As you may have heard, COVID has caused real estate prices in rural/suburban areas to sky rocket. People who can work remotely from now on are trading city life for country life. People who previously lived in a tiny apartment in a crowded city are buying houses with big back yards thousands of miles away. States like Montana and Idaho have become inundated with Californian expats, sending local real estate averages up 30-40%. Similarly, the east coast has seen an exodus to Florida where people can enjoy better weather and lower taxes.
And apparently this COVID-induced real estate boost even extends to private islands in the Bahamas!
Back in 2018 a 40-acre private island in the Bahamas called Little Pipe Cay hit the market for $85 million. It did not get any viable offers.
Little Pipe Cay was just re-listed. The price for this island that was unwanted just three little years ago?
According to a recent Wall Street Journal profile, Little Pipe Cay was developed by an industrialist named Michael Dingman. Dingman, who died in 2017, made a fortune thanks to a company called the Shipston Group. According to its website, the Shipston Group is one of those vague "international private investment" firms. I wish I could tell you more but their website's "About Us" page goes to a 404 PAGE NOT FOUND error message.
What we do know is that Michael Dingman spent 15 years and untold millions developing Little Pipe Cay's water filtration systems, sewage and electricity to support 22 structures. It is essentially a self-sustaining town.
Of those 22 structures, there's a 5,300 square-foot main residence and a separate 9,000 square-foot entertaining structure. There are also four 2-bedroom guest cottages.
The island requires $1.5 million per year in operational costs.
Here's a video tour of Little Pipe Cay from when it was listed for sale in 2018:
As the editor/founder of CelebrityNetWorth, I've seen my fair share of private island videos and I have to say… this one might be one of my favorite. If I had an extra $100 million laying around, I would DEFINITELY be interested.
Another benefit of Little Pipe Cay is that it is "freehold" not "leasehold." Freehold means the buyer will actually own the physical land outright. Under leasehold, the buyer is typically buying a 100-year lease and never owns the actual physical land under their feet.
At $100 million, Little Pipe Cay is the most-expensive private island in the Bahamas currently. It's $40 million more than the second most expensive listing.
Unfortunately I don't have an extra $100 million. And maybe you don't either. If that's the case, I do have a bit of good news –
There are currently 75 private islands for sale in the Bahamas alone. They range one acre to several hundred acres in size. The lowest-priced island would "only" set you back $495,000!