A Guide to Buying Property in St Barts for Foreign Buyers
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.
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, the tiny island manages to exude a distinct Frenchness, from the glamour of its boutiques and cuisine to the Gallic charm of local cottages.
St Barts effortlessly blends the best of French culture with the rugged natural beauty of the Caribbean. With outstanding beaches counted among the best beaches 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.
Buying Property in St Barts
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. In order to purchase real estate in St Barts, foreign buyers need to apply for an Alien Land Holding Licence (ALHL) which has a fee of 10% of the purchase price and takes 1 to 6 months for approval.
Buying property in St Barts is a relatively simple process, which typically involves the following steps:
- Begin your property search.
- Find your perfect property and make an offer and will include the proposed purchase price and the buyer’s conditions.
- 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.
- Once signed, the buyer will need to pay a deposit of at least 10% into an escrow account held by the notaire.
- Sales are normally closed in 2 to 3 months, by which the buyer will pay the balance as well as all required taxes and fees and a Deed of Sale will be officially registered.
Buyers are responsible for paying notary fees.
Buyers are also responsible for paying a one-time transfer tax of approximately 5% depending on the purchase price.
There is no annual property tax in St Barts.
Search St Barts Real Estate Listings
As specialists in luxury Caribbean property, we can introduce you to a wide selection of the finest residential property in St Barts.
Homes for Sale & Condos for Sale
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 St Barts.
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 St Barts.
For larger parcels of land for commercial development, please see our commercial real estate listings.
Hotels for Sale
Searching for hotels for sale in St Barts? Browse hotels, B&Bs and guests houses right here.
Finding the Perfect Property for Sale in St Barts
Discover the most sought after real estate investment opportunities and benefit from unrivaled insight into the market.
To find your perfect property in St Barts, search our St Barts real estate listings.
Best Places to Buy Property in St Barts
Colombier, Flamands, Corossol & Gustavia
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. 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.
St Barts Residency
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 I 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 I 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.
Sending Money to St Barts
You could save money when investing in St Barts 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 St Barts. To see how you could save money, read more: Foreign Exchange.
How to Get to St Barts
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.
Antigua to St Barts: 0 hours 35 mins
Guadeloupe to St Barts: 0 hours 45 mins
San Juan to St Barts: 1 hour 15 mins
St Maarten to St Barts: 0 hour 10 mins