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Calabash Boom Proves More of a Fizzle
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March 07, 2007

Relocating to the U.S. Virgin Islands: Housing and Real Estate

Many people relocating to the U.S. Virgin Islands start with temporary housing, whether during a preliminary trip here or for the first month of their move. Some realtors offer short-term apartment rentals, and some hotels offer special rates for monthly stays (except on St. John where housing – both long and short term – is quite limited and expensive). Having a temporary home base makes it easier to explore neighborhoods and different housing options without the pressure of having to move into the first place you find.

Rentals are available on all of the Virgin Islands, but prices and availability will vary. St. John is the most expensive, while St. Thomas is not quite as pricey and St. Croix is yet less expensive. For example, on St. Thomas a 2- or 3-bedroom apartment generally ranges from $1,200 to $1,800 per month, while the same rental on St. John would cost $1,500 to $2,500 and on St. Croix it would be $800 to $1,200. Although there is less available during high season, a good selection of rentals is generally available on St. Thomas and St. Croix throughout the year. When looking on St. John, however, the pool of rentals is much smaller and turnover is much less frequent – don’t expect to find your dream rental immediately. You can find rentals through local realtors (and usually all fees are paid by the owner) and local newspapers also offer a lot of current rental listings.

St. Thomas: The Daily News, Island Trader (PDF file)
St. John: The Tradewinds

The cost of buying a home seems to be steadily rising in the Virgin Islands and, in general, the selection of affordable, middle class housing is reasonably slim. The price for a single-family house in a good location probably averages on $500,000 on St. Thomas (with many being much more expensive and few less expensive). And, as with rentals, this varies by island as well. As of this posting real estate sales in the Virgin Islands were trending up slightly again after a little softness in 2006. Frank Barnako's News Of St. John tracks the real estate market of that island fairly regularly and is a good source for getting a feel of what is happening.

Condominiums are another housing option. Condos can often be a more affordable option for owning real estate in the USVI. Many also offer amenities such as pools, beaches, golf courses, tennis courts and beautiful views.

As the market for rentals and sales is always changing, it is best to contact a local realtor for more current information. You can also browse our Virgin-Islands-On-Line Real Estate section and use the links on this site to get in touch with local realtors to help in your search.


Coldwell Banker, Stout Realty, St. Thomas


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