When it comes to purchasing a vacation property, the Bahamas offers the perfect opportunity for a low-maintenance lifestyle. Its stunning coral reefs, beautiful flower and bird species, and friendly locals will make you feel right at home. Additionally, you can enjoy a low-cost living lifestyle and several options for residency, all while owning a luxury property. Its low-tax environment and thriving tourism industry make it a great choice for investors.
While many foreign investors are drawn to the Bahamas bahamas real estate because of its low property taxes and low cost of living, many have experienced difficulty purchasing or selling property there. Some even lost their entire life savings, only to learn that the seller did not have clear ownership of the property. Other incidents involved high-end real estate developments on family islands that did not get completed. As a result, these investors must carefully research the properties they are considering purchasing before making the final decision.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, demand for residential properties in The Bahamas was already declining. Brokers from Engel & Volkers reported that residential sales in 2019 fell by 20%. However, after the government closed the borders to international tourists in March 2020, tourism slowed even further. Air travel, tourism, and home sales dropped by nearly 10% in Q1 2020, according to the Bahamas Real Estate Association. While the overall trend is positive, the situation will continue to worsen in Q2 2020.
Prices for waterfront and inland condominiums are similar to other areas of the Caribbean. Nassau has the highest average gross rental yield, while inland condominiums have higher yields. Waterfront condominiums between 120 sq. m. and 300 sq. m. yield 8.16% p.a. Meanwhile, on the Grand Bahama and Abaco, waterfront condos have yields ranging from 3.57% to 4.45% p.a.
Non-Bahamians can invest in Bahamian real estate. In order to facilitate foreign investments in Bahamian property, the Bahamas government has introduced a number of policy documents. The International Land Holdings Act 1993 aims to simplify the process for foreigners purchasing Bahamian property. To purchase Bahamian real estate, non-Bahamians must register with the Investments Board and Central Bank. Registration fees can vary from $25 to $100.
Non-Bahamians may purchase residential property up to five acres. To develop more land, a permit is required. Large projects must submit an application to the Bahamas Investment Authority. A permit is required if undeveloped land is larger than five acres or 20232 sq. m. In addition, you need a permit from the Government before you can develop your property. If you are not a Bahamian citizen, you should consult the Global Property Guide to learn more about the local property market.
Normally, a Bahamian attorney or counsel is hired for real estate transactions. An attorney or counsel can act on your behalf and carry out your instructions verbally or in writing. An attorney can also help you with title issues, arrange for completion, and ensure that the property is in good condition. And, of course, an attorney can provide additional services as needed. You may want to consult a local attorney, but remember that Bahamian law requires that you follow the laws of your home country.