Where Sun, Sand and Splendor Are Still to Be Discovered


Waterfront living is a concept that seems to have endless appeal. “It doesn’t matter whether you swim or partake in water sports or not,” said Danny Hertzberg, a real estate agent with the Jills Zeder Group in Miami Beach, who sees nonstop demand in waterfront properties. “For most people, the ultimate amenity is the water. It’s always desirable.”

Interest in waterfront properties has grown significantly in the last year. Sales at the Jills Zeder Group, for instance, increased to over $1 billion in 2020 from $500 million in 2019. According to Mr. Hertzberg, a majority of these sales were waterfront homes. “We’re already on track this year to outpace 2020,” he said.

And during the first quarter of this year, page views for waterfront “amenities and features” on the website of Sotheby’s International Realty increased to 56,517 from 11,818 in the same period in 2020 — an increase of more than 378 percent.

South Florida; Los Cabos, Mexico; and Marbella, Spain, are mainstays for waterfront properties, but other places are starting to get attention, too, like these five emerging destinations.

This Caribbean island nation has more than 300 white-sand beaches and four marinas, including one that housed the British fleet during colonial times and is now a base for megayachts.

Justin White, the co-owner of Anchor Antigua Realty, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, said the island was ideal for those who enjoy watersports. “We have great snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing and kite surfing,” he said. “You can come here and be active all day and start your evening with a cocktail on the beach during sunset.”

Antigua has low crime rates, making safety an advantage of owning a home there. Grocery stores, which abound, sell both imported goods and local delicacies like lobster. Although roads on the island can be bumpy, Mr. White said they were being improved.

Home buyers will find a cross section of properties in Antigua, from apartments to townhouses to spacious villas. Mr. White said that prices for a two-bedroom townhouse started at about $200,000, and that villas in upscale developments, such as Galley Bay Heights, were well into the seven figures.

More recently, Barbuda, a virtually undeveloped island, has been getting attention because the luxury real estate developer Discovery Land Company is building Barbuda Ocean Club, a community that broke ground in 2019. A chic-meets-rustic beach club with waterfront safari tents is already complete and gives interested buyers an opportunity to visit and explore ownership. The community, which occupies more than 700 acres, has seven miles of beachfront and will have 450 residences, including estates, golf villas and waterfront cottages. Ranging from 2,000 to 7,500 square feet, they have a starting price of $3 million.

“Discovery’s project is the pinnacle of luxury and is going to elevate Antigua and Barbuda to another level, but there are plenty of affordable housing options as well,” Mr. White said.

Founded in 1968 by an Italian entrepreneur, Gian Franco Brignone, Careyes has grown over the last several decades to more than 35,000 acres. It includes a polo field and a biosphere reserve with 70 species of animals and more than 1,200 varieties of flora and fauna.

Jurmala offers diverse real estate options, from modest apartments in the center of town, which start at a few hundred thousand dollars, to luxury seven-figure villas on the secluded coastline.

Eriks Reinicans, the director of the local real estate company Jurmala Invest, said that for around $500,000, buyers could find a three- or four-bedroom apartment in an upscale development with a pool that was about a 10-minute drive to the beach. “You get much more value for your money if you’re willing to be away from the water,” he said.

Because Latvia’s winters can be brutally cold, Jurmala is not an ideal year-round destination, though it does offer access to historical sights in Riga and hiking in the forests that surround the sea.

In northwest Idaho, about a 30-minute drive from Spokane, Wash., Coeur d’Alene is known for its lake and national forest.

Lately, the city has become appealing to buyers who are seeking vacation homes in rural settings where the waterfront takes center stage, said Tammy Fahmi, the vice president for global operations and international servicing at Sotheby’s International Realty. Many are from California, Washington State and Oregon, but Canadians are also finding their way there.



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