Rising Luxury Second-Home Markets Luring Buyers


Investment in luxury second-home markets has cooled following a sales run-up during the pandemic years 2020-21. But that’s not to say a lot of folks aren’t still toying with investing in such sunny spots as the Caribbean, Hawaii and Costa Rica.

“The pandemic-related market run experienced in Hawaii’s ultra-luxury real estate sector was logistically unsustainable, by simple measures of supply and demand,” says Matt Beall, CEO of Hawaii Life.

“Everything that could trade, did. We simply ran out of supply. But we certainly haven’t run out of demand. The overall number of ultra-luxury transactions will almost certainly not outpace the [previous year’s] incredible variety . . . But the dry power on the sidelines isn’t going to sit idle for long.”

While some would-be buyers mull the notion, others are seizing on opportunities to invest during a lull. Here are a few of the places they’re plunking down their money.

The Caribbean

Save for the August-to-October season, when hurricanes roil the region, the Caribbean is close to a year-round kind of destination. And right now, we’re solidly within the December-to-July period when many would-be buyers visit prior to making an investment.

Hotspots like Turks + Caicos and Virgin Gorda are luring more than just celebrities these days. At the former, Grace Bay Resorts is expanding its Private Villa Collection, and next year will open South Bank, featuring the island’s first man-made lagoon.

“We expected the demand to taper off in 2022 and into 2023 as Europe opened up, but it hasn’t, and pace in 2023 is just as strong or stronger,” says Nikheel Advani, co-founder of Grace Bay Resorts in Turks & Caicos and vice president of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association.

Oil Nut Bay, an isolated island sprawling across 400 acres on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, lures guests to private villas blending seamlessly into the picturesque topography.

Homesites here range from $2.95 million to $29.5 million, with fully-furnished domiciles fetching from $3.45 million to more than $39 million. Particularly noteworthy is the new $18.5 million listing Constellations, an eye-opening home with four bedrooms, seven baths, sprawling outdoor living space and private beach.


Hawaii’s Kona Coast features a private residential club called Hokuli’a, a place popular with Pacific Northwest and Canadian sun lovers seeking second home getaways. Improvements to the resort’s Jack Nicklaus Signature gold course, as well as the addition of new pickleball courts and an update to the dining facilities, are among recent enhancements to the 1,260-acre development.

Buyers who select one of the one- to two-acre sustainable agriculture parcels can avail themselves of the outrigger canoe program on Nawawa Bay, as well as the golf course, spa, fitness center, tennis courts, club pool, open-air dining pavilion and shoreline park with interpretive center.

Costa Rica

Among benefits attached to Costa Rican second-home ownership are easygoing locals, pleasant climate and, best of all, a far less-expensive price tag than other second-home destinations in warm climates.

Options include Costa Elena, where about $2.3 million buys a 4,300-square-foot house. Costa Elena is a master-planned resort community and ocean club tucked away within Costa Rica’s comparatively untrammeled northern Guanacaste region. There, UNESCO World Heritage Site Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG) recently embarked on sales efforts on behalf of its new Sunset Villas.

Spread over 3,000 acres, the community offers 10 miles of immaculate coastline. It will likely appeal most to those who love natural beauty, modern tropical design and above all sustainable tourism. It offers the chance to reside in an international location while also supporting the local community and its people. Costa Elena helps safeguard the natural habitats of the Tropical Dry Forest and restore to sustainable numbers endangered species.

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