The Bahamas Becomes a Primary Market for Second-home Buyers

Endless pristine beaches. Sunshine year-round. A take-it-slow lifestyle. And all just a short flight from the U.S. If you could find one place that offered all this and more, wouldn’t you love a vacation home there?
That’s what numerous developers are banking on. A massive wave of new development is taking place in The Bahamas. It is experiencing astonishing growth, fueled largely by high-end, coastal developments catering to wealthy Americans who dream of a tropical second home.
Among the developers investing in The Bahamas are Turnberry Associates of Aventura, Florida and Kerzner International of Nassau, which owns the world-famous Atlantis Resort.
Together they are building the Residences at Atlantis, which will be located adjacent to the world-famous Atlantis Resort. At a development cost of $200 million, this property includes a 22-story condo hotel with 493 condo vacation homes.
Owners will have access to all of the amenities of the Residences at Atlantis as well as those of the existing Atlantis Resort including a casino, pools, spa, retail shops, exercise facilities and child care. The Atlantis condo hotel is part of a $1 billion expansion of Atlantis.
Another developer who’s banking on The Bahamas is Ginn Resorts of Orlando, Florida, one of the largest, privately-held resort companies in the Southeast.
Its development, Ginn sur Mer, will span 2,000 acres on Grand Bahama Island and cost $4.9 billion to build. Just 58 miles from the Port of Miami, the resort is only a three-hour trip by boat or a 30-minute flight. It will be an immense, master-planned community that will take over 10 years to complete.
The Ginn sur Mer plan is elaborate. The resort will include incredible amenities from Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer oceanfront golf courses, to a full-service spa, 55,000 square foot casino, championship tennis facility, water theme parks, 500-slip marina, private airport, restaurants, stores, equestrian facility, fitness center, and convention space.
For those who want a vacation home that includes the luxurious Ginn sur Mer lifestyle, the development has 1,400 homesites and 4,400 condo hotel suites.
Experts say that The Residences at Atlantis and Ginn sur Mer are only a mere sliver of a much bigger pie. The real development of The Bahamas is just beginning, with the list of projects growing each month.
Developers have recognized the demand for tropical vacation homes, and they are responding with proposals for master-planned, fully-amenitized, resort communities.
The Bahamian government has partnered with the developers, providing help with infrastructure, such as new roads and marinas and expanded airports. Its officials recognize the economic potential of building on the huge swaths of undeveloped waterfront real estate on their islands.
They’ve even enacted something called the “Anchor Policy,” intended to encourage commercial development on 32 of the country’s 35 inhabited islands by providing tax incentives.
The Bahamas also has a progressive residency program, offering economic residency to anyone who invests more than $500,000 in the country. While it doesn’t allow investors to work there, they can live in the Bahamas year-round.
According to one U.S. buyer considering the purchase of a home at Ginn sur Mer, “The Bahamas are like Florida back in the early 1900s, when Florida was undeveloped and largely undiscovered. The views, the beaches, the serenity are unequaled.”
History has shown that 80% of the islands’ visitors already are American. With a massive wave of U.S. baby boomers looking for second homes for vacation and retirement, The Bahamas stands ready to welcome them.
Traditional destinations like Florida and Arizona have become crowded and pricey. The Bahamas offers a quality alternative.
For its proximity to the U.S. combined with natural beauty and luxurious residential-resort developments, The Bahamas is well on its way to becoming a primary market for second-home buyers.

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