02 Sep 2019 - Montserrat (Brades)
I am in Montserrat looking at the real estate market.
The property market is depressed, and residential house prices have been falling. Villas can be on the market for years, and asking prices are often slashed as they fail to sell.
There is a relatively buoyant Airbnb market. In the longer-term leasing market, a two bed villa is around USD 2,500 per-month, and a three bed around USD 3,500 per month.
Antigua is renowned because of the volcanic activity in thee 1990s through to 2010, which caused the population to shrink by around 2/3rds because of emigration, and it now stands at around 5,000. About half of the island is a zone which is designated as uninhabitable, including the old capital city of Plymouth.
Every day at midday there is a ringing tone that sounds across the entire island from speakers placed across the mountains which is a testing of the early warning system, and a reminder that the volcano is still technically active, although currently quiet.
The lifestyle on Montserrat is very relaxed, and there is practically no crime. There is also, unfortunately, little commercial activity, with the cotton and sugar industries having disappeared.
Photo at Brades, with the harbour in the distance
An old sugar mill
View over the south of the island from the former Montserrat Springs Hotel
Ruined buildings in the former capital of Plymouth