Home Searching on St. Croix: A Transformed Sugar Mill With Sea Views

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St. Croix, with about 50,000 residents, is the biggest of the three important U.S. Virgin Islands, adopted by St. Thomas and St. John. Along with its many white-sand seashores, it’s recognized for its diving websites, together with the Buck Island Reef Nationwide Monument, considered one of three underwater nationwide monuments within the U.S. Additionally it is essentially the most reasonably priced of the three islands: The common house value on St. Croix was $359,863 in 2019, in keeping with a November 2020 report by the U.S. Virgin Islands Workplace of Administration and Funds (OMB), whereas the common on each St. Thomas and St. John was about $633,000.

Costs had been rising for a number of years amid an financial restoration following two main hurricanes that broken the islands in 2017. However the coronavirus pandemic has interrupted that progress. The area is closely depending on tourism, and journey restrictions starting in March 2020 led to a 36 p.c drop in vacationer arrivals through the fiscal yr ending in September, in keeping with the report. The unemployment fee was 8.4 p.c, up from 6.3 p.c the earlier yr, main the OMB to warn that “the Territory must develop a diversification of industries because the native leisure and hospitality sector has been adversely impacted attributable to ‘Keep at House’ orders.”

However there’s nonetheless loads of life within the housing market on St. Croix. The second-home market had largely recovered from the impression of the hurricanes, mentioned Ava Gail Bourdon, the dealer/proprietor of RE/MAX St. Croix. After the pandemic shutdown was lifted, each the second-home and native housing markets slowed significantly, however by no means totally stopped.

“We’ve had a whole lot of gross sales sight unseen, particularly within the final quarter,” Ms. Bourdon mentioned. “We’re doing much more video showings, spending extra time on the cellphone with purchasers. Know-how has labored very well with this respect, and individuals are shopping for this manner.”

Gross sales on St. Croix have been down 14 p.c final yr in contrast with 2019, however the median sale value of $412,500 was up 17 p.c, in keeping with MLS information. That improve displays a scarcity of stock within the $250,000 to $400,000 vary, Ms. Bourdon mentioned, noting that the median value now buys a small three-bedroom house with a half-acre yard and pastoral views, however in all probability not ocean views.

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