Real estate investors, according to Luxury Portfolio International, are focusing more on Caribbean targets like The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and the Cayman Islands.
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“These islands handled Covid relativity well and have the best infrastructure in the Caribbean,” says James O’Brien, head of luxury property at International Realty Group in the Cayman Islands, part of LPI. He adds that 25-30 per cent of the luxury purchasers they see are interested in revenue-generating properties. Most buyers come from Canada and the U.S.
The Bahamas in particular has particular appeal. The weather is one thing. Canadians and Americans love travelling to the Caribbean for vacations. Pandemic restrictions are finally gone and bookings at local travel agencies are through the roof. But The Bahamas has a well-earned reputation as a picturesque, romantic destination. That’s why O’Brien’s comment about how a fair chunk of international real estate investors in The Bahamas are looking for revenue generation resonate – the occupancy rate for a property will be most appealing.
Celebrities, even royalty, have purchased property all over the 700-island archipelago for ages. Why is The Bahamas so appealing for international real estate investors?
Investment is safe
I have written a few times on buying real estate in markets like Mexico. Lovely place, but unless you have the right lawyer and real estate broker, you are dancing around a mine field. And those of you who have watched the news lately know all about the volatility in that country.
Not so in The Bahamas. The beautiful destination has seen no political upheaval in hundreds of years. Toss in a stable economy and modern infrastructure. On that front, The Bahamas deputy prime minister Chester Cooper was in Canada few weeks back leading a delegation on a trade mission, seeking out investors to advance his country’s technology sector.
“This is to revolutionize the way we do business, but also to create jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, and a new industry in The Bahamas,” Cooper said.
Modern medical and educational facilities, dependable public services, plus a tourism gold mine adds to the appeal, and helps provides a steady return on your investment.
It’s less taxing
Physically, life in The Bahamas is less taxing. Life moves slower there, and seems much simpler. Even if you are working remotely, it’s a whole other vibe. But what you might now know is it’s less taxing on your finances as well.
Residents of The Bahamas are free from the strains of many types of taxes including capital gains, inheritance, withholding, personal income, and many more. So if you are a commercial real estate investor, this makes the prospect of investing in a local business very appealing. You are free from border and property taxes. These benefits streamline the process of doing business in an investor-friendly environment. A-listers like Tiger Woods have erected resorts and other tourist attractions in The Bahamas for this very reason.
The Bahamas real estate: Other incentives
Purchasing property in The Bahamas also comes with some valuable incentives. Since The Bahamas’ independence in 1973, foreigners have been welcomed and even encouraged to procure living and business dwellings.
The open economy makes the process of securing your dream abode very simple. Besides the tax exemptions, overseas investors can purchase properties without prior government approval. The acquisition also makes you eligible for a Home Owner’s Card: a document allowing you to freely travel to The Bahamas without a visa. If your investment is above a certain value, you may even receive accelerated consideration for permanent residency.
Close to home
One of the reasons why The Bahamas real estate is so appealing to Americans and Canadians comes down to proximity. The country shares a time zone with Canada and the U.S. And how does a three-hour flight from Toronto sound? Plus, English is the official language there, making it easier to conduct business. The country has also very well developed communications, if you’re doing business there.
Images: The Bahamas Tourism Board