Belize real estate market heats up

Located in the middle of Central America, Belize originally did not command the kind of attention that surrounding countries did. But in recent years, the country’s real estate market has heated up significantly, and Canadian buyers have taken notice.

The country’s economy is relatively stable, which is good news for buyers. According to data from the International Monetary Fund, Belize’s GDP growth is forecast to climb 2.5 per cent in 2013. It will jump by another 2.5 per cent in 2014. This is faster than Canada’s forecast of 1.7 per cent in 2013 and 2.2 per cent in 2014.

Marie-France Dayan, founder of The Zen Investor in Montreal, has been behind some successful developments in the country. As she explains, there are five main reasons why Canadian investors are warming up to Belize.

“If you look at Belize in relation to North America, it’s very easy to access, as it’s only an hour and 45 minutes from Miami.”

Investing internationally also has certain legal pitfalls that can trap investors. But there are no so such traps in Belize as their legal structure is similar to Canada’s.

“Belize is part of the British Commonwealth, and the legal system they apply is based on common law,” says Dayan. “So in terms of ownership titles, the terms are very similar to those used in Canada.”

The country is also “considered a ‘tax heaven’ in the sense that there is no capital gain in Belize,” Dayan says.
“When an investor sells a property, there is no capital gain, and that’s important for us here.”

More foreign investors have been discovering Belize recently, as its markets are quickly emerging as real estate hotbeds.

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