Original article published on September 10, 2020
Experts say wealthy Americans
aren’t the only ones benefiting
Experts claim fears over the COVID-19 situation in the United States as well as the presidential election are pushing an increasing number of wealthy Americans to move to the Caribbean for long-term stays.
Over the past few months, citizenship advisers, government agencies and real estate developers reported seeing a surge in business with an onslaught on American arrivals in particular, according to Forbes, noting that inquires for some residential villas have increased by more than 50%.
“It’s not just the COVID-19 situation,” Gregor Nassief, proprietor of Secret Bay Resort in Dominica, told Forbes. “It is the fear of what an extreme outcome on the left or right may look like after the presidential election.”
Requests into long-term stays at the secluded resort have jumped upward of 66%, the outlet reported.
Likewise, Mohammed Asaria, of international luxury hospitality development company Range Developments, told the outlet that citizens are coming to “hide it out.”
“You’ve got the election coming. That’s number one,” he said. “You’ve had COVID and certain places in the U.S. have been challenged through that, and more working remotely.”
On a separate Caribbean island, real estate has been skyrocketing, according to Mauricio Umansky, founder and CEO of real estate firm The Agency.
Turks and Caicos has seen records broken despite the global pandemic, Umansky previously told FOX Business.
In fact, the sales volume of single-family homes on the Caribbean nation during the first quarter of 2020 outpaced the same period of 2019, and condo sales outpaced the two previous years to date, according to a Sotheby’s International Realty report.
To make the switch even easier, some islands are even offering up “Welcome Stamps” to allow tourists, most of whom are working from home, to stay for extended periods of time.
After the pandemic struck, Barbados introduced a concept known as the 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp, which would allow visitors to come to the country and work remotely for a full year.
However, while the wealthy flock toward these areas, it opens up possibilities for other people to explore local areas that they may not have been able to before, Kristin Ehrgott, founding real estate broker for Compass New Jersey, told FOX Business.
There is a “major paradigm shift in the real estate market,” Ehrgott said.
She named Manhattan, which had been seen as one of the country’s most expensive real estate markets, as a prime example saying the declining housing market in the city effectively opens up possibilities to a “whole contingent of people that couldn’t afford it before.”
This shift will “reinvigorate those areas in a new way,” she said.
Daniella Genovese is a reporter for FOX Business.