Family-owned apartments and Airbnb accommodation are adding a new dimension to renting and living in Barbados. More Barbadian families are looking to them for additional income.
There are several reasons why this is regarded as a reasonably secure and viable investment. The first and most apparent is that the demand for housing in Barbados outstrips supply.
The Second is that the cost of the building continues to escalate, which makes renting more attractive and more affordable, particularly for young adults.
This story is ably depicted as one drive through many of the middle and upper-class districts around the island. It is prevalent in many of these areas to find a mix of two and three-bedroom family-owned apartments.
“This is something that I have noticed in many areas,” said Mellissa Williams, who is making plans to establish an apartment at her home.
“The rents collected from tenants occupying the units help homeowners with their mortgage payments.”
“These days, people have to be creative in finding additional income, and once you have looked around and seen what’s happening in the housing market and the demand for housing, you can invest to achieve that goal, which is a return on the investment,” she remarked.
Ms. Williams, who is an Accountant, predicts that this trend of apartment rentals in Barbados will continue to gain momentum since the acquisition of housing. At the same time, it remains an important goal of Barbadians and is presenting challenges to would-be homeowners.
One of the notable features of some of the family-owned apartments in Barbados is that they are extensions to the existing home.
Another feature is that, in some cases, the units for rent are what we in Barbados refer to as “basements refurbished.”
They have proven to be the preference of single women and men, young adults looking for one-room units that suit their budget, and there are no children. Having a place of their own is a sign of their independence.
Others have opted for the two-bedroom and one-bathroom units, more suited for a couple, especially if children are involved.
Then some people are not interested in owning a home because they want to avoid financial obligations, like paying a mortgage every month. For them, renting an apartment is the perfect solution.
Costs vary for renting an apartment in Barbados – depending on the location, amenities, size of the units, and how they are outfitted regarding facilities. Rent can be $800 BBD per month and extend higher to $3,000 BBD per month.
This thrust in family-owned apartments was given a fillip during the ICC Cricket World Cup lead-up in 2007.
In that period, the Barbados Government pursued a deliberate policy to encourage people to set up apartments to cater to some of the several hundred visitors expected to descend on the island for that historic event.
Investors figured that Barbadians would play a crucial part with the hotel stock unable to accommodate the anticipated influx of cricket fans.
Important enough is the fact that many of these family-owned apartments also cater to visitors to the island. The units offer a simple safe and more affordable way to spend a vacation in a comfortable and peaceful setting.
Visitors found that units fitted with amenities to include a kitchenette, cable tv, and even internet access.
The daily rate for this kind of accommodation usually ranges from $30 US to $150 US dollars, and some of the higher-end family-owned apartments can cost even more.
Since the visitors do interface with the families who own the apartment, relationships are established, which more often than not results in the visitors returning to the island to vacation at the same premises.
This contributes to Barbados having many repeat visitors coming to the island.
Family-owned apartments do have a place in Barbados’ social and economic development.