The cold winter months in Canada have many people dreaming about a tropical vacation at the beach. For many, paradise on Earth is the Caribbean islands.
Home to white sand beaches, luxury villas, and tons of natural beauty, the islands in the Caribbean Sea are a snowbird's and an expat's dream. The Caribbean countries have that tropical paradise feel and are popular destinations for retirees, especially during the winter months.
One of the reasons why many people are looking to the Caribbean paradise is because of the investment opportunities available on the island nations. The real estate market on many Caribbean islands is extremely attractive to North American investors.
Whether you're looking for a beachfront property, a residential property with a swimming pool, or a commercial property with an infinity pool, there are tons of investment property options available in Caribbean countries.
Want to invest in real estate in the Caribbean islands? Here is your guide to the best real estate investment opportunities in the Caribbean.
Buying Property In The Caribbean Region
Even if you're an investor who has dealt with hundreds of real estate transactions in North America, there are several things to think about purchasing Caribbean property as foreign buyer.
How Can Foreign Investors Purchase Caribbean Real Estate Investments
Purchasing Caribbean property as a Canadian isn't as simple as it is to purchase a home in Canada. As international investors, there are a few more hoops to jump through, especially if you want to live long-term in the Caribbean islands. Here are some things to keep in mind when looking into investments in the Caribbean.
The Citizenship By Investment Program
One of the most popular and easiest ways to get your foot in the door with a Caribbean real estate investment is through Citizen by Investment Programs. This is one of the best investment programs and was created to attract investment in tourism infrastructure across the Caribbean.
These programs involve the international buyer donating a minimum amount and gaining a second passport that offers visa-free travel to a number of Caribbean islands. The minimum donation can be bypassed by purchasing real estate. Most investors can get their citizenship within 3-6 months. It can also be done through fractional ownership with both investors providing minimum equal amounts.
Countries That Offer A Citizenship By Investment Program
The program is currently only offered for the following Caribbean islands: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts, and St Lucia.
Not only is a Caribbean passport essential for real estate investors looking to purchase Caribbean real estate, but it also comes with various other benefits including tax-friendly benefits, dual citizenship, and education opportunities. As well, the Caribbean program allows access to the EU Schengen zone and the United Kingdom.
Requirements For The Citizen By Investment Program
Along with the minimum investment or purchase of real estate, there are a few other requirements that need to be met before the second passport is issued.
These requirements include:
- Good character and good overall health
- A clean criminal record
- Proof of income or funds and past financial records.
The Caribbean Real Estate Market – Things You Should Know
With property prices across the country having risen over the past couple of years, it's no wonder that people have been looking elsewhere for investments and even just a family home.
The real estate market on the Caribbean islands is a bit different from that in Canada as the region's economy is very reliant on the tourism industry.
Additionally, the hurricane season is another thing to consider when purchasing Caribbean real estate. Many different regions have suffered damage due to the major hurricanes that have hit the Caribbean coast over the past few years.
As well, since the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of tourist have dropped, but are certain to increase as the borders and international travel have fully resumed.
The prices of real estate can vary depending on the location and the type of property. For example, on the island of Antigua, prices can range from $250,000 for a townhouse to over $10 million for a luxury beachfront property.
What Is The Rental Income Like In The Caribbean?
Depending on the type of investment property you purchase, the price of rent, and the location, you can make a decent amount of rental income.
However, because rental prices are different from country to country, let's take a look at some of the cheapest and most expensive rent prices in the Caribbean to understand the type of rental income you could make as an investor.
Jamaica is a Caribbean island that has some of the cheapest rent prices. For a 1 bedroom apartment in the city centre, rent can cost an average of $600 per month. For an apartment outside the city, the rent goes down to just under $400 per month.
Most Expensive: The Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands have some of the highest rent prices in the Caribbean. Tenants in the city centre can expect to pay upwards of $3,000 per month in rent, while an apartment outside the city will still cost over $2,500 per month.
The British Virgin Islands are also known for the higher cost of living and rent prices with apartments outside the city being over $1,500 on average.
Best Places To Buy A Home In The Caribbean Islands
Interested in purchasing a property on a Caribbean island? Let's take a look at some of the best Caribbean islands for real estate investors and what they have to offer!
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is one of the countries included in the Citizenship program offered in the Caribbean. It is also one of the best Caribbean islands for real estate as the market is extremely well established.
Home to white sand beaches, a beautiful climate, and tons of natural beauty, living in Antigua and Barbuda is like living in a tropical paradise.
