The Insider's Guide to Buying Property in Barbados
Overview - The Barbados Real Estate Market
With its rolling green hills, golf courses, polo fields and close historical and political links to the UK, Barbados is often referred to as Little England.
While well known for the strong British influence, the island is equally famous for its year-round tropical climate, sun-soaked pristine white sand beaches, and unique Caribbean culture. This blend of traditions has made the charming Eastern Caribbean island one of the region’s most alluring tourist destinations. In 2018, for example, Barbados welcomed 681,197 international stayover visitors. This represents a 2.7% increase on the previous year.
Over the years many of the island’s visitors have fallen in love with the charms of the island. Barbados has long been a destination of choice for affluent property buyers from the UK and North America and the island is well established as a prime luxury real estate market.
Today, Barbados remains a popular choice with beach lovers and golf lovers alike who treasure not only the climate and natural beauty, but also the island’s stability, security and strong fundamentals.
Property on the market ranges from elegant apartments in beach and golf communities and luxury villas along the coveted West Coast to secluded beach houses on the quiet East Coast and historic plantation great houses in more rural parishes.
“Barbados has long been a destination of choice for affluent property buyers from the UK and North America and the island is well established as a prime luxury real estate market”
Well-established real estate sector with a long track record of attracting affluent overseas home buyers.
Currently a buyer’s market, offering great value to property investors.
Non-stop direct flights to Barbados from the USA, Canada, the UK, as well as the Caribbean, Central America and South America – boosted by increased airlift.
High rental income generating potential due to growing tourism sector.
Some of the most spectacular beaches in the Caribbean.
Range of tax incentives on offer to high net worth investors.
Home to some of the most high quality, luxury hotels, restaurants and golf courses in the region, if not the world.
Buying Process, Fees & Taxes
- Can foreigners buy property in Barbados?
Yes, foreigners can buy property in Barbados and the Government of Barbados welcomes investment from overseas buyers. There are no restrictions on foreign buyers acquiring real estate in Barbados and foreign buyers enjoy the same rights as Barbadian citizens, including the right to purchase beachfront land. However, non-resident buyers must obtain permission to purchase property from the Barbados Exchange Control Authority and funds transferred to Barbados for the purpose of purchasing property must be registered with the Central Bank of Barbados.
Property can be purchased by an individual or a company which can reduce costs.
- Buying process
Buying property in Barbados 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 the offer has been accepted, you will need to engage a Barbadian attorney to conduct a title search.
- The seller’s attorney will prepare the contract.
- You will need to pay a 10% deposit to secure the property which will be held in escrow by the seller’s attorney until the sale is completed.
- All non-residents must obtain permission to purchase property from the Barbados Exchange Control Authority. This is essentially a logistical step as Barbados does not restrict foreign ownership of property.
- You will typically be required to make payment of the remaining 90% within 3 to 6 months upon conveyance of title of the property.
- Fees & taxes
Transfer Tax & Stamp Duty
In Barbados the seller is required to pay a transfer tax of 2.5% and stamp duty of 1%.
Both buyer and seller are responsible for their own legal fees which typically amount to approximately 1.5% to 2% of the sales price of the property.
There is also an annual Residential Land Tax which varies according to improved value up to 0.75%, but is capped at USD $30,0000.
Latest Real Estate Listings in Barbados
Best Places to Buy
Residency & Citizenship
- How long can a foreign citizen stay in Barbados?
Citizens of the USA, Canada, EU and UK may generally stay in Barbados on holiday for up to 3 months (90 days) without a visa.
- How do you become a resident of Barbados?
Retirees who own property in Barbados or high net worth individuals with a minimum net worth of USD $5,000,000 can apply for a Special Entry Permit for Barbados, which allows successful applicants to live in Barbados and is typically granted for 10 years for those under 60 and indefinite duration for those over 60.
If you wish to live in Barbados and you are a financially self-sufficient retiree or entrepreneur, you can apply to the Immigration Department to be granted the status of immigrant under the Immigration Act of Barbados. If you have lived in Barbados for 5 years legally with the status of immigrant you can then apply to become a permanent resident.
- How do you become a citizen of Barbados?
If you have lived in Barbados for 5 of the 7 years immediately before applying, lived in Barbados for the entire 12 months immediately prior to submitting an application, and intend to live in Barbados, you can apply for citizenship by naturalization of Barbados.
Mortgages in Barbados
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 Barbados real estate 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 Barbados.
For more information, see our page on: Caribbean mortgages.
How to Get There
There are direct international flights to beautiful Barbados from various cities in the United States, Canada and the UK.
International flights arrive at Grantley Adams International Airport located on the South Coast of Barbados.
From the USA, there are regular flights from Charlotte, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and San Juan to Barbados.
From Canada, fly with Air Canada from Montreal or Toronto.
From the UK, BA and Virgin Atlantic operate regular flights from London to Barbados.
- New York to Barbados 5h
- Toronto to Barbados 5h 15m
- Miami to Barbados 3h 50m
- Antigua to Barbados 1h 05m
- London to Barbados 8h 25m
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