Cold weather and lockdowns are inspiring people to more to warmer climates. (Getty)

Cold weather and lockdowns are inspiring people to more to warmer climates. (Getty)

 

As the cold weather set in and lockdowns continued in many U.S. cities, the market heated up for properties on remote islands in warmer climates.

Activity is expected to increase as travel bans are lifted — and some buyers are even willing to buy sight unseen to beat the competition, according to Mansion Global.

Some island nations are taking advantage of the uptick in demand. The Saint Kitts and Nevis government will give citizenship to buyers who pay more than $400,000 for a home in the two-island nation, offering easier access to Europe.

Bermuda is also offering a one-year residential certificate to people living in the country and working in another. Barbados and the Cayman Islands have similar programs.

“We’ve seen an uptick in purchases since the pandemic, from people looking for an escape from big cities,” said Neal Sroka, a high-end real estate consultant. “They do buy without visiting, provided they know the product, so it’s much easier to sell on a branded hotel basis rather than individual homes.”

Hotel-branded condo projects are gaining popularity stateside as well. The recognizable branding gives some buyers confidence. Four Seasons entered the market in 2019 and has completed a handful of properties around the country.

The phenomenon isn’t new: The flight of wealthy urbanites from cities last year amid the pandemic fueled activity in remote island destinations and rural communities alike.

[Mansion Global] — Dennis Lynch