Before buying Bahamas Property, foreigners need to register it. This is required for real estate that is over two acres in size, is purchased for commercial development, or isn’t meant for private use. Non-Bahamians may also need to register their investment with the Foreign Investment Board (FIB) and the Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBT). The vendor and purchaser share the cost of the stamp duty, which is approximately one percent of the sale price.
The Bahamas Property Fund is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns three commercial properties in The Bahamas. The properties include the Bahamas Financial Centre, One Marina Drive, and Providence House. The fund buys commercial real estate for tenants spanning a variety of industries. Shares of the fund trade on the Bahamas International Securities Exchange under the symbol “BPF.” Its investment manager is Royal Fidelity Bank & Trust, which has about $2 billion in assets under management and administration.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, demand for residential properties was already slackening. According to the Engel &Volkers 2019 Real Estate Market Report, residential sales fell by around 20% in 2019. The Bahamas government is now implementing a strict ban on international tourists in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. The decrease in air and sea travellers equates to a 28% decline in tourism for the first quarter of 2020. The figures are expected to be even worse in Q2 2020.
Real property tax rates vary widely, depending on the type of property, the owner, and its value. The government calculates the value of real property by assessing the property and its improvements. This value is then used to set the property tax rate. Foreigners are required to pay property taxes even on vacant land, but they can apply for exemptions by using the Application for Tax Concession.
The legal system in the Bahamas is based on British Common Law, which provides for a legal, transparent environment. The Bahamas government has taken several measures to reduce residency requirements for foreign nationals. A recent measure allows residents to buy property worth over $1.5 million in the Bahamas, and the government is allowing for fast-tracking of their residency application. Buying property and gaining residency in the Bahamas is a great way to secure a new income stream.
The Bahamas also offers plenty of entertainment. The Atlantis Casino is one of the many places to enjoy a night out. There are several luxurious hotels in the country, including the Graycliff Hotel, which is home to the world’s third largest wine cellar. Other attractions include the Lucayan National Park, which is an underwater cave system. lyford cay real estate For those who love art, the National Art Gallery exhibits works of modern Bahamian artists.
Besides the Stamp Duty, buyers should also be aware that there are other fees incurred during the process of buying Bahamas Property. The buyer and seller pay a real estate agent’s fee and legal fees. There is also a Value Added Tax (VAT) of 7.5 percent on property conveyance.