A Guide to Buying Property in The Bahamas for Foreign Buyers
Offering idyllic beach cottages, opulent waterfront residences, stunning contemporary apartments and everything in between, The Bahamas has one of the most well established and diverse real estate markets in the Caribbean.
If you are currently considering investing in real estate in The Bahamas but you are wondering “where are the best places to buy property in The Bahamas?” or “how do I go about owning property in The Bahamas as a foreign buyer” then this guide is for you.
Our guide takes you through the process of buying property in The Bahamas from beginning to end, including an introduction to the real estate market, the buying process and the taxes you will need to be aware of.
Comprised of hundreds of islands, rocks and reefs sprinkled like jewels in the turquoise ocean from South Florida almost down to the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Dominican Republic, The Bahamas is a breathtakingly beautiful destination.
Countless pink and white sand beaches and crystal clear waters entice millions of tourists to visit each year via air and sea (a record-breaking 1.78 million in 2019). Besides the beaches and the shimmering ocean, the tax benefits, a high standard of living and proximity to the USA have made real estate in The Bahamas a popular choice for second-home buyers too. As the third richest country in the Americas in terms of GDP per capita (after the USA and Canada) with a tradition of parliamentary democracy stretching back nearly 300 years, the archipelago is highly regarded as an attractive, convenient and stable place to invest in property.
Property for sale in The Bahamas includes some of the finest real estate in the Caribbean, including spectacular waterfront estates, private islands for sale and luxurious condos in beachfront resorts.
Can foreigners buy property in The Bahamas?
Yes, foreigners can buy property in The Bahamas and the Government of The Bahamas welcomes investment from overseas buyers. There are no restrictions on foreign buyers acquiring real estate in The Bahamas and foreign buyers enjoy the same rights as Bahamian citizens, including the right to purchase beachfront land. Unlike other destinations in the Caribbean, a license or permit is not required, except for buyers purchasing over 2 acres, purchasing with the intent to rent out the property or purchasing for commercial development.
Buying property in The Bahamas is a relatively simple process, which typically involves the following steps:
- Begin your property search.
- Find your perfect property and make an offer.
- Once you have made an offer on a property and that offer has been accepted, we would recommend that you seek advice from a local lawyer to ensure all title documents are in order.
- A sales contract will be drawn up and, once agreed and signed, you will need to pay a 10% deposit.
- Buyer to transfer the balance of the purchase price and pay all required taxes.
- Non-Bahamians should register their investment with the Exchange Control at the Central Bank of The Bahamas to ensure that on resale they will be able to remit the net proceeds of the sale outside The Bahamas in the currency of the original investment.
To purchase real estate in The Bahamas, buyers are required to pay Stamp Duty which varies as follows according to the value of the property:
- Up to $100,000: 2.5%
- Over $100,000: 10%
Payment of Stamp Duty is normally split equally between buyer and seller.
12% VAT (Value Added Tax) is applied to real estate services, such as appraisals, legal services, commissions, and insurance.
We would recommend that you seek independent legal advice from a local attorney who will be able to guide you through the property transfer process.
Legal fees are paid by both buyer and seller at a rate of 2.5%.
Real Property Tax
Property owners are required to pay an Annual Real Property Tax which is paid according to the value of the property.
Real Property tax rates are calculated as follows…
- On the first $250,000 of market value: 0%
- On the next $250,000 up to $500,000 of market value: 0.625%
- On the next $500,000 up to $5,000,000 of market value: 1%
- On the part above $5,000,000 of market value: 0.5% (capped at $50,000 p.a.)
- On the first $7,000 of market value: $100
- On the part above $7,000 of market value: 2%
Any other property:
- On the first $500,000 of market value: 1%
- On the part above $500,000 of market value: 2%
Certain kinds of property are exempt from Real Property Tax including property owned by Bahamians in the Family Islands and property owned by foreign governments.
As specialists in luxury Caribbean property, we can introduce you to a wide selection of the finest residential property in The Bahamas.
Homes for Sale & Condos for Sale
Find out more: Buying a House in The Bahamas
Land for Sale
You can also browse undeveloped land. Purchasing a lot of land provides you with a blank canvas and the opportunity to build your dream home in The Bahamas.
Whether you are looking for beachfront land or a centrally located lot, we’re here to help you find the perfect lot of land for sale in The Bahamas.
For larger parcels of land for commercial development, please see our commercial real estate listings.
