Brits & Boomers Going Fractional Says Caribbean Islands Realty Blog
February 08, 2008 (PRLEAP.COM) Business NewsCaribbean Islands Realty today points out how fractional property ownership is exploding in the Caribbean. According to Jim Walberg, CaribbeanIslandsRealty.com, Boomers and Brits are two demographic groups that are fueling the explosion of fractional ownership in the Caribbean Islands. Bucking the trend of real estate doom and gloom, fractional property ownership is “the HOT niche" in Caribbean real estate.
The over-50 crowd infatuation with fractional ownership is tied to their desire to get away from home, spend extended periods of time in the sunny tropics and own their piece of paradise. But don't count out the under 50 crowd. Another up-and-coming demographic group is the early to mid-thirties age group. This group is characterized by young professionals who are leveraging high incomes and a passion for property investment to enhance their active lifestyles.
Fractional ownership provides owners with a certain number of weeks of occupancy during a year, but unlike a time-share, fractional owners enjoy the advantage of property ownership - appreciation and tax deductions. In this day and age of fascination with global real estate investing, fractional ownership represents an incredibly affordable means of second home ownership.
Sherman Potvin, author of Fractionalize to Maximize, says, "It is strange to say that the real estate downturn has had a positive effect on the fractional industry, but it has. The largest and most positive result of all the new fractional projects starting up in 2007 is the fact that every developer is putting money into marketing and thus adding to our collective effort to educate the general public about fractional ownership. This effort alone will “fast-forward” the industry considerably as it strives to gain respect as an alternative real estate product. This educational effort was greatly enhanced by the fractional projects of big resort hotel brands. The brands have the advantage of huge databases to work, plus endless capital to spend marketing their product. This only serves to help “brand” the entire fractional industry as a viable consumer product."
Another dynamic force in the growth of fractional ownership popularity is the continuing strength of the euro and the Canadian dollar. Though the Caribbean fractional market is still dominated by U.S. buyers, especially in markets like the U.S. Virgin Islands, European (including Eastern European and Russian) buyers are representing an increasing segment of market share because of the incredible value U.S. real estate to foreign buyers.
According Walberg, fractional ownership represents the hottest real estate trend to hit the Caribbean since the advent of condos and time-shares. Walberg's website has become a magnet for real estate developers and investors.
"Since I began focusing some of my blog postings on fractional ownership a couple of months ago, my website traffic has more than doubled and more than 15 developers have entered into marketing agreements with us."
Walberg has become an Internet celebrity of sorts in the Virgin Islands with his blog postings which are a mix of real estate news and tall tales from his 35+ years of sailing in the Caribbean.