If the warm temperatures, crystal-clear water, and proximity to the US are not good enough reasons to consider a move to the Bahamas, a community of like-minded people should be. Luxury gated communities in the Bahamas may offer not only a round of golf or cocktails at sunset but also a shorthand for a club of folks sharing the same interests. But how much for a ticket to this exclusive club?
In this article, we help you navigate residential areas, property listings, prices, and real estate market trends in The Bahamas.
Who buys property in luxury gated communities in the Bahamas?
While the Bahamas consistently attracts visitors and home buyers from all over the world, the largest number of people looking for vacation homes tend to be from the United States, Eastern Canada, Western Europe, and the UK.
With an increase in new direct flight routes from Canada, the U.S., and Europe, The Bahamas is extremely easy to get to, making it a top destination for the second and third home market.
Property experts predict that real estate in luxury gated communities in the islands will continue to be in demand, thanks to limited inventory, an amazing lifestyle, currency tied to USD, and ease of access with international flights.
Today, buyers can choose not only from traditional colonial estates or Caribbean-style villas but also from contemporary properties with access to five-star resort amenities.
According to real estate experts, the average house price in the upmarket segment of The Bahamas is around US$ 2.5M. At the same time, the highest and the lowest prices can reach US$ 25M (for a 12 bedroom villa with 246 feet of beach) and $US 1M (for a 2 bedroom condo in a new resort-style development).
Lyford Cay: the most expensive gated community with a world-famous golf course since the 1950s
Considered one of the world’s wealthiest and most exclusive residential areas, Lyford Cay is an ultra-private, gated community featuring an exclusive club with its own security service and catering to a diverse cross-section of prominent social and business leaders from around the world.
Likened to “playing golf in a magnificent tropical garden,” the ultra-exclusive Lyford Cay Club was built in the late 1950s, refurbished in 2006, and remains one of the most elite golf courses in the Bahamas.
Encompassing an 18-hole golf course, championship tennis facility, marina, and world-class restaurants, the club also has guestrooms and meeting facilities.
The community is home to Lyford Cay International School, one of only two schools in The Bahamas to implement the International Baccalaureate curriculum schoolwide.
Old Fort Bay: one of the top waterfront communities with picturesque canal views
Tucked away along the northern shore of New Providence just east of Lyford Cay and approximately 10 minutes from Lynden Pindling International Airport, Old Fort Bay is one of Nassau’s premier private waterfront communities. Landscaped with picturesque canals surrounded by native mature trees, this luxury residential enclave reflects elegant Bahamian living at its best.
Residents of Old Fort Bay are eligible for membership at The Club at Old Fort Bay, which includes a restaurant, gym, and swimming pool, as well as access to Old Fort Beach–arguably one of the best beaches in New Providence.
Nearby schools include the aforementioned prestigious Lyford Cay International School, the only school on New Providence to implement the International Baccalaureate curriculum schoolwide; and, Windsor Preparatory School which offers a curriculum based on the Cambridge system.
The community is a short drive from some of Nassau’s finest dining such as Island House, Sapodilla, and Cocoplum Bistro.
Villa Apsara, the luxury gated community of Old Fort Bay, P.O.R. View the listing
Albany: the best place for yacht owners to buy a property in the Bahamas
The exclusive club development of Albany opened October 2010. Presently, it offers homeowners an unparalleled array of amenities unique not only in The Bahamas but also among the world’s most renowned luxury communities.
Residents of Albany enjoy access to a state-of-the-art marina which can accommodate vessels as large as 91 m (300 ft.), tennis courts, a lap pool, full spa facilities, and an ultramodern gymnasium and workout facilities.
On-site dining options include gourmet cuisine and hand-selected wines at Aviva; seasonal chef dinners at WAVE; small plates at Azul; French pastries at Bisou Bisous; and, casual poolside dining at Footprints. Albany’s Golf Clubhouse is one of three golf courses situated on the west coast of New Providence.
Nearby schools include reputable Lyford Cay International School, Windsor High School, and Windsor Preparatory School. The community also is a short drive from airfields and Lynden Pindling International Airport which offers daily non-stop flights to major U.S. and international cities.
Ocean Club Estates: golf at Atlantis Resort and Spa at Four Seasons
Ocean Club Estates is the epitome of worry-free luxury living. Homeowners receive the ultimate turnkey experience when they purchase a home at Ocean Club Estates; and, due to its exclusive affiliation with The Ocean Club Bahamas, a Four Seasons Resort, they also have access to a host of amenities at Atlantis Resort, including its outstanding golf course.
Direct access to the Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course located at Atlantis is one of the community’s biggest selling points. Stretching over 7,100 yards of beautiful coastline, The Ocean Club golf course is an 18-hole, 72-par championship course that features breathtaking signature holes and seaside greens.
Residents can also take advantage of the property’s private beach club and restaurant, tennis courts, mega yacht marina, and concierge services.
The resort is set along a five-mile stretch of natural, white sand beach. Its lush, tropical grounds offer seclusion and relaxation. And its award-winning restaurant Dune serves up French-Asian creations by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Paradise Island: small island charm with chic urban amenities and new gated communities
Paradise Island is one of the most globally recognized islands in The Bahamas, due to world-famous Atlantis resort. It’s a popular choice for boaters and yachters looking for waterfront homes and condominiums.
Combining small island charm with chic urban amenities, the island is accessible via toll bridge. Residents live within walking distance of (or a short golf cart ride from) a multitude of entertainment venues.
Fine dining options include Nobu, Dune, and Cafe Martinique. More casual environments can be found at Margaritaville and Pirate Republic Brewing Company.
Paradise Island also offers some of the best luxury brand shopping in The Bahamas. Tag Heuer Versace, Rolex, and Salvatore Ferragamo are only a few of the well-known, brand name shops located at the resort and its neighboring Marina Village.
Luxury gated communities in the Bahamas: a market overview
“2018 was a very strong year for the tourism segment in the Bahamas,” says Lana Rademaker, Chief Brokerage Officer of Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty. “The final three months of the year experienced the highest quarterly growth in air arrivals to New Providence in the past 28 years. This is an encouraging indicator for the economy in the Bahamas.”
According to the Central Bank Economic Report released in March, vacation home bookings in The Bahamas increased 34.9% in January 2019 compared with the same period in 2018, with Nassau gaining an increase of 23.7%.
“This naturally impacts the strength of our real estate market,” says Rademaker. “The second- and third-home buyer market has created an entire market segment we didn’t have a few years ago.”
The Bahamas’ clear tax-free advantage with no income, capital gains, or inheritance taxes compared with many other destinations in the Caribbean attracts wealthy people from all over the world. Landlords renting out their properties also are not liable to pay tax.
And the future? It’s looking positively bright. With record tourist numbers, prices are holding very steady as are the trends in the tourism market. The Bahamas’ sunny capital, Nassau, has a limited supply of available properties, so the property values always are steady. The islands of Abaco, Eleuthera and Exuma saw significant increases in interest in both 2018 and 2019. Beachfront homes that operate as vacation rentals are in high demand on all of the main islands.
Should you wish to invest in a new property presently in the construction phase, look no further than the current residential developments of GoldWynn, Hurricane Hole on Paradise Island, and Albany.