While Grace Bay remains the primary engine of the Providenciales tourism industry, the popular destination no longer dominates the TCI real estate market as it once did.
In some respects, it’s a shift that’s been underway for years. Chalk Sound and Turtle Tail have long been solid Grace Bay alternatives on Provo, with other hot spots popping up across the islands.
But recent real estate trends suggest a steady broadening of the private home market, with more buyers now taking an interest in properties beyond traditionally popular areas. In general terms, the trend suggests both long-range confidence in the value of TCI property and a vote of confidence for the islands’ quality of life.
“Seven years ago I did practically all my business between Turtle Cove and Grace Bay,” said Joe Zahm of Turks and Caicos Sotheby’s International Realty. “Today people are taking boats to Parrot Cay or planes and ferries to South Caicos. Our world is branching out.”
Those branches run into two general directions: Filling in previously undervalued areas on Provo, or hopping blue water to less-developed islands in the chain.
On Provo, the trends over the past three or four years have emphasized luxury villas and a shift to the south, significantly expanding the map of the island’s desirable geography.
The Residences — Grace Bay Resorts’ successful experiment with the idea of “managed villas” — proved both concept and location in 2012. Hartling Group’s soon-to-be completed Shore Club on Long Bay enjoyed solid sales performance in 2015. Beach Enclave on International Drive sold nine luxury villas in less than two years, Long Bay is well underway and a new Beach Enclave Grace Bay villa development is scheduled for construction on a recently purchased 10-acre Leeward property.
“Grace Bay is not the only modern, secure offering in Turks & Caicos, “Zahm said, rattling off a list that includes The Dunes, Beach Enclave, Blue Cay Estates and Wymara Villas. “As these villa developments continue to expand, all of a sudden people are more comfortable to be in other locations. They’re all great projects, and they’re growing.”
The Off-Provo trend is perhaps equally significant. Oliver’s Cove, an ultra-luxury villa on exclusive Parrot Cay, sold earlier this year for an eye-popping $27.45 million (photo above). The top-ranked resort is set to begin construction on a new cluster of villas, with prices starting at more than $5 million.
Meanwhile, South Caicos has become another success story. “(The Sailrock development) is for people who really want to go back to the old Provo,” Zahm said, citing stunning beaches and that romantic “lost island” feel.
“We’ve been spoiled (on Grace Bay) with so many amenities and not a lot of traffic,” he said. “But people are out there looking for the next opportunity.”
(Photo Credits: Oliver’s Cove and Beach Enclave by Steve Passmore/Provo Pictures)