The Insider's Guide to Buying Property in St Barts

The very definition of elegant luxury living in the Caribbean, St Barts is one of the most desirable destinations in the region.

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

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

Aerial view of St Barts St Jean Beach, St Barts

Overview - The St Barts Real Estate Market

Like fellow French Caribbean islands St Martin and Martinique, St Barts is an overseas territory of France.

Within its mere 9.5 square miles, this tiny island manages to exude a distinct Frenchness, from the glamour of its boutiques and cuisine to the Gallic charm of the traditional cottages that dot its landscape.

St Barts effortlessly blends the best of French culture with the rugged natural beauty of the Caribbean. With outstanding beaches which count among the best in the world, sophisticated nightlife and prestigious annual events such as Les Voiles des St Barth, St Barts has established itself as one of the world’s most desirable real estate investment locations.

The St Barts real estate market is geared to the top end of the market, with opulent hill-side and beachfront villas offering buyers the opportunity not only to enjoy an enviable lifestyle but also to invest in a property with the potential to deliver significant returns via high rental income. Popular areas include Anse des Cayes, Colombier, Corossol, Flamands, Grand Cul de Sac, Gustavia, Lorient, Lurin and Toiny.

“With outstanding beaches which count among the best in the world, sophisticated nightlife and prestigious annual events such as Les Voiles des St Barth, St Barts has established itself as one of the world’s most desirable real estate investment locations”

Why Invest?

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One of the world’s most sought after destinations.

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Strong, highly desirable real estate market.

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No restrictions on foreign nationals purchasing property.

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No annual real estate tax.

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Very high rental income generating potential due to the prestigious nature of the island’s luxury tourism sector.

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Dramatic natural beauty and outstanding beaches considered among the best in the world.

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Wide range of entertainment options from glamorous boutiques to gourmet restaurants.

Buying Process, Fees & Taxes

Can foreigners buy property in St Barts?

Yes, foreigners can buy property in St Barts and the island welcomes investment from overseas buyers. There are no restrictions on foreign buyers acquiring real estate in St Barts and a buyer does not need to be a resident of St Barts or France.

Buying process

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

  1. Begin your property search.
  2. Find your perfect property and submit an offer which will typically include the proposed purchase price and any conditions you may have.
  3. Once you have made an offer on a property in St Barts and that offer has been accepted by the seller, a notary (notaire) will be instructed to draft a Purchase and Sales Agreement which includes comprehensive terms such as the agreed date of closing. A notaire is a lawyer specializing in real estate with the power to clear title and register the deed.
  4. Once the Purchase and Sales Agreement has been signed by both buyer and seller, the buyer will need to pay a deposit of at least 10% into an escrow account held by the notaire.
  5. Sales are normally closed within 60 to 90 days, by which time the buyer will pay the balance as well as all required taxes and fees and a Deed of Sale will be officially registered.
Fees & taxes

Notary Fees

Buyers are responsible for paying notary fees.

Transfer Tax

Buyers are also responsible for paying a one-time transfer tax of approximately 5% depending on the purchase price.

Property Tax

There is no annual property tax in St Barts.

Best Places to Buy

Colombier & Flamands

Colombier and Flamands are both located on the north-western tip of St Barts, on the Leeward (Sous le Vent) side of the island. Quiet Colombier beach, also referred to as Rockefeller’s beach, is renowned as one of the very best beaches on the island and villas overlooking it are among the St Barts real estate market’s most sought-after properties. Nearby Flamands Beach is also extremely highly regarded for its powder-soft white sand and seclusion.

Gustavia & Corossol

Slightly further south on the western coast of St Barts, there are also some beautiful homes for sale in and around the charming village of Corossol and the capital Gustavia. While Corossol offers a quiet escape, Gustavia is home to world-class restaurants, cafes and boutiques. Both locations offer beautiful views of St Barts’ coastline and the turquoise sea.

St Jean Bay, Lorient, Pointe Milou, Saline

Located on the northern coast of St Barts, St Jean Bay and Lorient are some of the key locations of interest to buyers considering investing in St Barts luxury real estate. St Jean Bay (Baie de St Jean) is home to some of St Barts’ most prestigious hotels, such as Eden Rock St Barths. The calm, reef-protected Lorient Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island. Nearby Pointe Milou, Grande Saline and Petite Saline also offer well-known beaches and beautiful homes for sale.

Toiny, Grand Cul-de-Sac, Petit Cul-de-Sac & Vitet

Located on the eastern coast of St Barts, Toiny, Grand Cul-de-Sac, Petit Cul-de-Sac and Vitet are also of interest to those considering buying a home in St Barts. There are some magnificent luxury properties for sale nestled into the hills offering spectacular views of the sea and the various beaches below.

Residency & Citizenship

How long can a foreign citizen stay in St Barts?

While St Barts is an overseas collectivity (collectivité d’outre-mer – COM) of France, it is not part of the Schengen Zone and St Barts has its own visa policy. Citizens of the EU and the EEA are permitted to remain in St Barts for an unlimited period without a visa. Citizens of the USA, Canada and many countries in the Caribbean and Latin America are permitted to remain on the island for a holiday for up to 3 months without a visa.

How do you become a resident of St Barts?

Individuals who would like to stay longer in St Barts should apply for a long-stay visa at a French consulate in their country of residence. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay in St Barts or, in the case of retirees and pensioners, provide proof of income from a pension or retirement plan. Applicants will be required to attend an interview in person and decisions are typically made within 30 days.

Individuals who have lawfully resided in St Barts for 5 years can apply for French permanent residence permit (carte de resident) which is valid for 10 years and can be renewed.

How do you become a citizen of St Barts?

Individuals who have resided lawfully in St Barts for 5 years and who can demonstrate a good knowledge of the French language and culture can apply for French citizenship by naturalization.

Mortgages in St Barts

Looking for financing to fund the purchase of property in St Barts?

Contrary to popular misconception, it is possible for foreign nationals looking to invest in St Barts 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 St Barts.

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

How to get a mortgage in the Caribbean

How to Get There

Due to the size of the Gustaf III Airport there are no direct international flights to St Barts from the USA, Canada or Europe.

Take a flight to Antigua, Guadeloupe, St Maarten or San Juan and take a connecting flight or alternatively transfer to St Barts by boat.

  • St Maarten to St Barts 10m
  • Antigua to St Barts 35m
  • Guadeloupe to St Barts 45m
  • San Juan to St Barts 1h 15m

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Local weather

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Fast facts

  • Population 9,131
  • Capital Gustavia
  • Language French
  • Currency Euro
  • Time zone GMT-4 | ET