Is Now the Time to Invest in Remote Properties?

By Megan McCann | Published August 20, 2020

The editor of Luxury Defined, Christie’s International Real Estate’s blog, recently go in touch with us to discuss the increasing interest in ‘remote living’ as we have noticed momentum in the legitimate inquires that we have been receiving in last six months. Below you can read extracts from the article but to read the full peice please click here.

According to a Harris poll conducted in late April, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused 39 percent of those Americans living in cities to consider moving to less densely populated areas. As The Wall Street Journal recently observed: “The lure of leaving the city has increased.”

Real estate insiders agree, reporting a surge in interest for those areas beyond the confines of a city. These enquiries, they say, are fueled by many people having reassessed what’s important to them during lockdown—whether that’s a desire to work remotely in the long term, a wish for more space than crowded urban areas can provide, or wanting the inherent safety of a private and secluded location. And it’s not only suburban enclaves that are benefiting from potential buyers’ interest: rural areas and islands have seen a boom in demand.

Island Idyll

Lucienne Smith, a company director of Smiths Gore BVI Limited, has noticed the upward trend in demand for homes in the British Virgin Islands.

“After the devastating storms of 2017, we’ve seen a steady return of international investors, with a number of significant sales taking place in the last 12 months,” she says. “However, within a few weeks of the pandemic, we saw an even greater uplift in the number of enquiries from international buyers—perhaps a 25 to 30 percent increase from the start of this year.”

Attracting particular interest is Bella Luna, a property on the north shore of Tortola, and currently on the market with Smiths Gore. Situated above a pristine bay, the residence has no neighbors and offers complete privacy, yet is only a 10-minute drive from town and the island’s ports. It also boasts more than 11,000 square feet (1,022 sq m) of luxurious living space, of which 4,000 square feet (372 sq m) are dedicated to external deck areas.

“Buyers are seeking large compounds, which they can easily move to with their whole family. They’re looking to escape” —Ashley Robin

According to Smith, inquiries into available real estate are being made by families who may have vacationed in the BVI and then longed for a permanent island home, as well as individuals looking for “somewhere low density, easily accessible, and suitable for remote working, where they could relocate to for a few months of the year if necessary.” They include potential buyers from Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom, along with those from Canada, who typically make up a third of the buying pool.