If you’re considering property on St. Croix, take note of the following: According to a recently released Gallup poll, for two consecutive years, Americans have identified real estate as the best long-term investment, beating out stocks and mutual funds, gold, savings accounts, CDs and bonds. Economists with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) predict that rising employment, attractive mortgage rates and a stronger economy will fuel the market for residential property in 2015 and on into 2016.
Pent-up demand and growing consumer confidence are more reasons that home sales will increase. Millenials’ buying power is expected to be an important factor in increased sales, with first-time buyers boosting the housing market as the unemployment rate for that demographic continues to shrink. In addition to new home sales, remodelers report that market activity is higher this quarter than last, a trend that has been evident over the past two years.
Vacation home sales are on the rise as well. Spurred by low interest rates, a healthy stock market and anticipated retirement, as of April 2015 Boomers had increased second-home sales to 21% of the total number of properties sold. CoreLogic reports that new home prices are rising fastest in coastal areas.
On St. Croix, there’s a good inventory of homes for sale at present, but demand will rise as surely as the sun off of Point Udall! While you’re pondering a purchase, remember, too, that property taxes in the Virgin Islands are significantly lower than those in resort areas of the U.S. mainland. In NAHB Senior Economist Robert Denk’s opinion, “Housing demand is now being driven by population growth and income growth. We are reconnecting to underlying fundamentals. We really have turned the corner.”