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London - For multi-millionaires, private islands were the must-have accessory, guaranteeing holidays away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi.
But, as happens eventually with all fads, it seems the novelty has worn off and hundreds are being put on the market by the super-rich.
Some 600 islands around the world are now up for sale – three times as many as in 2006 – with prices falling as a result.
Many of the high profile celebrities and business executives who own the islands are reportedly fed up with the maintenance costs of the getaways they rarely visit.
When Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis were negotiating their separation earlier this summer, she turned down the actor’s offer of his island in the Bahamas as part of the settlement.
This was despite the fact the island – called Little Hall’s Pond Cay – is dotted with palm trees and boasts six white sandy beaches.
But Depp, who paid £2.3-million for the island in 2004, has never spent a night there and done nothing to develop its ramshackle cottages.
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen gave up his island dream after he struggled in vain to bring electricity to Allan island near Seattle. It has been put on the market for £8.2-million.
Singer Celine Dion has put her Canadian island, which has its own lavish French chateau, up for sale at £18.3-million because she rarely goes there.
And David Murdock, who controls US food company Dole, recently sold his Hawaiian island Lanai because he said he could not make it pay for itself.
However, even if buyers do manage to snap up a bargain, the maintenance bills are still likely to bite.
Little Bokeelia, a 100-acre island off the Florida coast, that is currently up for sale for £18.7million, has estimated annual running costs of £120,000.
Farhad Vladi, a Hamburg-based island broker, said: “Some celebrities are getting out of the market as quickly as they can.” - Daily Mail