CJ Invest, News, Real Estate News, Special Reports

St Barth Real Estate Market Keeps Pushing Ahead

By: Jesse Scott

When it comes to the upper echelon of luxury in the Caribbean, no conversation is complete without Saint Bathélemy.

Regularly referred to as St. Barth in everyday conversation, the island is just a hair above 8 square miles and home to approximately 10,000. Where the aforementioned numbers may be miniscule in size, they jump significantly in digits when it comes to home prices.

On an island primarily dotted with expansive water view villas, the entry point is now typically around $1.5 million for a studio or one-bedroom condo, and $3 million for a smaller villa. Among its top pluses for buying: No annual real estate taxes, but solely a 6 percent transfer fee at the time of purchase.

Villa Birdy, a $6.5 million listing in Pointe Milou.

“Things continue to go incredibly well for St. Barth,” Tom Smyth, co-owner of St. Barth Sotheby’s International Realty, tells Caribbean Journal. “The challenge in times past was the complete lack of inventory and, therefore, tremendous demand. The island has never had an overabundance of property available, but we have seen things slightly loosen up a bit in the last three or so months.”

Smyth has called St. Barth home for three plus decades and remembers the days where a dozen or less active listings were the norm and seldom were listings under $10 million. These days, he’s seeing more in the $4 to 10 million range with 40 active listings island-wide as of press time.

Whereas on other islands, skylines are visibly towering up with condo complexes and mega-developments, such is not the case amid St. Barth French West Indies landscape. Smyth attributes this to a “very limited availability of land to be developed” and temporary moratoriums placed on various new permits.

A $6.989 million listing.

Smyth also notes – which doesn’t necessarily affect the real estate market – the limited long-term housing availability for seasonal workers. He notes this as a possible opportunity for a development company to come in down the line and build a multi-unit solution.

The island also has some recent hotel developments generating buzz. Among them are the recently reopened Le Guanahani St. Barth, which is now branded as a Rosewood property, as well as the 21-room, hillside Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf St Barth.

rosewood le
Rosewood Le Guanahani St Barth.

“St. Barth has always retained its overall beauty, I will commend the authorities that be on the way they’ve done it,” says Smyth. “What has changed is the new landscape of restaurants and shops, all with more influence from the south of France. The upscale nature has continued to climb and this has become such an extremely luxurious destination.”

As for what’s ahead, Smyth remains bullish. He says, “in my decades here, I have never once seen real estate values decline. I’ve seen them hold steady when we’ve had a hurricane or when we navigated the pandemic. But that’s been about it. So, for the next ten to twenty years, count on St. Barth continuing to push ahead.”

For more, visit St Barth Sotheby’s International Realty.

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