Private islands have long attracted the ultra-rich, especially in the Bahamas. And one of the latest private islands sure to turn the heads of billionaires is Little Pipe Cay in The Exumas, Bahamas. First listed in 2018 for $85 million, the 40-acre private island is back on the market for $100 million.
Listing agents Fredrik Eklund and John Gomes of Eklund | Gomes at Douglas Elliman are marketing the property alongside Edward de Mallet Morgan of Knight Frank. Eklund says that the increase in price by $15 million is due to rising demand in nearby U.S. markets, as well as the effect of cryptocurrency.
“This price reflects the incredible surge we are seeing in luxury home values especially in places nearby the Bahamas like Miami and Palm Beach,” Eklund tells Forbes. “I have never seen a more powerful real estate market and the Bahamas, being a popular tax haven for crypto, justified this price that much more.”
The pandemic has strengthened inquiries of private islands, in part because, as the pandemic still rages on, wealthy travelers want to have their own secluded paradise that is guaranteed safe for themselves and their families.
Little Pipe Cay was first developed by the late businessman Michael Dingman as a place to reconnect with family and friends. Today, the island has 22 structures including six luxurious buildings, including the Manor House (the Owner’s Residence); four guest cottages; and a Refectory with pub, entertainment, dining, gym, spa and full-service kitchen. All homes are designed in Bahamian Colonial style and come with all furniture and art.
The Manor House even has an island communication hub and hurricane bunker underneath it. There are also staff quarters, storehouses, a boat barn and a fertilizer shed. The previous owners invested a lot into the island’s infrastructure and built a water filtration plant, freshwater storage, an underground power grid and a power station. There’s everything you need and want.
Despite its secluded nature, there is nothing rustic about the homes. Each is outfitted with modern amenities and chic, updated decor featuring colorful prints. The interiors span a total of 20,059 square feet and all rooms feature ultra-luxe furnishings, high ceilings with crown moldings, verandas and private bathrooms attached to each bathroom. Like a boutique hotel, no detail is left untouched. The houses and cottages have A/C, ample seating areas and some even include fireplaces and butler serving areas.
Little Pipe Cay has a helicopter pad, an expansive pool, pier, private beaches and undeveloped areas with native trees. Surrounded by turquoise-blue water and endless views of the ocean, it’s truly a dream.
The Bahamas is a preferred tax haven for United States residents thanks to its proximity to the States, and now it’s the new cryptocurrency tax shelter after China banned cryptocurrency transactions. In 2020, it became the first nation to issue its official currency in digital form (called the Sand Dollar). It’s still being discussed as to when or if they will accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment for the island.
“It was the first question I asked when we received the call to list the island,” Gomes tells Forbes. “While we are not set up to do that yet, I have already put the wheels in motion to do just that as I believe there is a very good chance we’ll be receiving the same question from prospective purchasers.”
Gomes says that he’s sure that cryptocurrency transactions won’t be far off with their properties both in Bahamas and stateside as well.
According to WSJ, the island costs $1.5 million per year to operate and the family recently allowed short-term exclusive use rentals for $75,000 per night.