Caribbean real estate demand skyrocketing

by Jordan Maxwell13 Jul 2015
Canadian investors from Toronto and Edmonton are looking to the Dominican Republic as one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets for investment opportunities, according to a real estate investor with close ties to the area.

“The North Coast has been a big one for Canadians who can get direct flights out of Canada, which helps to minimize their costs when coming down here; we’re seeing strong interest from them,” Jens Knof, a real estate broker with ReMax in Paradise in the Dominican Republic, told CREW. “While we’re seeing less people from Alberta in general because of oil prices, there are still some inexpensive destinations.”

“There have been some changing trends with more people opting opt for $1-million condos on the beachfront and going for properties in the $100,000 to $400,000 range but activity is still strong.”

His comments come as a recent study from 7th Heaven Properties showed that enquiries for residential real estate in the Dominican Republic, St. Kitts & Nevis, Turks & Caicos Islands and Antigua have all skyrocketed in the first half of 2015 as enquiries for property priced between $1-million to $2-million have doubled.

St Lucia and Jamaica have also seen a notable increase in enquiries for commercial real estate, including hotels for sale and land for development. 

Turks & Caicos has been a solid buy for many Canadians as well in the first half of 2015. Recently, the group of islands were rated #1 for tourism and growth in a recent survey and purchasing property only comes with a one-time fee, unlike other Caribbean hotspots.

“Buyers should be prepared to engage an on island attorney for purchase,” Grace Lappin, managing partner, Avalon – Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), told CREW.  “There are no taxes in TCI, however, there is a one-time fee to purchase a property, called Stamp Duty, which must be paid at closing.

“The rate is determined by the island and amount of the purchase price of the property but does not exceed 10 per cent.  After this fee is paid there is never any other tax or fee to be paid.”

Overall, lower-income properties priced below $1-million (US) has seen enquiries increase from 39 per cent to 44 per cent, according to the study.

Subscribe to CREW today to receive our full report on investing in the Caribbean market, which is due in the September/October issue.

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