The Islands are Calling

Turks and Caicos and Bermuda prove that second homeownership is hot, indeed 

This past year has demonstrated a major market surge for real estate in the United States. But when it comes to luxury home sales, it is not just the homes within the country’s borders that have been selling like hotcakes — and developers are here for it. According to third-quarter reports from Sotheby’s, real estate in Turks and Caicos, the island territory within the West Indies, has increased 319 percent year-over-year, with year-to-date sales volume up 150 percent over the final three quarters of 2020. Single-family homes have made up 56 percent of this market — at over $280 million in transactions — and the average home price has increased 17 percent, clocking in at $2.25 million. 

Major hotel brands, like the Ritz Carlton and Rock House, have added residence villas to their resort properties (the Ritz opened the doors to its newest hotel project this past June). Condominiums, like these hotel residences, have accounted for just under 20 percent of the sales market this year, up nearly 200 percent over 2020. Considering its accessibility to New York — and skyrocketing value — this is an island group that ought to be on the radar of anyone seeking a secondary residence. 

Second homeowners in search of a bit of a bargain in the luxury market can look no further than Bermuda, which has an up-and-coming real estate market (only two years ago, the island’s market was virtually stagnant). According to Rego Sotheby’s International Realty, Bermuda’s luxury real estate sales were up 150 percent in 2020 year-over-year, and the year’s fourth-quarter was the best that it had been in over five years. 

The price of single-family homes rose 34 percent in Bermuda between 2019 and 2020, and consumer confidence — paired with major property openings, like the St. Regis — have encouraged even more interest in the island. Three years ago, the Rosewood Bermuda reopened after an extensive $25 million renovation. And in 2020, Azura Bermuda, a villas-only resort with residences for sale, opened. Residences, which have launched and sold in phases, have been extremely popular. 

The market on these islands, as with the current market in the United States, shows no real sign of slowing, and increased interest from the luxury demographic in the form of hotels and restaurants has helped ignite furious demand for these getaways. The distance, too, is key. Second homeowners can reach Turks and Caicos on a three-hour direct flight from New York, and they can reach Bermuda in even less time: just over two hours by plane. 

And, for homeowners seeking a truly turnkey experience, the resort residences that have cropped up in these areas are extremely promising. Both the Ritz Carlton and the St. Regis, both of which are owned by the same parent company, offer resort-style amenities, like concierge services, laundry, arrival provisioning, plant maintenance, secretarial services, and, naturally, access to all of the resort’s facilities. At Bermuda’s Azura, guests can even rely on the on-property management team to assist in renting the home out to other guests to boost property revenue. These markets are rising, but there’s still time to get on board. On Turks and Caicos and Bermuda, the value isn’t going anywhere.