Long restricted to celebrities and wealthy businesspeople, the private island real estate market has grown considerably in the last few years, thanks to the Internet and increased demand from a wide range of people eager to experience “something different.” One leading agency, Private Island, has in its catalog 500 islands for sale and 250 for rent, with prices ranging from $30,000 for a small island in Canada to €150 million (almost $192 million) for the Greek island of Patroklos. Recently the company sold a Canadian island to a teacher for $250,000. Rentals start for as little as $2,000 a week.
What’s the Big Idea?
Most of the islands are in parts of the world with good access and infrastructure. Andrew Welsh, Private Island’s director of operations, says, “The most popular islands are in the Caribbean, especially the Bahamas. They are beautiful, people speak English and they have a currency that is equal to the dollar….It’s also just a short plane ride from the United States.” In some cases, you’ll get what you pay for: Cheaper islands contain high concentrations of insects and carry risks of catching a tropical disease.