End of local lockdown - Sibarth Real Estate reopens its office on Monday May 11!

Published on May 09,2020

Being in lockdown in St Barths is not a real ordeal, for sure. Still, with the end in sight, the island residents are anxious to return to some level of normalcy in their daily lives. Hopefully, this should be the case on May 11, when they will be free to go out and when schools, shops, offices, administrations and even restaurants will resume their activities. As last minute Covid-19 related regulations impose new adaptations on services, everyone is now rushing to accommodate their workspace and their activity for the safety of all.

The local authorities and the French government have agreed to end the lockdown internally in view of extremely favorable data related to the virus circulation on the island – or more precisely the lack thereof at this time. As a result of well-respected confinement measures, there have been only a few confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic and they were placed in home quarantine. There have been no deaths and no intensive care was required for anyone. St Barths seems currently virus free!

While the decision to end the lockdown aims namely at restarting the local economy, and thus at saving local businesses from more financial hardships, St Barths is not freely accessible to visitors yet. The safety of the residents could be instantly compromised if its borders reopen. Consequently, the Island Council has recently adopted a special budget in the amount of 2 M€ for the purchase of 4 rapid diagnostic testing machines and for the setup of a general testing program. Such actions require close cooperation with government agencies and monitoring by health authorities. Reopening the island to non-residents, which is not expected before June or July, will depend on the progress of this project and on the overall deconfinement strategy.

But Sibarth Real Estate will be open from Monday May 11, even if the island borders are not! Our clients expect it, our team longs for it and our business activity requires it. Our pending transactions, contracted prior to the crisis, have successfully closed despite the unexpected circumstances, in the 8M$ and 10M$ range. A new sales contract has been formalized this week, while a new offer has been successfully negotiated at the same time. If the office was closed, no time was lost thanks to our remote working facilities!

So, today, we are happy to confirm our view on the local real estate market, as announced in our last newsletter. The lockdown has obviously affected our activity, but not the property values. If anything, inquiries have rebounded earlier than anticipated despite the closure of the island to visitors. Exchanging with some of our network partners around the globe, many of us start noticing a trend whereby the ownership of a family property in a safe environment such as St Barths may now gain favor among some high net worth individuals, and perhaps more so than a short-term villa rental.

Mandatory and voluntary social distancing measures will be in place at the office for your and our safety, which we will ask you to respect. Please, preferably call us prior to visiting us, so that multiple appointments at any one time can be avoided, and so that you can inquire about the schedule of any specific team member you might wish to meet. Any property viewings will require some extra notice and precautions, but be assured of our endeavor to make your experience as pleasant and productive as possible!