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Roatan - A new Caribbean contender for the second home market

Published: Monday, September 1, 2008

It’s time to reach for the Atlas again as the island of Roatán is added to the list of hot emerging markets for the intrepid househunter.

Part of a string of islands some 60km off the eastern coastline of Honduras, Roatán rests on a curved coral reef, second in length only to Australia’s, and offers idyllic diving conditions, signature wedding-white Caribbean beaches and year-round temperatures of between 25 and 32 degrees Celsius.

Already popular with American property investors, the Europeans now want to join the party.

Bart-Jan Hin, RE/MAX Sales Associate living in Roatán comments, “Due to the low exchange rate of the dollar in comparison to the pound and the fact that the British are known to be the ‘Kings of the Caribbean’ following an enduring love affair with the islands, there’s no reason why Roatán shouldn’t enjoy the same widespread appeal. English-speaking friendly inhabitants, year-round warm weather, diverse scenery from mountains to beaches, good medical care and a low cost of living form just part of Roatán’s appeal. Maids, cooks and gardeners wages average just $7 US a day whilst fresh lobster weighs in about $6 US per pound. Honduras also has a stable government which promotes private enterprise, a developing economy – 4.4% GDP real growth in 2007 – and capital appreciation over the past three years has been 15 to 20% per annum. Although we offer no guarantees, this rate of appreciation should be sustainable in the short-mid term.”

The island has been popular with backpackers searching for something ‘off-the-beaten-track’ and also with divers for a few decades now. It is said that 96% of marine life found in the Caribbean can be seen in the shores off Roatán and with more than 100 dive centres to choose from there’s plenty of opportunity to take a look. Today Roatán is attracting a more upscale tourist with an array of first-class accommodation and the major cruise liners such as Carnival and Royal Caribbean are including the island as a port of call. Golfers are soon to join the picture as a world-class 18-hole golf course is planned for Roatán.

RE/MAX is promoting the residential resort of Wexham Plantation set within the upscale residential community of Sandy Bay just to the west of Coxen Hole, the capital of Roatán and home to local shops, a US-style shopping mall and the International Airport. Ten minutes along the coast are the popular tourist beaches of the West End with vibrant nightlife and relaxed Caribbean bars and restaurants. Wexham Plantation could not be better located.

The resort itself occupies a beachfront position and the architect has ensured that all owners not only enjoy an uninterrupted outlook on the beach from their terraces but also from the master bedroom and its unique outside shower. Wexham Plantation offers two, three and four bedroom homes with oversized partly covered terraces for absorbing outdoor living whilst penthouses have full rooftop solariums with optional splash pool or Jacuzzi. Kitchens are fully fitted, including appliances, and cable television, telephone and satellite internet connection are also in place. Ample parking and storage are available as is a modern fitness centre and infinity communal swimming pool with thatched palapa bar set in tropical gardens overlooking the white beaches protected by the stunning reef.

Owners at Wexham Plantation can elect to place their home into a rental pool where the management company will take care of maximizing occupancy. Profits will be distributed on an annual basis and monthly service charges will be in the region of 275 USD.

Prices start from 299,000 USD (approx 200,981 euros or 152,683 GBP) for a two bedroom apartment. Payment terms are 10,000 USD reservation, 25% on private purchase contract, 25% (less reservation) at ground breaking, 25% when the second floor walls have been completed, 20% when windows, flooring and appliances have been installed and 10% at completion scheduled for the end of 2009.

Roatán International Airport handles direct flights from a number of destinations in the USA, Canada and Europe.