A home in the Caribbean has always been an aspirational lifestyle purchase – a symbol of luxury, success and of having reached a point in life where you can afford to take it easy in one of the most beautiful regions on earth. The fundamentals of this idyll never change – the climate and beaches, the laidback lifestyle and friendly people.
Now, however, buyers are increasingly seeking a different kind of Caribbean cocktail – one that combines all the elements of a perfect holiday with the fundamentals for a strong property investment.
Buyers want personal usage as well as rental returns that deliver a return on investment – and there is a growing number of condo hotels and villa resort developments that are responding to those demands. Some go as far as guaranteeing rental yields. Others trust their track record and the location’s proven popularity to forecast a high return on investment for investors.
Here we look at seven of the best new resorts offering relaxation and ROI.
1. Beachfront Condos with 70% Rental Revenue Split
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Offered at: From US $254,536
When it comes to footfall – a vital element if you are chasing high returns – it’s hard to beat the Punta Cana area, the most popular destination on the Caribbean’s most visited island, the Dominican Republic.
Tourist numbers are booming, giving developers the confidence to offer high rental yields, such as at these contemporary condos. They sit on white sands, 10 minutes from the country’s busiest international airport, and come fully furnished and stylishly designed.
The condos are located within a fully operational boutique resort with facilities including several pools, beach club, two restaurants, spa, mini market and Zen gardens with shops, a marina and golf courses nearby.
Competitively priced, the final few remaining condos come with no usage restrictions and offer a 70% split of rental revenue, while resale units allow four weeks of annual personal usage and come with a guarantee from the developers that, for a defined period, the two-bedroom units will see a fixed annual return of 6% and three-bedroom units a 7% return, based on the original purchase price of the property. Owners also benefit from full on-site maintenance and exemption from transfer and annual property tax. Financing is available from local banks.
View property details: Condos for Sale in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Discover more: Real estate for sale in the Dominican Republic.
2. Last Few Beach Club Units with 5% Guaranteed Returns
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Offered at: $349,000
With the turquoise Caribbean Sea at your feet and monkeys swinging in the surrounding trees in the most popular resort on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, these residences offer all the lifestyle and holiday appeal you could want. There are spas, bars and restaurants, sports and nightlife galore, and a multitude of other five-star amenities and services.
This Playa del Carmen resort, built by an award-winning developer and managed by a leading international hotel brand, also comes with a compelling investment angle.
There are two remaining fully-furnished beach club units available that offer guaranteed rental returns of 5% for five years. With other remaining units, which vary from one- to three-bed condos and penthouses, buyers are guaranteed that if they put their property in the rental program, they will at least cover their costs, including homeowners’ insurance, property tax, utilities, maintenance fees and exclusive Beach Club access.
Mexico’s tourism is booming (up 9% in 2016 to an annual total of 35 million visitors) and its economy is steadily growing. Accessibility is good too, with Cancun International Airport just 30 minutes away.
View property details: Condos for Sale in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
Discover more: Real estate for sale in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
3. Condos with Rock Star Appeal and 6% Guaranteed Returns
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Offered at: From US $173,200
This is the place to relax by the almost endless pool, safe in the knowledge that your property is providing you with a 6% guaranteed return p.a.. That makes it one of the best rental earners in the Caribbean.
These 123 condos sit next to the Hard Rock Golf Club at Cana Bay and come with views across the gardens, pool or the Jack Nicklaus-designed championship golf course. Other resort facilities include a kilometer-long pool and fitness center and owners enjoy use of a beach club on the soft white sands of Macao Beach, a short stroll away. The neighboring Hard Rock Hotel – a global attraction, renowned for its fun, friendly atmosphere – has the added offering of a casino, spa, shops, nightclub and nine restaurants.
Two-bedroom condos and penthouses with private terraces are available. The resort takes care of rentals – and you pay no transfer or real estate tax.
View property details: Punta Cana Condos for Sale.
Discover more: Real estate for sale in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic.
4. Luxury Treehouse Villa with 5% Guaranteed ROI
Offered at: US $650,000
It’s hard to think of a more idyllic escape than this 2,000 sq ft luxury treehouse villa in a soul-nourishing resort on the Emerald Coast. Set over two levels and finished with rich, sustainable hardwoods, the villa is tucked away on a forest-covered hillside with views of the beach, ocean and flower-filled grounds.
The villa comprises two units – a master king “penthouse” suite with an ocean-view balcony and a queen guest suite with a plunge pool set into a private deck. The spectacular views from both go without saying and the private white sand beach is just steps away. Also within a short walk are all the amenities of this highly rated eco resort.
