Joe Zahm, Turks and Caicos Sotheby’s International Realty Broker/Owner, is a 20-year veteran in TCI tourism, development and real estate.

Q: Several managed luxury waterfront villa communities came to market in the past three years. Have they seen stable success?
JZ: Yes. They are all making significant progress in market creation.

Q: To what do you attribute their success?
JZ: Outstanding quality of design and construction, and services.

Q: Do you see that trend continuing into 2018?
JZ: Yes, even more so as we get more traction in the market.

Q: Another new market segment was ignited recently with the launch of Rock House, Grace Bay Resorts’ latest project. Are buyers excited by the idea?
JZ: Yes. Rock House represents an affordable hybrid of low density luxury with the full resort services and amenities, all supported by the great Grace Bay Resorts brand.
The response has been phenomenal. As of Dec. 1, 2017, approximately 45% of the 31 units released have been reserved and are going to contract.

Q: What do you see happening in the condo market? What do you expect from Condo sales in 2018?
JZ: There is clearly a lack of inventory in existing product, as condo owners are generally happy with their ownership use and investment experiences. So, there is pent-up demand.
That said, new condo developments have been slow to go, due to either financing or planning issues. I would anticipate that pipeline developments such as the Ritz Carlton will begin to break free in 2018 with our first new developments commencing construction, in addition, of course, to Rock House.

Q: While most of these projects are on Providenciales, what about the other islands?
JZ: Sailrock on South Caicos is gaining traction, and a shout out to developer Colin Kihnke for his team’s great work in the community post Irma.
One of our most significant sales from 2017 happened outside of Provo. In July, Serenity Villa on Parrot Cay sold for $17m USD to a buyer referred to us through our Sotheby’s network.

Q: How did the real estate market do across the board in 2017?
JZ: The year 2017 will see a slight decline year on year due to Hurricane Irma. However, there is healthy pending business that will close in 2018 and 2019, so it is a pretty significant achievement that the market will be very close to last year considering the passing of two hurricanes.

Q: What effect, if any, did Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria have?
JZ: Certainly we are impacted, but the impact is already lessening as the market sees that TCI is in good shape, a testament to our excellent building codes, first world infrastructure, government support (including the UK) and great community spirit and giving. Less than two months post-hurricanes, we were pretty much back to business as usual.

Q: What highlights do you see for 2018 ?
JZ: In addition to being excited about new projects which we expect to see make progress in 2018, seeing recently launched villa developments continuing to turn over completed homes and these new communities bubbling with activity.
The energy and momentum in the market are definitely positive and we look forward to that trend continuing.