We all tend to dream of laying by the beach, gazing into crystal blue waters and taking that diving trip you have always planned around the coral reefs of the Caribbean Sea. Owning your own private island is as flamboyant as it comes and in the world of luxury homes, it’s the best you can get! The likes of Johnny Depp, Richard Branson and Julia Roberts have snatched up a patch of greenery in a getaway destination, with some islands bought without accommodation on the island itself.
The property market is a fluctuating business and with the current situation in London, with rent at an all-time high, with an average of £1200 spent on rent a month, it’s no surprise that islands are cheaper than a London flat, a choice many are looking into who seek some sun sea and cocktails and land a spot on the property ladder.
Kate Everett-Allen, co-author of Knight Frank’s ‘Island Review’ discusses how even Johnny Depp owns an island in the Bahamas without a house on it and it’s ‘a growing trend among island owners, especially celebrities, who like the idea of camping out and not leaving a footprint’. There are those who splash the cash without hesitation and we know not everyone can but there are the likes of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who paid around $100 million for a chunk of Kauai Island in Hawaii.
Okay so where is the relevance to house hunting when buying an island seems unattainable? According to Knight Frank, 65% of private islands are on sale for less than $500,000. For a relatively ‘cheap’ excursion to an idyllic island, you can become a proud owner of one off the beaten track.
If you’re looking for something more habitable and practical, here are some examples of what’s floating on the market.
Off the coast of Anglesey, North Wales, a restoration project awaits a keen property developer. It may not look glamorous but this rundown bungalow is a great spot with waterfront views on its own island connected to the mainland by a concrete bridge. With a guide price of £450,000, your neighbour’s could be the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The island has an impressive 10 acres and perfect for wildlife enthusiasts. Chris Coleman-Smith, head of Savills auctions said ‘the opportunity to buy part of your own island at auction is incredible rare…Ynys Gaint is an ideal auction lot, with so much potential for prospective bidders’. It could be a fabulous holiday retreat or for the likes of second home buyers or developers.
A beautiful desert island has joined the property market at £436,000, around half the price of an average central London flat. Spanish Island is up for sale with ruins of a farmhouse and its own idyllic beaches. Despite its exotic name, this island can be found off the coast of West Cork in Ireland. It can be reached by helicopter or boat and is situated opposite the small fishing village of Baltimore. So what’s the catch? Well, be prepared to invest big bucks into this property as there is no electricity or running water. Whether it is developed as a private estate or a future sailing or marine activity center, the potential is immense. The island is on sale by Vladi Private Islands and Pedro Arez, the director has said ‘Spanish Island is a hidden gem of the Atlantic Ocean and a well-kept secret for sailing tourists’.
With two examples on offer for purchase, a spot in the middle of nowhere is not as unattainable as you’d expect.
Okay, maybe it’s not the clear blue waters of the Caribbean, but it is certainly a life time investment that not many opt for when it comes down to buying a house.