If you’ve ever thought about buying or selling real estate in The Bahamas, you’ve likely heard of the stunning, archipelago-style islands. The islands are also home to a highly investor-friendly tax regime. Plus, they have some of the most luxurious homes in the Caribbean. If that’s not enough to lure you to the Islands, the Bahamas also has world-class golf, shopping and spas. And if you can afford to spend a little more, you can afford to make your purchase.
The Bahamas has a stable economy and is a popular destination for second home owners and real estate investors. Tax benefits and an attractive economy have made the Bahamas an appealing place for foreigners to purchase real estate. Moreover, real estate prices are attractive and buyers from the United States are attracted by its comparatively low taxes. If you’re looking to invest in real estate in The Bahamas, here are some things to keep in mind:
First of all, the Bahamas is open to non-Bahamians’ investment, and has enacted numerous policy documents that are designed to facilitate this. One such bahamas real estate policy document is the International Land Holdings Act 1993, which seeks to simplify the process of purchasing Bahamian property. You must register with the Investments Board and the Central Bank before buying property in The Bahamas. It can cost you anywhere from $25 to $100 to do this.
The Bahamas land tax is a relatively modest seven percent per year for non-Bahamians to pay. However, this rate applies to property that remains undeveloped for two years or more. This is meant to encourage development. In addition to this, non-Bahamians may apply to the Minister for an exemption. Other exemptions are provided by law. But make sure you understand all the terms and conditions before making a purchase. So that you won’t end up paying more than you can afford to, you’ll need to learn all you can about Bahamas real estate.
Lennox Paton’s real estate practice is among the best in the country, with attorneys with extensive experience in the industry. Founded in 1949, Bahamas Realty is the largest independent Bahamian real estate firm. It is a member of the Luxury Portfolio and the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. With global connections and local expertise, this firm focuses on a range of real estate matters. Its lawyers serve international and domestic clients.
Before the outbreak of the coronavirus, demand for residential properties in The Bahamas was dipping. According to a report from Engel & Volkers, sales of residential property declined by 20% last year. The Bahamas government closed its borders to international tourists in March 2020 to prevent the spread of the disease. During the first half of 2020, the Bahamas saw its lowest year since 2005, with international visitor arrivals down nearly 14 percent and air travel down 28 percent. The trend is expected to continue in Q2 2020.
While non-Bahamians can purchase residential properties that are under five acres, prior government approval is required for large projects. The government also grants investors accelerated consideration for real estate projects. However, non-Bahamians must meet strict criteria, including financial projections and employment needs. When it comes to purchasing real estate in The Bahamas, be sure to research local laws before making any decisions. It is also wise to consider the economic climate. The Bahamas is expected to increase its unemployment rate to 15.2% by the end of this year.