Mystery private island buyer splashes out $2bn on the must-have accessory of the super-rich

The American buyer has bought a 25 year lease on a paradise island called Fuga in the northern Philippines

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Forget the Bugatti, the superyacht and the gold-plated jet. For the really minted, there’s only one accessory these days that cuts the Alain Ducasse personally-crafted mustard. The private island.

Leonardo DiCaprio has one, Eddie Murphy has one, Sir Richard Branson has three. And, apparently, Larry Ellison’s makes Mel Gibson’s look small.

But now a mystery newcomer has arrived to this select, but growing club: a mystery newcomer with enough money to agree to splash out no less than $2bn for a 25 year lease on a paradise island called Fuga in the northern Philippines.

The only information to emerge today about the identity of this minted buyer is that he, or she, is American.

But whoever this billionaire might be, we can assume they have a love of sunbathing (Fuga is renowned for its white sandy beaches), diving (its clear turquoise waters are second to none) and, of course, absolute privacy.

For, while it has a little village, in which most of Fuga’s 1786 inhabitants live, the vast majority of this 10,000 hectare island is beach, rolling forestland, and rock.

Richard Branson's Necker Island, in the British Virgin Islands

It is that splendid isolation that attracts the celebrity likes of Johnny Depp to buy their own islands. And Fuga Island is as splendidly isolated as you can hope for, without requiring the discerning owner to take a three month journey in the private yacht to get there.

The website Lamudi, which is used by real estate agents around the world to advertise their luxury properties, reports a sharp increase in sales and lettings of private islands in the Philippines.

The Philippines

Says Jacqueline van den Ende, managing director of its operations there: “With its vibrant and buoyant real estate market, buying property is becoming more fun in the Philippines. Now the demand, especially from foreign clients, is spilling over to private islands and isles, which is not surprising as the country has over 7100 to choose from.”

But if the Philippines doesn’t float your gin palace, there are plenty more places with islands for sale. Private Islands Online is currently advertising dozens for sale in places as far and wide as Canada to the South Pacific. Simply get your platinum card ready, pick and click.