Thirty years ago, Neal Sroka, founder and president of Prudential Douglas Elliman’s DE Worldwide, an international real estate consulting group, first encountered the Caribbean market; 20 years later he began selling there. But it was only in the last 18 months that Sroka noticed the market really beginning to heat up. “As these [new] developments become more mature, you’re going to see some uptick in values,” says Sroka, who believes that buyers coming in at the ground floor will find there is room for the market to grow, spurring increased home values.
A shift has also occurred in the ease with which people can get to island locales, making the region prime for vacation homes. “The mere fact that, in three hours or less, you can be on the beach in one of these resort areas makes a very compelling argument for a New Yorker to pursue one,” says Sroka. “We used to joke that, on certain days, it was easier to get on a plane and fly to your house in the Dominican Republic than to drive to your place in East Hampton.”
Sroka has noticed a trend of New Yorkers with an apartment in the city and a place out in the Hamptons now buying in the Caribbean to “spread out the whole year.” Says Sroka, “They’ll spend three months in the Hamptons, six months in the city, and three months down in the Caribbean.” 575 Madison Ave., 212-319-5845