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Real Estate on St. John, Virgin Islands

St. John is unique; it offers the opportunity to own a dream home with magnificent ocean view on an island that is two-thirds protected from development by the National Park Service. Price tags fitting of a dream home nestled on a beautiful, protected Caribbean island are of course attached! The allure of St. John is in the lush green hills and beautiful white sand beaches. The island offers a slow pace of living and is home to a small community of about 4,200 people.

There are currently (September 2016) 161 houses on the market, ranging in size from a 554 square foot cottage on a .539-acre lot in Carolina; to a 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath luxury 6,596 square foot house on 1.1 acres in prestigious Peter Bay Estate. Most houses are designed with open styled floor plans, high ceilings and large decks to take advantage of the trade winds and the wonderful views. There are 63 houses listed below 1 million dollars. There are 98 houses listed that are over 1 million dollars.

House Sales

YEARTOTAL HOUSES SOLDLOWHIGHAVERAGE
200041$120,0003.8 Million$633,768
200146$130,0001.8 Million$594,294
200257$75,0005 Million$837,129
200361$180,0003.2 Million$931,142
200443$341,7004.5 Million$1,242,627
200554$450,0008.75 Million$1,789,315
200633$318,0004.25 Million$1,454,373
200729$295,00014 Million$1,982,914
200823$250,0004.6 Million$1,502,872
200922$240,0006.5 Million$1,283,182
201020$495,0003 Million$1,285,075
201127$135,00012 Million$1,722,222
201228$325,0008.45 Million$1,183,607
201348$165,0003.5 Million$1,054,698
201440$145,0007.75 Million$1,049,862
201538$189,0004 Million$1,074,847

Most residents finance their homes through conventional mortgages with local banks. Interest rates are slightly higher in the Virgin Islands than on the mainland. A typical down payment is 20 to 30 percent. Banks require earthquake and windstorm insurance with mortgages; the cost is around 2-3% of replacement value.

Presently on the market there are 276 undeveloped land sites for sale ranging in price from $75,000 for .32-acre lot in Coral Bay; to 5.5 million for a 4.5 acre lot near Maho Bay Beach. Looking for a private island? Recently Thatch Cay, 237 acres, was on the market at $24,000,000. Properties within the National Park but not park owned are traditionally the most expensive. Land development and subdivision, like in Rendevous & Ditleff, have increased the availability of land lots within the last couple of years.

Factors to consider when looking for land include; location, view, access to the property and any site preparations that might be necessary in order to build. The average lot size is half an acre.

Land Lot Sales

YEARTOTAL LAND LOTS SOLDLOWHIGHAVERAGE
200080$23,250$2.5 Million$195,644
200196$25,000$1.1 Million$168,093
2002141$34,500$2.4 Million$200,362
2003167$35000$6 Million$370,202
2004106$85,000$8 Million$530,141
200568$110,000$3.9 Million$560,389
200649$179,000$1.4 Million$496,144
200724$92,500$6,574,950$726,519
200820$115,000$1.8 Million$440,475
200919$60,000$3.5 Million$380,553
201016$75,000$875,000$248,125
201120$72,000$843,183$287,865
201233$55,000$13.9 Million$776,664
201331$49,500$2.5 Million$396,016
201431$65,500$1.65 Million$408,782
201544$63,000$970,000$208,680

Building a home starts at around $350 per square foot and is affected largely by materials used for building and finishing. Keep in mind that preparations and special structural requirements may need to be met making the total cost of the construction project more. A cistern for water storage and a septic tank are necessary components of a home on St. John. The cistern alone will account for almost 10 percent of the total building cost. Land owners should depend on the experts when it comes to building on St. John; plans must be prepared by an architect, engineer or drafts-person licensed in the Virgin Islands.

There are 20 condo developments on St. John, some are small with just a few units while others are large. Most are located in or close to Cruz Bay. Currently on the market there are 24 condos.

Condo Sales

YEARTOTAL CONDOS SOLDLOWHIGHAVERAGE
200015$68,333$320,000$181,900
200116$85,000$335,000$219,852
200214$90,000$350,000$209,457
20037$225,000$460,000$350,358
200413$220,000$925,000$567,885
200512$350,000$990,000$689,750
20066$425,000$1,035,000$635,667
20076$275,000$1,250,000$613,000
200815$390,000$789,000$634,923
20096$222,500$1,200,000$605,583
20107$200,000$932,300$467,043
20115$375,000$550,000$430,000
20129$290,000$850,000$501,667
20138$343,0001 Million$613,688
20149$380,0001.05 Million$714,924
201512$172,705$748,250$363,054

There are 170 time share units currently listed. The majority of which are located at Virgin Grand Estates & Villas and Westin Vacation Club, both in Chocolate Hole. Time shares range from $2,995 for a 1-week period in a 500 square foot studio on a beach front resort property; to $138,000 for a one-month period in a 3 bedrooms, 3 bath house.

There are presently 12 commercial opportunities available. They include a restaurant at $315,000; and a boat charter business at $189,000.

The overall inventory of St. John real estate at this time includes 643 listings.

Market Inventory Table, St. John

DATEALLHOMESLOTSTIMESHARECONDOSCOMMERCIAL
August 2005372551571351213
April 20065491012491225027
February 20075891242621355117
September 20087021172582385830
October 20097351262512994019
August 20107081372622484615
August 20116631472482134213
May 20126891662691984412
August 2013616142266172279
March 2015672165294178278
September 20166431612761702412

The National Park protects about two thirds of the St. John leaving limited amounts of property for development, this factor adds to both the desire of owning property and the high prices. Contact the featured real estate agents listed above for more information on property on St. John.

Note This section is dated September 2016: prices, property estimates and numbers reflect the market at the time this section was written. General Information and sales data is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed.

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