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

With around 50,000 inhabitants, St. Croix is ​​the largest of the three most important US Virgin Islands, followed by St. Thomas and St. John. In addition to its many white sand beaches, it is known for its dive sites, including the Buck Island Reef National Monument, one of three national underwater monuments in the United States. It’s also the cheapest of the three islands: The Average Home Price According to a November 2020 report by the U.S. Virgin Islands Bureau of Administration and Housekeeping (OMB), the average for St. Croix in 2019 was $ 359,863, while the average for St. Thomas and St. John was $ 633,000.

Prices had risen for several years as the economy recovered after two major hurricanes that damaged the islands in 2017. However, the coronavirus pandemic has interrupted this progress. The region is heavily reliant on tourism, and travel restrictions starting in March 2020 resulted in a 36 percent decline in tourist arrivals for the fiscal year ending in September, according to the report. The unemployment rate was 8.4 percent after 6.3 percent in the previous year, prompting the OMB to warn that “the territory needs to develop a diversification of industries as the local leisure and hospitality sector is adversely affected by“ stay at home ” has been. Assignments.”

But there is still a lot of life in the St. Croix housing market. The second home market has largely recovered from the effects of the hurricanes, said Ava Gail Bourdon, the realtor / owner of RE / MAX St. Croix. After the pandemic was lifted, both the second home and local housing markets slowed significantly but never stopped entirely.

“We had a lot of unseen sales, especially in the last quarter,” said Ms. Bourdon. “We do a lot more video shows and spend more time with customers on the phone. Technology has worked very well in that regard, and that’s how people buy. “

St. Croix sales declined 14 percent last year compared to 2019, but the median sales price of $ 412,500 rose 17 percent, according to MLS data. That surge reflects a shortage of inventory in the $ 250,000 to $ 400,000 range, Ms. Bourdon said, noting that the average price is now buying a small three bedroom home with half an acre of yard and shepherd views, but likely not of the sea.

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