Turks and Caicos Market Conditions: A Brief Post-Storm Note

grace bay beach hurricane recovery

The Turks and Caicos Islands not only survived the active 2017 hurricane season but are well on our way to a full recovery. After just a few months since Hurricanes Irma and Maria, it seems timely to provide an update on the Islands’ progress. Though there is much positive news, we are in no way discounting the needs and challenges of people and areas that still cope with recovery challenges. But thankfully I’m proud to be a part of the wonderful residents of our Islands who continue to do our best to help wherever we can.

Most positive is that the Turks and Caicos Islands have rebounded remarkably well. This resiliency results from our naturally protective reef system, well-planned general infrastructure, and the great people of the islands. We also recognize the value of a private company like Fortis, who responded efficiently with manpower and materials to quickly restore and rebuild our power grid. We may not like our power bills but I think we will agree we were thankful for the exemplary response from Fortis and their tremendous employees. Thanks to these key factors, the core of our real estate sector, the Grace Bay Beach Condo market, expects to be fully operational by December 15th, 2017. In fact, the main resort district looks better than ever! (There’s nothing like a clash with Mother Nature to identify priority repairs or outdated facilities for reconstruction.)

I am continually asked for a forecast of the real estate market, especially after this fall’s turbulent hurricane season. In my estimation, the Turks and Caicos Islands stand to benefit from a number of unique factors, some of which are mentioned above. Other parts of the Caribbean do not share some of our advantages and unfortunately will not be open for business for some time. Consequently, our tourism sector will expand as our islands become a new destination of choice for those who either cannot return to their previous destination or seek a more favorable tourism destination or real estate investment opportunity.

One of the primary reasons for our current recovery and our positive outlook for the future remains the 300 miles of reef that protect our island from natural disasters. We cannot understate the fact that both storms moved into some state of reorganization as they passed over the Turks and Caicos Islands. This is not luck. Our reef system provides a superior safeguard against the massive destruction that affects other island systems without a similar barrier. Accordingly, when contemplating the more secure locations for investment, one must recognize that the Turks and Caicos Islands stood strong against the most powerful hurricane test in history.

Adding to our natural protection from the reef, the vast majority of the Islands’ real estate investment market has been built with foresight to meet Miami Dade hurricane standards. Certainly, homes and resorts experienced water damage this fall. However, for the most part our buildings and structures remained intact because of their rigorous design standards, leaving landscaping and grounds clean-up the bulk of the recovery work. As travelers resume their vacation plans and our tourism industry increases, I strongly believe we will experience a significant uptick in real estate sales. One of the common questions I receive from potential investors revolves around hurricanes and the impact damage would have on their investments. Our survival and recovery story is a compelling one. The Turks and Caicos Islands withstood the strongest hurricane in recorded history and was among the first island nations to return to fully operational status.

Finally, with preparedness, activism, and the Grace of God, our people rallied together to withstand the storms of 2017 and provided care and shelter such that no human life was lost. Immediately following the danger of the storms, the islanders came together in an extraordinary fashion to care for others and begin the restoration process. It warmed my heart to witness the “whatever it takes” mentality of my fellow islanders as they gave their time, good will, and kind hearts to those who suffered. Though our Islands may look a bit different, the proud people of the Turks and Caicos Islands remain steadfast in their generosity. For that, I am grateful and blessed to call it home myself.

Even with our extensive progress, there remains some work to do. Salt Cay and Grand Turk for example still require attention. Some remote locations remain without power, and their basic necessities continue to be met by the gracious people around them. We proceed with genuine optimism as we restore every island of the Turks and Caicos and welcome everyone back to our “Beautiful By Nature” shores.

From an investment standpoint, I have always promoted the Turks and Caicos Islands as possessing the top five priorities when it comes to investing:

  1. English speaking
    2. Stable government
    3. US currency
    4. Low crime rate
    5. Tax-free jurisdiction

In light of all that has transpired this fall, I believe it is important to highlight two additional selling features:

  • 300 miles of protective reef systems
  • Amazingly strong and resilient people!

The allure of the Turks and Caicos Islands exists in its incredible landscape as well as its admirable citizens, and both truly live up to our “Beautiful By Nature” national slogan. Turks Islanders and visitors agree that we enjoy one of the most beautiful places in the world. This elite destination now boasts seven compelling reasons why wise investors are adding the Turks and Caicos Islands to their portfolios.

We hope to see you soon!

Blair MacPherson

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