada.”
Traditionally, international buyers have come primarily from the United States, Britain and Canada, Ms. LaTouche-Keller said, though “the citizenship program is attracting new buyers from Asia, the Middle East and Africa.”
Foreign buyers need an alien landholding license, which costs 10 percent of the purchase price.
Stamp duty of 1 percent is charged on the purchase price in order to register the property.
Buyers are required to have a lawyer to do the closing, Ms. Charles said. Legal fees are 2 percent plus a 15 percent value-added tax.
Languages and Currency
English; East Caribbean dollar (1 East Caribbean dollar = $0.37)
Taxes and Fees
The annual property tax on the villa is $600, with a $660 homeowner association fee.