The Bahamas-Peace, Privacy & A Luxurious Lifestyle
Turquoise waters washing over sparkling sea glass and conch shells nestled on pink sand. Coconut palms swaying in a choreographed ballet to the tune of a balmy breeze. Meticulously maintained white sand beaches so soft you’d swear you were walking on baby powder. These are moments that define life in The Bahamas. Add to this list a tax-neutral financial environment and the country’s ease-of-access, and it’s not hard to see why
The Bahamas has been attracting high-net-worth individuals to its shores for generations. “It’s not simply the crystal-clear water and year-round sun that is attractive to the world’s elite,” said George Damianos, Chief Executive Officer for Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty in Nassau. “It’s the fact that luxury homes and private islands in The Bahamas offer seclusion and security combined with the ability to stay closely connected to the world. Fort Lauderdale is only a 30-minute flight away.”
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, private air travel accounts for nearly 60 percent of the estimated 90,000 flights that fill the skies daily. By a large margin, the islands of The Bahamas top the list of destinations in the Caribbean, particularly for travelers based in the U.S. and Canada. In fact, privatefly.com says that of the top-five most frequent private jet routes, two are between Nassau and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Nassau and New York (Teterboro). “It boils down to economy of time,” said Damianos. “These are individuals who don’t have time to waste standing in long security lines or waiting on commercial flight delays.”
In the shadow of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the looming possibility of future quarantines, ease-of-access is becoming increasingly more desirable to the super wealthy, along with locations that are low-density and offer quarantine-friendly amenities such as private beaches, and plenty of space to roam outdoors during periods of lockdown.
“We’ve seen an uptick in private island inquiries in the past couple of months,” Damianos said. “Particularly for islands in the Exuma Cays. The Exumas are one among the most spectacular places in the world with crystal-clear water, hundreds of deserted beaches and islands and spectacular diving and fishing.”
Damianos, who has 45 years of experience selling luxury waterfront real estate and private islands in The Bahamas, said that properties such as the 700-acre Blue Island are particularly appealing to the ultra-wealthy because they also offer private air strips.
“Savvy investors don’t mind paying a premium if it means purchasing a property that is not going to be burdensome to own,” said Damianos. “Affluent buyers want a home that is easy to take care of, easy to maintain and easy to access on a moment’s notice. They also prioritize locations that offer unique lifestyle options, absolute privacy and an array of first-class amenities, which more and more is becoming a healthy, outdoor lifestyle. Additionally, our savvy investors are oftentimes interested in establishing themselves in The Bahamas for the purpose of pursuing Economic Permanent Residency (EPR).”
Economic Permanent Residency grants foreigners virtually the same rights as a native-born citizen, apart from voting rights. In The Bahamas, anyone who purchases a home valued in excess of $750,000 are eligible to apply for this status. As the leading real estate company in the country, the Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty team specializes in assisting international clients in the residency process.
“As an English-speaking country with an economy pegged to the U.S. dollar, and an ever-growing number of properties with private airstrips, The Bahamas is a relatively seamless transition for investors,” said Damianos. “The country’s proximity to the U.S. also provides additional peace of mind.” SIRBahamas.com