by Amy Land-de Wilde
As the first sun peeks through the horizon to open 2016, many of us are in disbelief that 2015 sped by in such a flash. By the end of this year, there had been more than $10 million in sales ahead of the previous year. This is excellent news and, upon digging deeper into the numbers, it became clear that this difference came from a handful of sales in the top tier of our market.
As the rest of the market stabilizes, there are still so many great deals to be had in all categories, especially for buyers with a long view. St. Croix has never been a “flip this house” market; our buyers are now, and have always been, those with an interest in making our slice of paradise their part-time or full-time home.
Condos are a great place to start and we have seen that this is where a lot of recent buyers have been gravitating. As a first step, many buyers like the leave-and-lock-up nature of a condo and the ability to offset some of their costs by renting. We see this trend continuing in 2016.
2015 saw an uptick in vacant land purchases. In the past, this was the primary gateway to our St. Croix real estate, but when house and condo prices tumbled, it became very economical to purchase an already-built property. Most of our homes could not be duplicated at anywhere near their sales (or in many cases listing) prices. That is still true in some sectors of our market, and we’ve seen land sales pick up as inventory has started to shrink.
If you have been thinking about wading into the second-home market in America’s paradise, St. Croix is a great place to start! Your money will buy so much more here plus, there are great options for property and rental management and this is one of the things we do well at Coldwell Banker St. Croix Realty! Some choose to rent long-term (six months to a year) if they don’t believe they will have time to vacation here in the coming year, and others choose to fill in some weeks when they’re not enjoying the views themselves in their St. Croix home.
Of course, there are many for whom a condo is just not enough open space or privacy. We are still at a great intersection of good inventory, low prices, low interest rates and motivated sellers! As with condos, your island home can be managed from afar with local help. We expect this sector of our market to continue to firm up in 2016.
If you have questions about buying, or you already own and you’d like an assessment of your property’s market value, please be in touch! We’ll always get back to you right away.
The high-touch, high-tech professionals at Coldwell Banker St. Croix Realty will always go the extra mile for you. You are our top priority. Because we constantly expand our education in the field and keep up with the latest real estate trends and technology, our data is accurate and upto- date. We’ve got island know-how and lots of resources to make things easy for you. Count on us to guide you through all of your real estate desires, whether it’s buying, selling or leasing property on St. Croix.
Coldwell Banker St. Croix Realty
Gallows Bay Marketplace, 340-778-7000
The Buccaneer, 340-718-7000
Strand Street, Frederiksted, 340-643-3333
by Amy Land-de Wilde