The Insider's Guide to Buying Property in Montserrat

Known as the “Emerald Isle of the Caribbean,” the tiny island of Montserrat is the perfect place to enjoy unhurried days spent lounging by the pool and quiet nights gazing at the stars.

If you are currently considering investing in real estate in Montserrat but you are wondering “where are the best places to buy property in Montserrat?” or “how do I go about owning property in Montserrat as a foreign buyer” then this guide is for you.

Our guide takes you through the process of buying property in Montserrat 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.

Cliffs of Montserrat Montserrat - Aerial View

Overview - The Montserrat Real Estate Market

In 1979, when Beatles producer George Martin sought out the ideal location to build and operate a music studio in an idyllic location away from the crowds, he chose the tiny, green mountain-covered island of Montserrat. Music stars from Paul McCartney to Eric Clapton followed in his wake and discovered an island paradise. Over the years Montserrat has welcomed investment from numerous overseas buyers who treasure the island’s dramatic natural beauty, safety, peacefulness and quiet.

The charms that lured those famous families to the island decades ago have fortunately been retained and Montserrat continues to offer a unique charm and tranquility. The property market today comprises hillside and waterfront homes availavle at substantially lower prices than other comparable investment locations in the Caribbean. The quiet “Emerald Isle of the Caribbean” attracts a dedicated set of snowbirds who continue to return each year via a short flight from nearby Antigua to soak up the sun at their spacious villas.

With almost no beachfront properties, condos or apartments and very limited stock of high-quality real estate available, homes in the most desirable areas are in high demand and property prices are expected to rise across Montserrat, especially in areas such as Woodlands, Olveston, Old Towne and Isles Bay.

“Over the years Montserrat has welcomed investment from numerous overseas buyers who treasure the island’s dramatic natural beauty, safety, peacefulness and quiet”

Why Invest?

1 / 7

Quiet and tranquil Caribbean hideaway with no large hotels, shopping centres or cruise terminals – ideal for completely unwinding away from the crowds.

2 / 7

Safe and secure with crime virtually unheard of.

3 / 7

Established villa market offering excellent value for money.

4 / 7

Decades-long track record of attracting overseas property buyers from the USA, Canada and Europe.

5 / 7

Stable British Overseas Territory which enjoys the financial and political support of the UK and the EU.

6 / 7

Exceptionally friendly people and a welcoming, small community feel.

7 / 7

Beautiful, lush, green landscape rich in unique flora and fauna.

Buying Process, Fees & Taxes

Can foreigners buy property in Montserrat?

Yes, foreigners can buy property in Montserrat and the Government of Montserrat welcomes investment from overseas buyers. There are no restrictions on foreign buyers acquiring real estate in Montserrat. In order to purchase real estate in Montserrat, foreign buyers need to apply for an Alien Land Holding Licence (ALHL) which costs $2,500 or 5% of the purchase price (whichever is greater) and takes approximately 4 to 8 weeks for approval.

Buying process

Buying property in Montserrat is a relatively simple process, which typically involves the following steps:

  1. Begin your property search.
  2. Find your perfect property and make an offer.
  3. Once you have made an offer on a property and the offer has been accepted, you will need to engage a local attorney to assist you in applying for an Alien Land Holding License and preparing the contracts.
  4. Upon signing the contract, the buyer needs to pay the deposit which is typically 10% of the agreed purchase price. The sales contract should be conditional on the application and approval of the Alien Landholding License.
  5. Upon receiving approval of the Alien Landholding License, the buyer will transfer the balance of the purchase price (typically within 30 days).
  6. Pay all required taxes and fees.
  7. Upon closing, the seller signs a memorandum of transfer and the buyer will receive the title (land certificate) for the property.
Fees & taxes

Transfer Fees & Stamp Tax

Buyers are responsible for the payment of Transfer fees and Stamp Tax which amounts to 2.75% of the price of the real property (excluding contents).

Legal Fees

In addition, buyers will need to cover the cost of their attorney’s fees which typically total 2% of the purchase price of the property.

Property Tax

There is an annual residential land tax rate of 0.05% per year and building tax rate of 0.025% per year.

Best Places to Buy

Woodlands

Located on the central western coast, the area of Woodlands is one of the most prestigious locations to invest in Montserrat real estate. Houses in this quiet residential part of the island count among the most desirable homes on the island. Property for sale in Woodlands enjoy easy access to local shops and restaurants and enjoy views of quiet Woodlands Beach, the Caribbean Sea and even neighboring St Kitts & Nevis in the distance on a clear day.

