A Guide to Buying Property in St Lucia for Foreign Buyers
With golden sand beaches, luscious rainforest, soaring mountains, and magnificent bays, St Lucia offers some of the most dramatic scenery in the Caribbean which has drawn property buyers from around the world.
If you are currently considering investing in real estate in St Lucia but you are wondering “where are the best places to buy property in St Lucia?” or “how do I go about owning property in St Lucia as a foreign buyer” then this guide is for you.
Our guide takes you through the process of buying property in St Lucia 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.
From the iconic twin peaks of the Pitons rising from the sea, breath-taking beaches set against lush rain forest covered mountain backdrops and thundering waterfalls, St Lucia is blessed with dramatic scenery. With this spectacular natural beauty and unique cultural heritage, St Lucia has a developed a flourishing tourism industry that welcomed almost 394,780 stayover visitors to the island in 2018 – an increase of 2.2% compared to 2017. Several highly regarded hotels and spas across the island, the marinas at Rodney Bay and Marigot Bay and a challenging 18-hole championship golf course at Cap Estate keep visiting tourists entertained and have enticed many others to invest in St Lucia’s real estate market.
Like nearby Barbados, the property market in St Lucia grew dramatically for several years up until 2009. The market cooled in response to the economic shock, but has begun to recover as the economy in the USA and Europe has improved, particularly in locations such as Cap Estate and Rodney Bay in northern St Lucia, Vigie, La Toc and Marigot Bay near the capital Castries and Soufriere and Vieux Fort in southern St Lucia. As a result, property prices in St Lucia remain highly attractive and it is in many ways a buyer’s market. Prices are generally lower than for comparable homes for sale in Barbados.
At the beginning of 2016, the government introduced a Citizenship by Investment Program offering investors the opportunity to apply for full citizenship of St Lucia. The program is expected to stimulate investment in St Lucia’s real estate market and the economy in general in a similar way to nearby St Kitts & Nevis and Antigua.
Can a foreign national buy property in St Lucia?
There are no restrictions on foreign nationals purchasing real estate in St Lucia.
Can foreigners buy property in St Lucia?
Yes, foreigners can buy property in St Lucia and the Government of St Lucia welcomes investment from overseas buyers. There are no restrictions on foreign buyers acquiring real estate in St Lucia. In order to purchase real estate in the country, foreign buyers need to apply for an Alien Land Holding Licence (ALHL) for which there is a non-refundable application fee of EC $5,400 plus license fee which varies according to the size of the land from EC $5,000 to EC $50,000 (100 acres +). Alternatively, purchasing property in an approved real estate project may qualify the buyer for full citizenship of St Lucia through the island’s Citizenship by Investment Programme.
Buying property in St Lucia 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, you should instruct a local attorney to prepare the Deed of Sale, conduct due diligence and apply for the Alien Landholding License.
- The buyer is typically required to pay a deposit of 10% which will be held in escrow.
- Pay all required taxes and fees.
- Pay the balance of the purchase price.
Alien Land Holding Licence
Cost of an Alien Landholding License as follows:
- Up to 1 acre: $5,000
- 1 acre to up to 10 acres: $10,000
- 10 acres to up to 20 acres: $20,000
- 20 acres to up to 50 acres: $30,000
- 50 acres to up to 100 acres: $40,000
- Over 100 acres: $50,000
Buyers are responsible for paying a one-time stamp duty of 2% of the purchase price to register the Deed of Sale.
We would advise you to seek the advice of a local attorney. Legal fees typically amount to 4% of the purchase price.
There is also a small annual property tax.
As specialists in luxury Caribbean property, we can introduce you to a wide selection of the finest residential property in St Lucia.
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 Lucia.
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 Lucia.
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 Lucia? Browse hotels, B&Bs and guests houses right here.
Finding the Perfect Property for Sale in St Lucia
Discover the most sought after real estate investment opportunities and benefit from unrivaled insight into the market.
To find your perfect property in St Lucia, search our St Lucia real estate listings.
Discover Cap Estate – Read our guide to buying property in Cap Estate.
Discover Castries – Read our guide to buying property in Castries.
Discover Marigot Bay – Read our guide to buying property in Marigot Bay.
Discover Rodney Bay – Read our guide to buying property in Rodney Bay.
Discover Soufriere – Read our guide to buying property in Soufriere.
Discover Vieux Fort – Read our guide to buying property in Vieux Fort.
How long can a foreign citizen stay in St Lucia?
Citizens of the USA, Canada and the UK are permitted to remain in St Lucia on holiday without a visa for up to 6 weeks. Citizens of all other EU member countries are permitted to remain in St Lucia on holiday without a visa for up to 3 months.
How do I become a resident of St Lucia?
Individuals who would like to remain in St Lucia longer than 6 weeks (or 3 months in the case of EU citizens) can apply to the Immigration Department for an extension. Extensions are granted on a discretionary basis.
Property owners (such as retirees who have no need for work) can apply to the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Security for the right to reside in St Lucia.
Individuals who have lawfully resided in St Lucia for 5 years can apply for permanent residency in St Lucia.
How do I become a citizen of St Lucia?
Individuals who have lawfully resided in St Lucia for 7 years can apply for citizenship by naturalization.
St Lucia also operates a Citizenship by Investment Program which offers qualified investors the opportunity to obtain full citizenship of St Lucia in exchange for a significant contribution to the nation’s finances, either through a financial contribution to a government fund or via investment in an approved real estate project.
Read more: St Lucia Citizenship by Investment.
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 St Lucia 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 Lucia.
For more information, see our page on: Caribbean mortgages.
You could save money when investing in St Lucia 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 Lucia. To see how you could save money, read more: Foreign Exchange.
There are direct flights to St Lucia’s Hewanorra International Airport from the UK, Germany, the USA and Canada.
Located in the south of St Lucia near the town of Vieux Fort, Hewanorra International Airport is an easily accessible gateway to the island.
From the USA, there are direct flights to St Lucia from various cities including Atlanta (Delta), Chicago, Miami and New York (American Airlines).
From Canada, Air Canada operates direct flights from Montreal and Toronto to St Lucia.
From the UK, there are direct flights from London and Manchester to St Lucia operated by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
Miami to St Lucia: 3 hours 40 mins
New York to St Lucia: 4 hours 43 mins
Toronto to St Lucia: 5 hours 15 mins
London Gatwick to St Lucia: 8 hours 35 mins
Frankfurt to St Lucia: 9 hours 45 mins