The Insider's Guide to Buying Property in Jamaica
Overview - The Jamaica Real Estate Market
From the cool hills of the Blue Mountains to the white sands of Montego Bay, Jamaica is simply stunning. Its landscape seduces the senses and has lured Hollywood royalty for decades. Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren count among those who are known to have fallen in love with the island.
Jamaica’s idyllic beaches, crystal clear sea, cascading waterfalls and lush mountainous backdrops have made the island the destination of choice for countless weddings, honeymoons, and family vacations. In 2018 a record 2.47 million stopover visitor arrivals were welcomed by this Caribbean powerhouse located almost halfway between the Cayman Islands and the Dominican Republic.
With championship golf courses, restaurants and spas catering to those who plan on staying for longer than a vacation, there is also a well established real estate market in Jamaica. There are several prestigious gated communities with luxury homes available, including beachfront property and villas overlooking golf courses in locations including Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios, Port Antonio, Runaway Bay, and St Ann.
“The island of “One Love,” Jamaica is a unique destination unlike any other in the Caribbean with a vibrant property market enjoying tremendous growth”
Well-established and vibrant real estate market with a wide range of offerings from new construction affordable condos to elegant luxury villas.
High rental income generating potential thanks to a powerful tourism sector and a strong domestic rental market.
One of the most accessible destinations in the Caribbean with direct international flights to Jamaica from Europe, the USA and Canada to international airports in Kingston, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.
Huge investment in tourism related projects, with a strong pipeline of new residential developments, hotels and resorts.
Beautiful and dramatic landscape, with cascading waterfalls and rushing rivers winding through misty mountains down to long white sand beaches.
Fun for all the family with excellent facilities from golf, tennis and horse riding to all kinds of water sports such as kayaking, river rafting and surfing.
Stable political environment with a vibrant democracy and one of the region’s largest economies.
Buying Process, Fees & Taxes
- Can foreigners buy property in Jamaica?
Yes, foreigners can buy property in Jamaica and the Government of Jamaica welcomes investment from overseas buyers. There are no restrictions on foreign buyers acquiring real estate in Jamaica and foreign buyers enjoy the same rights as Jamaican citizens.
- Buying process
Buying property in Jamaica 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, a land survey and title search should be conducted.
- The seller’s attorney will prepare an Agreement for Sale.
- Upon signing you will typically need to pay a deposit of 10% to 20% and the balance will then be paid in installments.
- Pay all required taxes and fees.
- Fees & taxes
Total stamp duty amounts to JMD $5,000 which is split equally between buyer and seller – Buyer JMD $2,500; seller JMD $2,500.
There is also a Transfer Tax of 2% of the purchase price of the property, which is paid in its entirety by the seller.
A registration fee amounting to approximately 0.5% of the purchase price is payable to the Registrar of Titles.
This fee is also split equally between buyer and seller – Buyer 0.25%; seller 0.25%.
In the case of unregistered land, a nominal recording fee is required.
We would recommend that you seek the advice of a local attorney-at-law.
To avoid conflicts of interest we would suggest you seek independent legal advice.
Fees for acting in your behalf for the property transfer, for preparation of the Agreement for Sale and for preparing and reviewing all required documents typically amount to 2% to 3% of the purchase price plus 16.5% Consumption Tax.
There is also a nominal property tax based on the unimproved value of the land.
Latest Real Estate Listings in Jamaica
Residency & Citizenship
- How long can a foreign citizen stay in Jamaica?
Citizens of the USA, Canada, UK, EU countries and many countries in CARICOM, the Commonwealth and Latin America are permitted to remain in Jamaica on holiday without a visa for up to 3 months.
- How do you become a resident of Jamaica?
Individuals looking to stay longer than 3 months in Jamaica can apply to the Jamaican Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) for an extension which may allow an extension up to 6 to 12 months.
Retired individuals who are financially solvent, of good character and no longer have no need for employment can apply to PICA for permanent residence in Jamaica.
- How do you become a citizen of Jamaica?
Individuals who have lawfully resided in Jamaica for 5 years can apply for citizenship by naturalization.
Mortgages in Jamaica
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 Jamaica 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 Jamaica.
For more information, see our page on: Caribbean mortgages.
How to Get There
There are direct flights to Jamaica from various cities across the United States, Canada and Europe (the UK).
You can fly direct to Jamaica’s Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay or to Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.
From the USA, there are direct flights from various cities, including Atlanta (Delta), Dallas and Miami (American Airlines), New York (Caribbean Airlines, Delta and JetBlue) and Charlotte and Philadelphia (US Airways).
From Canada, Air Canada operates direct flights from Toronto and Halifax.
From the UK, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic operate direct flights to Jamaica from London.
- Miami to Jamaica 1h 40m
- Atlanta to Jamaica 2h 50m
- Dallas to Jamaica 3h 55m
- New York to Jamaica 3h 55m
- Toronto to Jamaica 4h 10m
- London to Jamaica 9h 20m
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