Searching for reliable fair weather in January and February means looking beyond the usual European second-home options. Long-haul winter sun destinations set to shine this year include choices that also make sound financial sense. Here are three to consider.
CAPE TOWN: BARGAINS
It’s beautiful, it’s sophisticated and now it’s a bargain, too. Cape Town is a popular go-to winter home for Europeans, but with the South African currency now in freefall, this city by the sea provides real value. The rand has plummeted more than 110 per cent against sterling since 2011, reaching record lows and boosting the pound in your pocket.
Property choices include apartments at buzzing V&A Waterfront or a home in the residential towns of the Atlantic Seaboard, Cape Town’s “Riviera”.
These waterfront towns — including prestigious Clifton, windy but beautiful Camps Bay and more average Hout Bay — lie tight against the mountains within 30 minutes of the city centre.
A five-bedroom house in Hout Bay with wide decking, a pool and exceptional sea views is £655,000, while an attractive four-bedroom house in Camps Bay, also with a pool and sea views and within walking distance of the beach, is £602,000, both through Pam Golding, Savills associate.
V&A Waterfront welcomes 23 million visitors a year to its museums, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues, while good security and a prized location 20 minutes from the airport mean homes rent well. Expect to pay from about £436,500 for good-quality two-bedroom apartments.
Miami’s transformation into a capital of cool is complete. Art Basel Miami, one of the world’s premier art exhibitions, now in its 14th year, has been a major game changer, creating an art-focused, cultural beach city with the bonus of an avalanche of new chic hotels, great Art Deco beauty and, of course, sunshine. Architects are changing the skyline, building extraordinary towers that entice buyers from across the world.
“Miami is America’s second-largest financial centre and its third most visited city for international visitors,” says Matias Alem, chief executive of estate agents BRG International. “As well as Art Basel in December, the city caters for its affluent population with music, film, fashion and sports.”
Among the high rises of the Brickell neighbourhood, 15 minutes from the Art Deco district of South Beach, one-bedroom flats start from £211,000 through BRG.
This winter, BRG launched London sales at Oceana Bal Harbour, a 28-storey waterfront tower in an exclusive part of Miami Beach.
Extensive leisure facilities include tennis courts, a gym and an art collection, including two original statues by American artist Jeff Koons.
Sixty per cent of homes have sold to buyers from 33 countries, with prices for the remaining one- to four-bedroom flats from £1.36 million.
THE CARIBBEAN: LUXURY RULES
In the Caribbean this winter, there are two hotel openings of note. Homes go on sale at a sparkling new Aman Hotel in the Dominican Republic, while in February Zemi Beach House on an idyllic tropical beach in Anguilla has studio to three-bedroom homes from £408,000.
St Lucia, a firm favourite with British buyers, became the latest Caribbean island to introduce a Citizenship by Investment programme, with full details to follow later this year.
Sugar Beach is a five-star resort on one of St Lucia’s most beautiful beaches, a crescent of white sand between the mighty Pitons, St Lucia’s dramatic volcanic mountains.
“All our sales last year were to UK purchasers,” says Penny Strawson of Sugar Beach. “Buyers are sophisticated property investors who expect a level of return that at least covers their costs.
“Sugar Beach has excellent established sports and leisure facilities that keep rental demand strong.”
Property starts from £850,000 for freehold cottages that must be placed in the hotel’s rental pool.
Spacious, beautifully fitted-out three- to five-bedroom Sugar Beach Residences start from £2.5 million, with 17 of the 18 in phase one sold.