Why invest in the real estate market in Saint Lucia?
The Caribbean island of Saint Lucia is beautiful, unspoiled and undeveloped. Encouraged by the government, tourism is steadily increasing year after year. This growing popularity has led to several new luxury vacation developments being started within strict environmental protection planning laws.
The island wishes to encourage tourism while at the same time conserving its natural heritage from overdevelopment. To make this possible, the government has introduced nearly 30 laws covering planning restrictions on new construction and development. At the same time, the budget allocation to tourism has been increasing by 4.7% year-on-year since 2003.
While many visitors arrive by sea on private yachts, most arrive from the US or UK by air. New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Charlotte and Miami provide easy access from the US, while three major airlines fly direct from the UK with a travel time of 8 hours. Many visitors are showing great interest in the local real estate market.
The government and economy are stable and the island is a safe haven for tourists, enjoying one of the lowest overall crime rates in the Caribbean. The World Bank recently ranked Saint Lucia as one of the top 30 countries in the world to invest in, on the list before Barbados and Antigua.
In addition to the island’s stable government and economy, there are very favorable tax concessions for those interested in real estate. Foreign buyers enjoy benefits that do not include Rental Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax or Repatriation Tax. Property prices are currently 60% lower in Saint Lucia than neighboring Barbados, although it has many of the same advantages and has risen by around 40% annually in recent years. They are expected to continue to rise over the next 5 years.
This beautiful and tranquil island has seen an annual increase in the number of tourists. This growing popularity of this environmentally friendly island as a holiday destination means there is excellent rental potential for properties where the average hotel occupancy rate is almost 70%. Everything indicates that the real estate market in Saint Lucia is a good investment.