Its much-prized west coast - often referred to as the Platinum Coast - is awash with millionaires splashing in the surf at luxurious Sandy Lane beach resort or socialising over polo matches at Holders.
Current property owners on the island include company directors, successful entrepreneurs and international sports stars. However, mere millionaires will not be able to afford the newest addition to the Barbados property scene.
The price tag for Palazzate, a single residence close to Speightstown at the northern end of the west coast, is a heart-stopping £80.5 million. Sales agent Alistair Brown says prospective buyers will most likely be worth at least £1.6 billion.
“Palazzate will be bought by a family who will appreciate the opportunity to holiday together in a premium destination,” says Brown. “It has an unrivalled beachfront position and sets a new benchmark of quality for the island.”
Palazzate’s sales details make extraordinary reading. The six-floor residence covers 75,000 square feet, divided between four separate, five-bedroom residences under one roof.
The magnificent coral stone façade is complete with fairytale arches and fountains, and the property includes underground parking for 18 cars, along with staff areas and an extensive spa.
At the rear of the property, cascading terraces and balconies overlook pools and gardens and, of course, the calm Caribbean sea.
“Demand for Barbados is partly driven by the fact that prices there haven’t caught up with other luxury destinations,” says Alistair Brown. “Barbados is less expensive per square foot than St Tropez or Bal Harbour in Miami, for example.”
Wealth-X, a global research company focusing on the uber-wealthy, confirms that while property in Barbados averages £577 per square foot, in St Tropez it's £596, Bal Harbour is £902, and the American ski resort of Aspen, Colorado, reaches £1,225.
The number of ultra-high net worth individuals globally - defined as people with a net worth of £19.3 million or more - is 211,275. They make up 0.004 per cent of the world’s population, yet account for 18 per cent of all spending on luxury goods, and they particularly like the finest property says David Friedman, president of Wealth-X.
“Residential real estate is dear to the hearts of ultra-high net worth individuals," comments Friedman.
“They see the Caribbean, and specifically Barbados, as a safe and easily reached destination with a strong economic forecast, favourable tax regulations, an attractive lifestyle and prices below many other luxury resort values.”
Barbados has had a long, unbroken association with the UK since 1627. The island is part of the Commonwealth with the Queen as monarch and Bajan property laws are based on English law.
Joachim Wrang-Widen, senior vice-president at Christie’s International Real Estate reports that 90 per cent of interest in Barbados in the last five months has come from the UK.
At lower price points, too, interest in Barbados is keen. Stephanie Patterson of Chestertons says that since the start of this year, the company's office on the island has never been busier.
“Our average sale last year was between £1 million and £1.5 million,” she reports.
“Buyers choose Barbados because it has direct flights, a settled community, low crime and good, established facilities, from golf to polo.
"Favourable exchange rates, a safe economy and a positive tax position also help.”
Contact for Palazzate: Alistair Brown, on +1 (246) 2628112