The Bahamas offers a stunning view and breathtaking coral reef. You’ll also enjoy the laid-back lifestyle, friendly locals, and several options for residency. There’s no question that the Bahamas’ economy is stable, and its growing tourism industry is a big plus. But there’s also one big drawback: its prices. But don’t let this scare you away! Here are some things to consider when looking at Bahamas real estate.
The best part of owning property in The Bahamas? The tax regime is friendly for investors, and the country is home to some of the world’s most celebrated celebrities. Not to mention the world-class golf courses, spas, and upscale condominiums. The Bahamas real estate market offers some of the most exquisite homes anywhere. If you’re considering investing in Bahamas real estate, consider hiring a top agent with a track record of success.
The biggest real estate company in The Bahamas is Bahamas Realty Limited, with three generations of involvement in the industry. Their diverse portfolio of properties appeals to international investors and offshore companies, and their services include commercial property management, leasing, and property appraisals. In fact, you can even use a Bahamas real estate agent to sell your property! These companies are licensed by the Ministry of Tourism to attract foreign investors. It can help you find the perfect place to settle down!
Before the outbreak of the coronavirus, demand for residential properties in The Bahamas had already decreased. According to Engel & Volkers, home sales in The Bahamas dropped as much as 20% last year. The government then decided to shut down international tourism until March 2020, as a way to combat the disease. As a result, the number of tourists dropped considerably. The Bahamas government’s official figures indicate that the number of tourists arriving in Q1 2020 declined by 14.7% y-o-y to 1.7 million. Meanwhile, air travel to the island nation dropped by 28% and 10.5%. The Bahamas is also expected to see even greater declines in Q2 2020.
While foreign homebuyers typically come from the United States, Canada, Britain, and France, the country’s legal system makes foreign investors feel comfortable purchasing property here. A new law, called the International Persons Landholding Act, has made the process easier for foreigners to buy real estate in The Bahamas. Only properties over five acres or twenty thousand square meters require a permit. In addition to that, foreign property must be registered with the Investment Board and the Central Bank after a transaction.
Taxes are due 60 days after the assessment notice date, and payment of one or more quarterly installments is required. You can make your payment by bank draft, international postal order, or cashier’s check. Personal checks are not accepted, and foreign cheques must be bank-certified or drawn on a US or Bahamas bank. If you decide to purchase Bahamas real estate, you must keep in mind that property taxes can increase substantially over the course of the years.