The first half of 2022 has been busier than ever for the global private island sales market. The market’s highest end has even experienced a never-before-seen flurry of activity.
In 2020, sales have significantly slowed down, first because of the pandemic’s initial shock and second due to people not being able to visit the private islands. The volume of sales started to recover in 2021, and 2022 has by far seen an increased level of activity.
This development is largely because of how the pandemic changed priorities, with more and more people reevaluating the time they wish to spend with their families and loved ones. The pandemic has also proven how easy it is to work from locations in different parts of the world, and this is also reflected in the main concerns of buyers of private islands.
Before the pandemic, among the primary criteria for buying an island include deep-water access for boats and the distance from the mainland development level. Today, the biggest factor is telecommunications. Is there available internet? What is the mobile service like? Is it possible to work from the island?
It was discovered that approximately 160 island collections or private islands are listed for sale across the globe. Just less than a quarter of this number are in Canada Central or Canada East, which also happens to be the location of the cheapest for-sale private islands. These are priced as low as $4,600 to $5.3 million for Batchawana Island, undeveloped land in Lake Superior spanning 5,200 acres.
The Vatuvara Private Islands in Fiji is the most expensive island listed for sale. This includes a resort island of 800 acres with three associated islands and three tourist villas that remain untouched by commercial tourism.
Pumpkin Key is the most expensive single island up for sale located right off Miami’s coast in the Florida Keys. Sotheby’s Realty listed Pumpkin Key at $595 million. It features a three-bedroom house, separate staff properties, tennis courts that also function as a helipad, and a megayacht marina. Other islands are listed for sale at the moment with prices available on offer or request.
The pandemic also shifted the balance of demand and supply with more affluent families seeking islands near their main base for safety and ease of access. Europeans also looked to Ireland and Scandinavia while North Americans started to buy in Canada and Nova Scotia. Brokers deem it as a huge change in the balance.
Aside from this, the total number of available islands for private purchase has been decreasing through the years. It has been discovered that between 1995 and 2019, conservation trusts and governments purchased 140 islands all over the world, most of which were located in North America.
The market also has numerous idyllic properties that are already developed and located in an idyllic haven. However, for those willing to take on the labor of love, buying an undeveloped island offers an amazing chance to create a unique home that can be passed on in the family from one generation to the next.