So that’s the luxury escape sorted. What about the returns? As part of the hotel’s rental program, the villa comes with a 5% guaranteed annual ROI, with all maintenance and homeowners’ association (HOA) expenses paid.
While still considered off the beaten track but rapidly growing in popularity, Nicaragua is emerging as a more affordable alternative to Costa Rica and is a regular fixture on lists of must visit destinations.
View property details: Villa for Sale in Rivas, Nicaragua.
Discover more: Real estate for sale in Nicaragua.
5. Marina-Front Apartments with 7.5% Net Yield Forecast
New Providence, Bahamas
Offered at: From US $800,000
This is the kind of five-star Bahamian community that Hollywood stars love, with 69 acres of private luxury overlooking a deep-water 194-slip marina and powder soft white sands. Close at hand are the shops and nightlife of Nassau and Paradise Island, or serene escapes in the nearby islands of the Exumas.
Two-bedroom apartments – one of various property types available, including penthouses and town homes – front directly on to the marina, with views taking in the yachts bobbing on the water and the ocean beyond. The residences exude casual sophistication and come equipped with features including hurricane-proof sliding glass panels, signature European kitchens and spa showers.
Community amenities include a rooftop pool with views across the marina and beach, plus tennis courts, a gym, several parks, BBQ and entertainment areas.
In one of the top destinations in the Caribbean, these high specification apartments from an experienced developer represent great value for waterfront real estate with direct beach access.
From an investment perspective, the units are fully managed and expected to generate net rental returns of up to 7.5%. Buyers will also benefit from a 12-month exemption from the Property Management fee and Property Owners’ Association fees.
View property details: Apartments for sale in The Bahamas.
Discover more: Real estate for sale in The Bahamas.
6. Serene Apartments with Up to 6% Yield Forecast
Savannes Bay, St Lucia
Offered at: From US $280,000
Just five minutes from St Lucia‘s main international airport and one of the most tranquil stretches of the island’s coastline, these brand new apartments for sale sit in an immensely accessible yet serene spot overlooking Savannes Bay within a well-established boutique villa resort with a proven track record.
There are six one- and two-bedroom apartments available in a new building – and the price point is particularly appealing given the location. This private, gated development is close to the town of Vieux Fort, which is set to benefit from significant public and private investment, including a major upgrade to Hewanorra International Airport. A US $2.6 billion mixed-use residential, resort and leisure development is also planned nearby, which means this boutique villa development is well placed to accommodate a steady stream of visitors for many years to come.
The setting will be hard for owners to resist, but those who rent out their property continuously can expect a 5-6% ROI, with maintenance and property management services already in place.
View property details: Apartments for Sale in St Lucia.
Discover more: Real estate for sale in St Lucia.
7. Turnkey Marina Condos with Estimated 9.8% Net Income
Simpson Bay Lagoon, St Maarten
Offered at: US $530,000
St Maarten’s Simpson Bay Lagoon is home to a village-style, mixed-use residential and resort community with one of the most prestigious marinas in the Caribbean. The marina caters to vessels ranging from simple sailing boats to mega-yachts and framed by boutiques, restaurants and nightspots.
These contemporary condos sit directly over the marina, with views across the boats, lighthouse and lagoon, and come fully-furnished and equipped, making them an ideal option for easy vacations or a hassle-free rental investment.
They are located in an upscale community on the western tip of the Dutch side of St Maarten, one of the Caribbean’s major international transport hubs and soon to benefit from more streamlined border controls with US pre-clearance.
The island’s reputation, combined with the marina’s amenities – including shops and sports facilities – means owners can expect high levels of rentals income. As a guide, a one-bed condo that rents out for 32 weeks a year can generate US $52,300 net. A three-bedroom penthouse, rented out for 17 weeks, can earn US $58,200.
View property details: Condos for Sale in Simpson Bay Lagoon, St Maarten.
Discover more: Real estate for sale in St Maarten.
A Home in Paradise that Pays its Own Way
These developments present a new opportunity to buyers who are eyeing up the Caribbean not just for its natural beauty and easy lifestyle, but for the investment potential it offers.
Beachfront or ocean-view locations, top notch amenities and hassle-free rental management make your property appeal to the widest possible audience – and as hands-off an investment as you want it to be. That may not be easy, given the charms on offer, but there is little sweeter than the prospect of owning a home in paradise that largely – or entirely – pays its own way.
This article was originally published in Issue 7 of The Caribbean Property Investor magazine.