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REAL ESTATE VALUES AND ANGUILLA'S INTERNATIONAL SERVICES

The first--and ongoing--wave of international service which fostered the tremendous increases in land values which began in the late nineteen seventies, was tourism. Tourism fundamentally created real estate value along the coastlines--especially along the sandy fore shores--and along those high ridges commanding views of the sea. Insofar as tourism generated a demand for goods and services to support the hotels, condominiums, and residences being developed along the coasts and ridges, there was a "trickle down" effect with regard to increased interior land values. As businesses grew to accommodate tourism's expansion (and the contingent increase in local demand for goods and services which grew as a function of tourism's introduction of higher, steadier salaries for a larger, more diversified number of Anguillians) businesses expanded in central areas, thereby raising demand for-and prices of--centrally located property.

The second--and emerging--wave of international service which has the potential to foster impressive increases in land values, is the world of international finance. Insofar as international finance is an office oriented service, from a real estate perspective it is very well suited to not only complement the previously mentioned "trickle down" increases in the land values of Anguilla's central areas, but to increase and expand the boundaries of those central areas. When one takes into consideration the fact that nearly thirty small, independently owned businesses currently operate on the George Hill Road between the Galaxy and Vista Supermarkets, it is not difficult to imagine additional, low impact, business development in Anguilla--a development which would logically result from increased international financial services on Island.

As with any international service, the fundamental benefit must flow to the host country--tourism was not introduced to please overseas residents, but to increase Anguilla's standard of living by taking economic advantage of a legitimate international desire for personal peace and tranquillity. This same desire can be harnessed with regard to international finance in an effort to realize visible, socially desirable goals--from creating new forms of employment on Island, to decentralizing the economic base of Anguilla; from generating impressive fees payable directly to Government for improving and upgrading Anguilla's infrastructure, to developing an increased demand for first class office space throughout the Island. Anguilla had beautiful beaches long before she had first class hotels--policy decisions and global economic realities brought those hotels to our shores. In the same manner, Anguilla has had tax policies beneficial to international finance for a number of years--emerging policy decisions and global economic realities can be focused to bring first class international finance to our shores as well.

In truth, both tourism and international finance can be problematic, and must be monitored. However from a general business view point, and with an emphasized perspective on real estate values and new development opportunities, these two international services are in fact quite complementary. By developing both international services in a controlled manner--i.e. Alien Land Holding Licences and planning permission, on the one hand; innovative legislation and auditing requirements, on the other--Anguilla can realize a better standard of living than would be possible by exclusively relying on either alone.

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