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High-end Exuma development breaks ground

Project slowly comes to life after being placed on hold after financial crash
  • Sebastien and Annie from Toronto, Canada (center), stand next to the site of their future home in Rokers Point, Great Exuma.

ALISON LOWE
Guardian Business Editor
alison@nasguard.com

Published: Oct 18, 2013

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Sensing renewed momentum in the Exuma real estate market, a developer who put a high-end Exuma real estate project on hold after the financial crash is “dusting it off” and starting construction on million-dollar homes, which hopefully will drive ongoing sales.

John Goldsworthy, director of sales and marketing for Rokers Point Estates and the Estates at Hoopers Bay in Great Exuma, confirmed the company broke ground on two homes in Rokers Point Estates this week and expects this will trigger a “wave of sales” among those who have held off on buying until they see shovels in the ground.

“We’ve seen an increase in the level of interest in buying, and we’ve got a number of sales completed, but a lot of people have not been comfortable buying based on plans since the crash.  We think this will give people better confidence to buy.”

Having sold three home sites in each of the developments, Goldsworthy said he has “ten more buyers on the sidelines” whom he anticipates will move forward with purchases.

Rokers Point includes 91 home sites adjacent to Sandals Emerald Bay, while nearby Hoopers Bay offers 56 sites. An additional 275 acres of property is scheduled for development in “future phases”, said Goldsworthy.

“The developer has had the land since the late ‘80s, early ‘90s.  He developed the properties, finishing them in 2007 and 2008, right when the real estate market collapsed.  He decided to hold off marketing efforts with the world in a tail spin, but started marketing again about a year and a half ago.”

Hoopers Bay includes homesites which start in the mid-$100,000 range, while Rokers Point sites start at $300,000.

A turnkey home in Hoopers Bay may run a buyer anywhere from $650,000, while in Rokers Point, where each homesite has its own dockage in the development’s private marina, $1 million would be the lowest going price.

Developer JFB Limited will be constructing the homes, sub-contracting work to local contractors, said the director.

“We think it’s a good story that speaks to how real estate is really coming back in the islands.”

Goldsworthy said that to date all buyers are Canadian.

Meanwhile, confirming trends previously reported to Guardian Business by other realtors in the Family Islands and New Providence, the director of sales and marketing said that beachfront properties are those which are most in demand at present.

“We’re starting to see people break loose and spend the money on A-rated properties on pristine beachfront locations.  If you’ve got that exquisite one-of-a-kind beachfront property people now have the confidence to pull the trigger and pay premiums for it, although we’re still at a discount to where we were in ‘05 and ‘06 (in terms of sales values).”

Goldsworthy credited the added airlift precipitated by Sandals as it sought to fill its own rooms at the Emerald Bay Resort in Great Exuma with benefitting his company’s outlook.

“The extended airlift Sandals was able to bring in was what triggered our response to come out and start marketing.  We’ve got direct flights from Toronto, Atlanta, Florida and Miami.”


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