To qualify for the investment program in Antigua and Barbuda, you much purchase a piece of real estate from a list of pre-approved areas that has a property value of at least $400,000. That property must be held for a minimum of five years and all fees involved in property registration, processing fees, and taxes are to be paid.
Some of the best areas to purchase real estate investment properties in Antigua and Barbuda include:
- Dickenson Bay
- English Harbour
- Falmouth Harbour
- Galley Bay
- Willoughby Bay
With so many beachfront properties to choose from, it makes it one of the best Caribbean islands to invest in.
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Another island nation included in the investment program is the country of St Kitts and Nevis. The country is not only full of charm and home to beautiful beaches, but it also has a great real estate market.
Not only is it easy to obtain citizenship in St Kitts and Nevis, but there are also some very attractive tax benefits. Investors are free from paying income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, and gift tax.
Real estate sales vary from city-center townhouses and boutique hotels to luxury resorts and beachfront properties. The tourism sector also creates opportunities to offer their properties as short-term to long-term rentals for visitors.
Another one of the best Caribbean islands by the Atlantic Ocean to buy property in is Dominica. Not only are the home prices quite a bit lower than other islands in the Caribbean Sea, but it also has incredible weather, a low cost of living, a relaxed pace of life, and tax relief benefits.
The Caribbean real estate market in Dominica is mostly comprised of family villas and beautiful hotels. The housing prices in Dominica vary from city to city but are generally affordable compared to Caribbean real estate in other countries.
As with the other countries above, Dominica has a Citizenship by Investment Program that you can apply for with a minimum of $200,000 donation or a real estate purchase.
Not only can investing in Grenada real estate be a great way to build wealth, but it provides you a second home to vacation at and retires in later in life. It is also known for its white sandy beaches, cascading waterfalls, and being one of the safest Caribbean island countries.
Since the citizenship program was launched in Grenada in 2013, the country has seen its real estate market grow tremendously. The real estate market is actually quite diverse, ranging from luxury living to historic plantation homes. Because of this, property prices can range from $150,000 to over $5 million.
Along with the citizenship program, investors can apply for the Alien Landholding License which usually amounts to 10% of the property prices.
Another one of the best islands for real estate in the Caribbean is Saint Lucia. With a rich history and a low cost of living, Saint Lucia is a popular destination for many ex-pats and visitors.
St. Lucia citizenship can be gained by the citizenship program which makes it an easy choice for those looking to invest in real estate in the Caribbean.
There are also different kinds of property available in this Caribbean region including bungalows, condos, villas, and family homes. Typically, the northernmost part of the island is the most sought-after part of the country. The pre-approved government properties in St Lucia usually start at around $200,000 and include high-end resorts, hotels, and boutique properties.
St. Lucia is a great country to both visit and live in and is home to some of the best properties in the Caribbean.
How Much Does It Really Cost To Live In The Caribbean?
As we've seen, the cost of living and the price of property in the Caribbean can vary from country to country. Wherever you want to purchase your dream home or investment property, you have to take into consideration the cost of living in that area.
There will be some countries that have a low cost of living and others that have a higher cost of living. This can have an impact on the price of real estate in the Caribbean country you choose to invest in.
Even if you choose to invest in a country with a low cost of living, you should consider the other factors that may affect your lifestyle there.
For example, while the British Virgin Islands may be more expensive than other countries, it has a very stable government and is backed by the United Kingdom.
Benefits Of Investing In The Caribbean Islands
If you're looking for an investment property in the Caribbean, you've probably considered the different benefits that come with it.
The Caribbean has seen various resort developments over the past couple of years which are set to boost the economies and tourism industries across the island region.
As well, the zero tax regime in many of the countries is a very attractive benefit for many investors looking to buy real estate in the Caribbean.
The location and lifestyle are also the main benefits of visiting and investing in the Caribbean countries.
Along with the oceanfront views, warm climate, and laid-back lifestyle, it's no wonder why so many people flock to these countries during the winter months. Investing in real estate in the Caribbean can allow you to have a vacation home available for you to use or rent out to other vacationers.
As we've seen above, countries in the Caribbean offer great opportunities for real estate investing. Because Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, and St Lucia offer an easier route for citizenship, they are some of the best islands to buy real estate in the Caribbean.
Understanding the different costs of living and the property markets in the Caribbean countries can help you make an informed decision when purchasing real estate.
Whether you're looking for a luxurious oceanside villa or a modern townhouse in the city centre, you're sure to find something in your budget in the Caribbean.