The trouble with tax havens is how many people want to live there. As demand for real estate in these countries increases local municipalities have had to come up with ways to create more inventory in incredibly small amounts of space. For many that means breaking new ground on parts of the island that haven’t been inhabited before and for others that means repurposing former public spaces into private ones. In the case of Monaco it means moving the sea out of the way.
There are several dozen countries that have varying degrees of low or no taxes for foreigners or offshore corporations. Here are five of them that are opening up new territories to provide more space for luxury homes. All of these are developments still in progress so there is time for buyers to be the first owners of the properties that are up for sale.
Oil Nut Bay, British Virgin Islands
One of four main islands within the British Virgin Islands, Virgin Gorda, has a previously untouched swath of land at its extreme eastern edge that is now being developed into 88 homesites within the Oil Nut Bay resort. The resort is only accessible by helicopter or boat and to get there you have to pass by Necker Island, home of businessman Richard Branson, and Eustatia, the private island owned by Google co-founder Larry Page. There are existing amenities as part of the resort—such as restaurants, seafaring adventures and beach recreation—which homeowners have access to. Pictured above is one of the more expensive properties within Oil Nut Bay, a $9.5 million listing called Water’s Edge that comes with an infinity pool overlooking the ocean. There are approximately 38 homesites still for sale according to a rep for the listing.
Portier Cove, Monaco
Monaco isn’t just breaking into new territory, it’s creating it. As the country with the some of the highest priced property in the world, there’s a $2.4 billion program to create six hectares of terra firma on what is now the Mediterranean Sea. The first phase is to install a seawall using over a dozen 10,000-ton caissons, then import six million tons of sand dredged from the sea north of Sicily to build up the reclaimed land. Acclaimed architect Renzo Piano will design the residential portion comprised of villas, apartments and houses. The entire Portier Cove project is expected to be completed by 2025, but the residences are already being snapped up before they’re built (go here for more info on buying properties). The project is being designed with environmental concerns in mind, by relocating the marine life and designing the shoreline to follow existing marine currents. (If you were looking for something already built, I did spy this intriguing penthouse overlooking the water that will give you an idea of Monaco building styles).
Caye Chapel, Belize
The private island of Caye Chapel has a Four Seasons resort and approximately 85 residences in the process of delivering to buyers. The first phase sold out within four months and interest continues to be strong. Prices start at $2 million. Since the island is on the edge of the UNESCO World Heritage designated Belize Barrier Reef it includes a Fabien Cousteau Nature & Conservation Center which, in addition to overseeing local recreational activities, will bring ‘ecologists, marine scientists, and environmental thinkers’ on site for a few weeks at a time to provide educational courses and lectures. There’s also a Greg Norman-designed 18-hole White Shark Golf Course and nightlife in the Marina Village as part of the amenities.
Papagayo, Costa Rica
In the hills overlooking Culebra Bay is this forthcoming development of 98 homes, including 11 two-story treehouses, and an affiliated hotel. With Costa Rica announcing the goal of eliminating its reliance on fossil fuels by 2050 the development is focused on building the homes so they don’t leave too big an impact on the local protected habitats. That includes using indigenous materials where possible and having open-air living rooms and large terraces to observe the nature show. Prices have not been publicly announced but sales are ongoing with completion expected by the end of next year. Request more information via this website. Here’s a rendering of what the tree houses look like:
Tucker’s Point, Bermuda
Most of Bermuda has been well-developed many times over but there is a stretch of land that has seven remaining undeveloped homesites available for sale. Located on the golf course inside Tucker’s Point, with views over the harbor, the new buyers can design the houses from scratch. This is all part of a $25 million investment by Gencom to upgrade the only private luxury resort community in Bermuda. Lot sizes range from .25 acres to .75 acres with prices starting at $800,000 to $3 million. Here’s a look at one of the lots.
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