In spring, the world’s yachting fraternity celebrates high season in the Caribbean. Any sailor worth their salt will head for the Leeward Islands, where the pristine sands and blue waters of Antigua make an impossibly photogenic backdrop to the island’s annual Sailing Week.
More than 100 yachts participate, from elegant cruisers to state-of-the-art racing machines. But you don’t need to know your aft from your elbow to be a part of the action. Non-mariners can “chase the race” from a catamaran or chopper, and join in the games at Pigeon Point, one of the island’s 365 blissful beaches.
Sailing Week is just one of the big events that draw house-hunters to the two-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda in search of a sunny home to float their boat, with either a private mooring or direct access to a five-star serviced marina. Recent research by Savills shows that 60% of buyers here are British, and the islands saw prime property prices grow by 5%-10% in 2022. Yet prime homes on Antigua are still competitively priced compared to other neighbouring hot spots, with an average price per square foot of $660 (£530) for apartments and $1,250 for villas.
“Antigua stands out from other popular Caribbean property hunting grounds – Barbados, the Caymans, the Turks & Caicos – in that there is a huge variety of high-end homes in enclaves all over the island, not just concentrated in certain areas,” says James Burdess, head of Caribbean sales for Savills.