Paradise comes at a price, even in the midst of international economic meltdown. “Our most expensive property with a published price is Patroklos off the Athenian coast in Greece” says a blithe Andrew J Welsh, Director of Operations at Private Islands Inc, international purveyors of temperate privacy and luxurious isolation. “That’s for sale at 150,000,000 Euro.”
With islands dotted like lush emerald jewels across all climes and locations from Canada to India to Central America, sales at Private Island Inc are bucking the recession as more and more individuals, couples and families yearn to escape a grey and depressing social atmosphere in favour of a world of their own. “There is also a growing number who purchase strictly as an investment” Welsh nods. “As there are only a limited number of islands in the world, they afford an excellent opportunity for investment. Of course, some are actually buying their third or fourth vacation property.”
With properties ranging from several thousand acres to less than a quarter of an acre – a steal at just under $40,000 – some with infrastructure (house, landing strip, swimming pool, stables) and some bare canvases innocent of any sign of civilisation, Welsh promises something for every taste. He also promises that buying an island “generally only takes a little longer than regular real estate. Deed searches and viewing can be a little more complex… Island ownership shouldn’t be something that is rushed into. If the buyer has cash on hand and the seller is eager obviously time frames can be negotiated.”
No word, however, on whether Sir Richard Branson is open to offers after that lightning fire on the bespoke fantasy island of Necker. Seems even Paradise has its occasional problems.
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