Foreign investors have been recently showing their interest in Saint Lucia’s real estate. The main reason behind it is that purchasing property on the island allows one to apply for this island’s citizenship. It is also worth noting that tourist market in the country is developing fast, which means that real estate might generate a good income.
Why is Saint Lucia attractive to foreign investors? Is it reasonable to invest in real estate of the island? What other jurisdictions with liquid luxury real estate deserve investors’ attention? Find the details in this article.
Citizenship of Saint Lucia: Conditions for obtaining a second passport
Before 2015 the Government of Saint Lucia did not have official citizenship by investment program that allowed individuals purchase its passports by investing into the country’s economy. On January 1, 2016, high net worth individuals were given the opportunity to submit applications. Saint Lucia’s immigration program is the youngest in the Caribbean region.
Thus it is too early to analyze the statistics on the issued passports. According to the official data, 11 applications were approved within the first year of the program existence. Thirty eight people became residents of the jurisdiction. In total, 18 investors showed interest in the program in 2016. The majority of the applicants are from Russia, the countries of the Middle East, North America, North Africa, Europe and Asia.
The investor can choose one of the following options to participate in the program:
- donation of at least $100,000 into the National Economic Fund;
- purchase of government bonds in the amount of at least $500,000;
- purchase of government-approved real estate object with the investment amount of at least $300,000;
- invest at least $3,500,000 in a business project.
As of today, Saint Lucia’s economic citizenship program is one of the most affordable offers in the region. Considering the donation option, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda have the same amount of minimum investment, however, additional fees are different for each program.
The conditions set for the applicant are quite loyal. The investor must be at least 18 years of age, have perfect personal and business reputation and be ready to invest the required amount.
Setting course for Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia is a picturesque island situated in the eastern part of the Caribbean Sea that meets the Atlantic Ocean. Tropical forests, cosy harbors, snow-white beaches and developed tourist infrastructure — all this makes the island not simply a point on the map but a prestigious Caribbean resort.
It is easy to reach Saint Lucia by sea and by air. There are two airports located in the territory of the island that host flights from the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany: Hewanorra International Airport and George F.L. Charles Airport. The island also has five big ports. Ferries are used for inter-island transportation.
According to the statistics, around 500,000 of tourists visit the island every year. Mostly they are the citizens of the USA and Canada. It is worth pointing out that experts forecast increased number of tourist that arrive on cruise ships will increase in the nearest future. By the end of the year, a new terminal would be built here, allowing Saint Lucia to host Quantum-class ships with a 5 thousand people capacity.
In figures: Saint Lucia’s real estate market comes back to life
The economy of Saint Lucia is recovering after the global recession rather slowly, however, real estate market is demonstrating positive dynamics in terms of the growth speed. The average cost of real estate objects is in the range from $500,000 to $10,000,000. Moreover, local housing market is gradually extending, with the new 5-star projects being built on the island.
About 60% of house buyers in Saint Lucia are British people and Canadians. Italians and Slovenians also make noticeable investments in housing.
The popularity of Saint Lucia’s property is primarily due to the opportunity to make a profit out of tourism-related activities, as the island is a highly appreciated resort. One can receive a legal income by renting out a villa or an apartment. Apart from that, the investor and his/her family members can spend an enjoyable vacation in their own Caribbean villa at any time of the year.
As of January 1, 2018, the Government of Saint Lucia has approved three real estate objects the purchase of which allows one to apply for a second passport. However, the details of the objects are yet to be published on the official website.
As a rule, the list of approved objects includes luxury resort property.
Caribbean passport by investment: Locations to consider together with prices for real estate objects
The most attractive property from the point of view of investment can be found in Grenada and Antigua, with both offering citizenship by investment. Why should you consider these locations?
Hurricane season starts and ends without citizens of Grenada even noticing. Due to the island’s favorable geographical location, cyclones do not bother its territory. What is more, Grenada is a magnet for high-income famous tourists. In order to receive the country’s passport, one should buy a real property worth at least $350,000.
Where to invest? The most profitable options to invest in are the resort complex Levera Nature & Beach Resort, luxury hotel Mariposa Residence or 5-star resort Bacolet Bay Resort & Spa.
Resort island Levera Nature & Beach Resort located on Grenada’s island Kui
Important note: Local real estate market is actively developing. In 2015 only, the rate of property sales grew by 71%.
Snow-white beaches, developed tourist infrastructure, convenient transport interchange — Antigua is the answer to all images associated with the Caribbean paradise. The country offers a wide range of luxury real estate objects and good opportunities for return of investment. Apart from that, the islands attract sailing amateurs and professionals. Every year Antigua hosts Antigua Charter Yacht Show, the oldest Caribbean regatta Antigua Sailing Week and Classic Yacht Regatta with luxury yachts, mega-yachts, or super-yachts as participants.
Where to invest? The most attractive projects of Antigua are gated development Daniel Bay, Nelson’s Retreat apart-hotel in English Harbour center, South Point boutique hotel and Tamarind Hills apartments.
Tamarind Hills located on the island of Antigua
Important note: Antigua’s real estate average profitability ranges between 4% and 6%.
Why is the Caribbean passport attractive to investors?
- It is cheaper than in the EU. The minimal cost of the Caribbean citizenship is $100,000, while the most affordable in the EU Maltese passport costs more than €880,000. For the passport of Cyprus one will have to pay at least €2,000,000.
- Visa-free entry to 100+ countries. The Caribbean passport allows one to visit the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore and other countries of the world.
- Citizenship for the whole family. A spouse, financially dependent children and parents can also obtain citizenship together with the main applicant.
- Fast and simple procedure. The documents are submitted only by a certified specialist. It is not possible for one to personally submit the application. The whole process of obtaining the passport takes from 3 to 5 months.
- Reasonable taxation system. Caribbean passport holders are exempt from world income, capital gain tax, inheritance tax.
- Confidentiality of the process. The fact of second citizenship issuance is not disclosed to third parties.
Purchasing villa in the Caribbean region provides not only the opportunity to quickly receive a second passport but also many other advantages, including the opportunity of reducing the tax burden, assets protection, visa-free travel worldwide. These are quite valuable benefits, don’t you think so?