If you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own island, you’re not alone.
There’s a growing interest in the private island market – and you don’t have to be among the ultra-rich to own one, according to a real estate broker specializing in the sale of islands around the world.
“The trend nowadays is people who are buying islands aren’t just looking for a vacation home, they’re looking to monetize it as well,” Chris Krolow, founder and CEO of Private Islands Inc., told BNN in an interview. He said investors are increasingly interested in buying an island, building it up and renting out a portion.
Krolow, who also hosts a real estate reality show called “Island Hunters,” is based in Toronto and has been selling private-island real estate since 1999. He sells anywhere between 30 and 35 islands a year.
But you don’t need to be as wealthy as Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison who bought a Hawaiian island for US$300-million, or magician David Copperfield who dropped an estimated $50-million to buy an island in the Bahamas.
You can buy an island for as low as $50,000 in Nova Scotia, according to Krolow, who said Canada’s east coast is home to the world’s cheapest islands.
“Chances are you might have some issues building on it if it’s too small,” he warned. “Of course getting there is a bit of an issue. Most of the people buying in Nova Scotia aren’t locals. They’re coming from Europe or they’re coming from the U.S., so that kind of drives the price down because there’s not a lot of demand there.”
In other parts of Canada where there’s demand from people living in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa, finding a bargain may be more difficult. Krolow said that in Ontario’s Muskoka region – a popular area for cottage goers – islands can cost up to $10 million.
Krolow, who owns two islands in Belize, one of which he rents out for $20,000 a week, said Canada, the U.S., and portions of the Caribbean and Central America are hot spots right now for those looking to buy islands for vacation getaways.
He said other parts of the world, like South Pacific and Asia, are more popular among resort developers.