Latest news-Breaking news
Credit...Christie’s International Real Estate
Image
Credit...Christie’s International Real Estate

“You have your yacht, your jet — now you want your island,” said John Christie, the president of Christie’s International Real Estate, a firm based in the Bahamas. 

The island brokers knew how to cater to these clients. They sought a place to feel like a “boss from sea to sea,” Mr. Christie said, a little kingdom with no authority except their own. Deals could be sweetened by allusions to billionaire or celebrity neighbors.

Latest Updates: The Coronavirus Outbreak

19m ago
Pandemic fatigue’ presents a challenge in areas scrambling to avert a second wave.
3h ago
Two more White House residence staff members are said to have previously tested positive.
3h ago
Broadway will stay closed at least through May.
| October 9, 2020, 01:04PM | b36ba9951375542e52eebc7040c8c3549553ce15 -->| October 9, 2020, 01:04PM | b36ba9951375542e52eebc7040c8c3549553ce15 -->| October 9, 2020, 01:04PM | b36ba9951375542e52eebc7040c8c3549553ce15 -->| October 9, 2020, 01:04PM | b36ba9951375542e52eebc7040c8c3549553ce15 -->| October 9, 2020, 01:04PM | b36ba9951375542e52eebc7040c8c3549553ce15 -->| October 9, 2020, 01:04PM | b36ba9951375542e52eebc7040c8c3549553ce15 -->| October 9, 2020, 01:04PM | b36ba9951375542e52eebc7040c8c3549553ce15 -->| October 9, 2020, 01:04PM | b36ba9951375542e52eebc7040c8c3549553ce15 -->| October 9, 2020, 01:04PM | b36ba9951375542e52eebc7040c8c3549553ce15 -->

But this new wave of island buyers is less driven by ego than a desire to escape the virus, and brokers, like their clients, are newer to pondering survival. So even after a few harried months, brokers are struggling to meet their clients’ new requests, like having agriculture to go with the helicopter landing pad.

Despite the high interest driven by the coronavirus crisis, Mr. Krolow’s firm, based in Canada, has closed only a few sales. Like other brokers, he says that much of his time has been consumed by setting expectations about what it actually takes to set up a self-sufficient island — the logistics of paradise are complicated — and figuring out how to show properties to potential buyers amid travel restrictions.

Dylan Eckardt, an agent for Nest Seekers International, says he gets a lot of calls in the vein of, “Money is no object, put me wherever my family can’t get sick.” He recently tried to deliver on this for one family by renting them a private island in Maine for $250,000 a week.

ImageThe Island Brokers Are Overwhelmed  第2张

But renting is not enough for some wealthy people. The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way they’re thinking — long-term — about being around other humans.

“Before, an island was a toy,” said Marcus Gondolo-Gordon, the chief executive of Incognito Property based in England. Now clients describe dreams of a “a bloody long boat ride” to ensure that no one will cruise up and infringe on their isolation, he said. They also want access to fresh water, solar panels and a house that is ready to sleep in, tomorrow.

Quickly setting up an island for self-sufficiency is going to be hard, Mr. Gondolo-Gordon has to tell them. Construction on private islands takes far more time than on the mainland or even on typical, nonprivate islands. And brokers cannot guarantee that islands will be safe havens from civil unrest. For example, just this week he looked at a lovely island in the eastern Mediterranean — a steal at $7.4 million. But there are some tensions in those waters, which are contested by Turkey and Greece.

“You’re going to have to read the news,” he tells clients. And they’ll also have to consider that their shoreline will most likely be affected by climate change. When they cannot handle this, he advises them to rent a superyacht.

Image
Credit...Christie’s International Real Estate

Several buyers declined, through their brokers, to be interviewed about their experiences shopping for islands.

Before the pandemic, most agents would sell islands as a boutique fraction of their broader real estate business.

Now that many sellers report seeing a surge in island interest, several brokers said it was taking over more of their business. Still, Mr. Krolow is the rare broker who is all islands, all of the time.

He helped sell his first island in the late ’90s, almost accidentally, after accepting a seller’s offer to put an ad for it on the small website about islands that he had created.

Two decades later, Mr. Krolow’s site features hundreds of islands. Some cost less than $100,000, like the small, rock-strewn strips of land in Canadian lakes. Others reach eight- and nine-digit sums and offer airstrips and prebuilt resorts in turquoise waters in the Caribbean and the South Pacific.

Image
Credit...Private Islands Inc.

One of the biggest advantages of selling islands amid a pandemic, brokers say, is that clients are more flexible about location. British buyers who were once fixated on Greek islands are now excited about isolating in the Seychelles or the Irish Sea. Americans’ and Canadians’ enthusiasm for the South Pacific has recently been superseded by interest in closer shores in the Bahamas, Belize and Panama.

But transporting clients to show them islands is trickier than ever. At one point, Mr. Krolow had a dozen potential buyers ready to see islands in Belize, but the airports were closed. Over the past six months, there had been only a few weeks when you could easily fly in and out of the Caribbean, said Edward de Mallet Morgan, a partner at Knight Frank, a real estate firm in London.

It’s one thing to buy a house without visiting it first, he said, but “buying an island is a different thing, particularly if you can’t even send your professional advisers to review it for you ahead of time.”

The British Virgin Islands have barred tourists until at least December. And even as flights have resumed to the Bahamas, visitors must commit to installing a phone app and quarantining for two weeks. These measures are too much, some clients tell their brokers.

Image
Credit...Private Islands Inc.

Some potential buyers have found workarounds. One of Mr. Christie’s American clients had his boat captain sail his yacht to the Bahamas from Florida. The client took a private flight, and then boarded his yacht, where he “quarantined.”

His captain then took him to his two potential pandemic escapes. One was Bonefish Cay, an $8.2 million, 13-acre island already set up with five buildings and the capacity to generate its own electricity. But that was not quite right, the client told Mr. Christie.

The other option was Foot’s Cay, an $8.7 million, 20-acre island featuring a four-bedroom main house and a weatherproof concrete bunker housing a generator. This was more intriguing — but by the time the client stepped onto its shore, it had already gone to another buyer.

目前有 0 条留言

发表留言

◎欢迎参与讨论,请在这里发表您的看法、交流您的观点。

搜索

站点信息

  • 文章总数:1807
  • 页面总数:1
  • 分类总数:6
  • 标签总数:1840
  • 评论总数:0
  • 浏览总数:26968