Investing in the Dominican Republic

Colleen Valerio, head of sales and marketing for DR Properties, explains why Canadian investors should consider investing in the Dominican Republic.

Q: Why is the Dominican Republic a great place to invest right now?

It’s not just about investments for our clients. It’s mostly people who want to get into a future retirement place that’s out of the cold. They choose the Dominican Republic because we have a stable government, a large Canadian community, great infrastructure, and lots of good services. The other reason they choose this area is because we have a big tourist market.

Q: What has attracted Canadian investors to the Dominican Republic?

On the investment side, certainly rental returns. Most developments usually average a 70 per cent occupancy rate over the course of a year. So for our clients, who are still working, they’re living in these properties for two weeks to a couple of months a year, and the rest of the time, they’re watching it earn some money.

Q: What are the average property prices and rents in the Dominican Republic?

You can spend anywhere from $70,000 up to $10 million. Our buyers tend to be on the $200,000 to $400,000 range, and that will get you a very nice house in a gated subdivision. For rentals, most people rent on a short-term or nightly basis to vacationers. The rates range from $100 to $400 per night, depending on the location, type and size of property.

Q: What types of properties are the best buys?

Most of our buyers have been choosing single-family homes lately because they can get a good bang for their buck, and they have great rental returns. In terms of condos, anything on the oceanfront attracts attention. If you can get it for a good price and it’s well-managed, that’s a great return and capital appreciation.

Q: What are some the best areas for investing in the Dominican Republic?

We tend to focus on the Cabarete area for a few reasons: there is a great community there and infrastructure that supports real life. If you’re looking for investments, a lot of people will look at Punta Cana, but there is no infrastructure there.

Q: How has the country performed amongst baby boomers and retirees?

Our average buyer is between 45 and 65. Most people want to use the property themselves, as well as have it as an investment.

Economic outlook
The Dominican Republic is economically sound. According to the IMF, its GDP is expected to jump sharply, from 2.2 per cent in 2013 to another 3.4 per cent in 2014.

This article was first published in the October 2013 issue of CREW magazine.

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