Olveston

Located just south of Woodlands on the central western coast, Olveston is a highly desirable location for buying a home in Montserrat. The quiet residential area is popular for its beautiful waterfront villas for sale which offer views of Woodlands Bay and Lime Kiln Bay. Homes in Olveston are ideal for enjoying Montserrat’s quiet, slow-paced lifestyle and the several restaurants in the area such as Olveston House.

Old Towne & Isles Bay

The quiet residential area of Old Towne is located just south of Woodlands and Olveston on the central western coast of Montserrat. There are some charming waterfront villas for sale offering spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea, the small uninhabited island of Redonda and passing yachts. Property in Old Towne can be purchased for significantly less than in other parts of the Caribbean. Isles Bay also offers delightful houses for sale on gently sloping hillsides to take advantage of the magnificent views of the sea and Isles Bay Beach. The area would make an ideal second home or retirement property.

Residency & Citizenship

How long can a foreign citizen stay in Montserrat?

While Montserrat is an Overseas Territory of the UK, it has its own visa policy. Citizens of the USA, Canada, UK, EU and many countries in the Caribbean and Latin America are permitted to remain in Montserrat on holiday without a visa for up to 6 months.

How do you become a resident of Montserrat?

Montserrat operates an Economic Residency Programme which allows foreign nationals depositing EC $400,000 in a bank account in Montserrat or investing EC $400,000 in real estate in Montserrat to apply for a residence permit.

Foreign nationals that have resided lawfully in Montserrat for at least 5 years can then apply for a Permit of Permanent Residence.

How do you become a citizen of Montserrat?

Individuals who have been legally resident in Montserrat for at least 5 years may be eligible under the British Nationality Act to apply for naturalization as a British Overseas Territories Citizen (BOTC).

Mortgages in Montserrat

Looking for financing to fund the purchase of property in Montserrat?

Contrary to popular misconception, it is possible for foreign nationals looking to invest in Montserrat real estate to apply for a mortgage.

Some local banks offer mortgages for qualifying non-residents buying, building or improving a second home in Montserrat.

For more information, see our page on: Caribbean mortgages.

How to get a mortgage in the Caribbean

How to Get There

There are no direct flights from North America, South America, Europe or Asia to Montserrat.

To get to Montserrat, you should take a flight to Antigua, which is one of the Caribbean’s most accessible destinations.

From Antigua, take a short connecting flight to Gerald’s Airport on Montserrat with FlyMontserrat or SVG Air.

  • Antigua to Montserrat 20m
  • Miami to Antigua 3h 00m
  • New York to Antigua 4h 00m
  • Toronto to Antigua 5h 00m
  • London to Antigua 8h 00m

More from the Blog

Family on the beach in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Caribbean Homes for Sale by Owner

Searching for Caribbean homes for sale by owner? Here are 7 of the best houses and villas from $235k to $3.5m.

Read Full Article

St John, USVI in the Leeward Islands

Leeward Islands Real Estate

Searching for Leeward Islands real estate? Here are 7 of the best homes from across the islands from $425k.

Read Full Article

Luxury home for sale in Tobago

Top 7 Caribbean Real Estate Listings of 2016

From luxury estates to affordable condos, these real estate listings caught the eyes of buyers this year.

Read Full Article

Montserrat's First Steps To Re-launch

Montserrat begins its exciting new start with re-brand led by 7th Heaven Properties.

Read Full Article

Montserrat: Re-Birth of the Emerald Isle

7th Heaven Properties is working with the Government of Montserrat on plans for a new capital at Little Bay.

Read Full Article

Local weather

27° Precipitacion0.1%
Wed 26° | 28°
Thu 26° | 29°
Fri 26° | 29°
Sat 26° | 30°
Sun 26° | 29°
Mon 26° | 29°
Tue 26° | 29°

Local time

12:29PM Wednesday 28th Jul 2021 (AST)
Wed 26° | 28°
Thu 26° | 29°
Fri 26° | 29°
Sat 26° | 30°
Sun 26° | 29°
Mon 26° | 29°
Tue 26° | 29°

Fast facts

  • Population 4
  • Capital Brades
  • Language English
  • Currency Eastern Caribbean Dollar
  • Time zone GMT-4 | ET