Want to get away from it all and forget about global pandemics and Brexit uncertainties? Ever dreamed of owning your very own island retreat? You have? We’ve got a treat for you! Research has found ten private island paradises that could be yours for the price of a high-end London pad.
While many high street lenders have started to tighten their belts in recent months, international high-net-worth mortgage broker, Enness Global says the high-end market remains unimpeded and is set to drive UK house price growth further with London retaining its status as the pinnacle of homeownership for the super-wealthy.
So far this year, there have been 362 properties sold for £3m or more across the capital with high-end homebuyers paying an average of £4,975,462 for the privilege of buying a piece of prime London real estate.
However, with London under threat of another Covid-19 lockdown, some high-net-worth buyers may favour a more secluded way of life, at least until the pandemic has fully blown over anyway. With that in mind, Enness Global has found ten island retreats that can be bought for around the same price as a high-end London home.
The broker trawled the website of private island sales and rental marketplace Private Islands Inc. to find some stunning island real estate that is sure to tempt some of London’s prime property investors.
Closest to home is the Greek island of Stroggilo. The 54-acre island located in the Aegean Sea near the holiday island of Marathos, approximately 30 miles off the coast of Turkey, boasts crystal, clear waters and sandy beaches. It is on the market for just shy of £4 million (£3.98m). A key selling point is that it already has an established power grid meaning it has the potential for tourist or private development.
But hold fire… don’t get your chequebooks out quite yet, let’s see what other island delights Enness found that can be bought for the price of a high-end London home.
Enness has highlighted two potential island investment opportunities in the U.S. that can be bought for less than the average price of a prime London property. The first one is Faraway Estate – a stunning freehold investment opportunity commanding the eastern promontory of Greening Island, Maine – that is on the market for a cool £4.7m. Spanning 4.4 acres, the listing comes with all the mod-cons having its own fabulous seven-bedroom Arts & Crafts Cottage, a two-bedroom guest cabin and deep-water moorings off the 130-foot pier. Built-in 1901, the fully restored main cottage offers stunning, 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains and harbour.
If you’re after more space Trump Island in Washington boasts 29 acres of private island living and a price tag of £4.36m. The self-sustaining island operates off-the-grid having both an independent power and water system so is the perfect escape from the pandemic-threatened world. The island also boasts a deep-water dock with two slips for seaplanes and yachts, as well as a helipad. Hmm not bad!
Next, we travel south to the tropical shores of The Bahamas, the country and archipelago on the north-western edge of the West Indies
The Bahamas, Caribbean
The Bahamas offers a whole host of island options costing less than a high-end London home. For example, for a little over £3.9m, you can buy Pierre Island, a partially developed isle north-east of Nassau that is ripe for development as a private retreat or boutique resort. The island is just a short boat ride from the gourmet restaurants, marinas and shopping on neighbouring Famous Harbour Island.
Or for just under £3.5m, you can opt for Big Fish Clay, a fully developed, 55-acre, private freehold island in the northern Bahamas, with 400 feet of secluded white sandy beaches and essential infrastructure, such as underground water, power, internet and phone, already in place. The island has already received permission from the Bahamian government for the construction of a resort, including approval for additional villas, condos, shops and a hotel.
If you want to join other celeb homebuyers such as Leonardo DiCaprio, then Belize on the east coast of Central America is a great option for an island purchase. North Saddle Caye provides 4 acres of freehold island paradise housing two luxury villas and two guest cottages. The full self-sustaining island estate, which benefits from its own protected lagoon, is on the market for just over £3.9m.
Or how about this 6.5-acre private island resort located just 6.5 miles from Belize City’s international airport. The unnamed, fully sustainable island has solar power and its own reverse osmosis system that produces potable water to serve the main residence and a further five beachfront cottages. The island is also situated just a mile away from the Great Barrier Reef, so it a great buy for diving enthusiasts. This resort is priced at a cool £3.56 million, so is a bargain in comparison to the average high-end London home priced at c. £4.9 million
The Rest of The World
If Africa, Tonga or the Philippines are more your cup of tea, then Enness has found some great options if you’d like to buy an island instead of a prime London home.
Valiha Island just off the north coast of Madagascar, Africa is a partially developed 950-acre island paradise boasting white sandy beaches, a crystal-clear lagoon, a natural waterfall and a wonderful climate enjoying 330 days of sunshine per year. The stunning island is also blessed with the unique biodiversity that Madagascar is famed for with turtles laying eggs on the islands eastern beach and hump-backed whales visiting the area with their calves every year to name but two. Valiha Island is available on a 30-year lease for £3.5 million. The island freeholders say the isle is ripe for further development suggesting adding a golf course, a landing strip and more….
Kelefesia Island in Tonga, in the South Pacific, is said to be the most beautiful island in the region. This gem of an island was gifted to the current owner’s grandfather by Tonga’s Queen Salote after her son, the late king of Tonga died. He used to surf there at certain times of the year, so may suit the sporty type. The totally undeveloped island is available at a cost of £4.75 million – making it the most expensive island in our list.
The final island in Enness Global’s private island top ten is Janoyoy Island a small 3.6-acre isle in the Siargao Island region of the Philippines, Asia, about 800 kilometres southeast of Manila. The totally undeveloped island, which has a real Robinson Crusoe feel to it, can be purchased for around £4.4 million.
Group CEO of Enness Global Mortgages, Islay Robinson, commented: “More space, privacy and a greater degree of safety have become the key factors for high net worth individuals looking to buy in a pandemic property market. This is no different in London where we’ve seen many buyers pay above the odds to secure a larger home with more outdoor space in anticipation of future lockdown restrictions.
“However, for those searching for a truly pandemic-proof property investment, island life could be the way forward. There are a whole host of private islands available on the current market in locations all over the world, providing a secluded COVID-19 bolthole for a very reasonable price.”
When you consider that airline tycoon Richard Branson bought the totally non-developed Necker Island at the knock-down price of $180,000 US (approximately £145,000) in 1978 and the fact that it is now said to be worth an impressive £500 million – many high-net-worth property investors, may consider a private island retreat to be a good (if not better) investment than London’s prime real estate in the current climate.
Which island retreat caught your eye?