Hotels for Sale
Searching for hotels for sale in The Bahamas? Browse hotels, B&Bs and guests houses right here.
Finding the Perfect Property for Sale in The Bahamas
Discover the most sought after real estate investment opportunities and benefit from unrivaled insight into the market.
To find your perfect property in The Bahamas, search our Bahamas real estate listings.
Discover Abaco – Read our guide to buying property in Abaco.
Discover Albany – Read our guide to buying property in Albany.
Discover Andros – Read our guide to buying property in Andros.
Discover Berry Islands – Read our guide to buying property in Berry Islands.
Discover Bimini – Read our guide to buying property in Bimini.
Discover Cable Beach – Read our guide to buying property in Cable Beach.
Discover Cat Island – Read our guide to buying property in Cat Island.
Discover Elbow Cay – Read our guide to buying property in Elbow Cay.
Eleuthera & Harbour Island
Discover Eleuthera & Harbour Island – Read our guide to buying property in Eleuthera & Harbour Island.
Discover Exumas – Read our guide to buying property in Exumas.
Discover Grand Bahama – Read our guide to buying property in Grand Bahama.
Discover Kamalame Cay – Read our guide to Guide to Kamalame Cay.
Discover Long Island – Read our guide to buying property in Long Island.
Discover Lubbers Quarters – Read our guide to buying property in Lubbers Quarters.
Discover Lyford Cay – Read our guide to buying property in Lyford Cay.
Nassau & New Providence
Discover Nassau & New Providence – Read our guide to buying property in Nassau & New Providence.
Old Fort Bay
Discover Old Fort Bay – Read our guide to buying property in Old Fort Bay.
Discover Paradise Island – Read our guide to buying property in Paradise Island.
Discover Rose Island – Read our guide to buying property in Rose Island.
Discover Rum Cay – Read our guide to buying property in Rum Cay.
Discover Russell Island – Read our guide to buying property in Russell Island.
Discover Sandyport – Read our guide to buying property in Sandyport.
Discover San Salvador – Read our guide to buying property in San Salvador.
Discover Scotland Cay – Read our guide to buying property in Scotland Cay.
Discover Spanish Wells – Read our guide to buying property in Spanish Wells.
Discover Treasure Cay – Read our guide to buying property in Treasure Cay.
How long can a foreign citizen stay in The Bahamas?
Citizens of the USA, Canada, EU and the UK may stay in The Bahamas for several months without a visa.
Do I need a visa to live in The Bahamas?
Non-Bahamians who purchase property in The Bahamas can apply to the Department of Immigration for a Home Owners Resident Card. The card allows the holder (and family) to enter and remain in The Bahamas for the duration of the period of the permit.
How do I become a resident of The Bahamas?
Foreign buyers investing a minimum of $750,000 in real estate in The Bahamas can apply for a Permanent Residence Permit. Through an investment of $1.5 million in property in The Bahamas, investors can benefit from accelerated consideration for Permanent Residency Permits. Permanent residents of The Bahamas may remain in The Bahamas without restriction and benefit from The Bahamas’ tax benefits.
How do I become a citizen of The Bahamas?
If you have been a legal permanent resident of The Bahamas for 10 years (7 years in the case of those married to a Bahamian citizen) and you are of independent financial means, you can apply for citizenship of The Bahamas.
Find out more: Residency in The Bahamas
Looking for financing to fund the purchase of property in the Caribbean?
Contrary to popular misconception, it is possible for foreign nationals looking to invest in The Bahamas to apply for a mortgage.
Our partner – a very well respected international financial organization – offers mortgages for qualifying non-residents buying, building or improving a second home in The Bahamas.
Find out more: Caribbean mortgages
You could save money when investing in Bahamas real estate by using a foreign exchange expert to get the best rate for your property purchase. We have partnered with Halo Financial, a specialist in foreign exchange, to help you get the best exchange rates when making one-off or regular international payments for a property purchase in The Bahamas. To see how you could save money, read more: Foreign Exchange.
There are regular direct flights to The Bahamas from the USA, Canada, the UK and various other parts of the Caribbean, such as Jamaica.
Most international flights arrive at the airport in Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport.
From North America, you can fly direct from cities including Atlanta, Cincinnati, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, New York, Toronto and Orlando to Nassau.
There are also direct flights from the USA to the Abacos, Andros, Eleuthera, Exuma, and Grand Bahama.
Alternatively, fly to the Bahamas by private plane or arrive by private boat.