A Guide to Buying Property in St Maarten / St Martin for Foreign Buyers
With everything from exclusive residential communities through to more modestly priced new condo developments, the part-French, part-Dutch island of St Maarten / St Martin has a well established and diverse property market.
If you are currently considering investing in real estate in St Maarten / St Martin but you are wondering “where are the best places to buy property in St Maarten / St Martin ?” or “how do I go about owning property in St Maarten / St Martin as a foreign buyer” then this guide is for you.
Our guide takes you through the process of buying property in St Maarten / St Martin 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.
The 37 square mile island of St Martin is the smallest island in the world to be divided between two nations. The northern part of the island – Sint Maarten – is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The southern part of the island – Saint Martin – is an overseas collectivity of France.
Having been shared by the French and the Dutch since 1648, the island has an exceptionally cosmopolitan and diverse feel. The 470,000 jet set tourists that visit the island each year enjoy the best of both worlds: gourmet European restaurants, buzzing nightlife, spectacular beaches, and island-wide duty-free shopping.
Property buyers enjoy various benefits too. The property buying process is relatively simple and, on the Dutch side of the island, there is no capital gains tax.
The real estate markets on the Dutch side of the island and the French side of the island are both well established and have long had appeal to both European and North American property buyers. On the French side of the island, the Terres Basses (lowlands) area is the setting for some of the island’s most magnificent luxury homes. Opulent houses and villas are nestled into hillsides and along the beautiful beaches at Baie Rouge and Baie Longue. Orient Bay on the northern coast, which is renowned for one of the best beaches on the island, is also a popular place to own a home on French St Martin.
On Dutch St Maarten popular areas to invest include Simpson Bay, Cupecoy and Maho on the western coast and Orient Bay and Guana Bay on the eastern coast. The real estate market on the Dutch side of the island offers a more diverse range of property for sale, including condos, apartments and villas on the waterfront.
Can foreigners buy property in St Maarten / St Martin?
Yes, foreigners can buy property in St Maarten / St Martin and the island welcomes investment from overseas buyers. There are no restrictions on foreign buyers acquiring real estate in St Maarten / St Martin. Unlike in other destinations in the Caribbean, non-Citizens do not require a license or permit to purchase property on the island. On the Dutch side of the island property can be purchased in the name of an individual or corporation.
Buying property in St Maarten / St Martin is a relatively simple process, which typically involves the following steps:
- Begin your property search.
- Find your perfect property and make an offer.
- On both French St Martin and Dutch St Maarten real estate can be purchased fee simple or via long lease (government or private).
- There is no need for an attorney because a civil law notary is responsible for performing the title search and ensuring clear title transfer. The buyer is required to pay a deposit which typically amounts to 10%. The notary will prepare the required legal documents which should be signed by the buyer and seller.
- Transactions are normally completed within 4 to 6 weeks and the buyer is responsible for paying a one-time transfer tax as well as notary fees.
Transfer Tax & Notary Fees
On Dutch St Maarten transaction costs including transfer fees and notary fees amount to approximately 5% to 6%.
On French St Martin transaction costs including transfer fees and notary fees amount to approximately 10%.
N.B. While there is no capital gains tax on Dutch St Maarten, there is a 33.5% capital gains tax on the sale of property.
There are no annual property taxes in Dutch St Maarten.
As specialists in luxury Caribbean property, we can introduce you to a wide selection of the finest residential property in St Maarten / St Martin.
Homes for Sale & Condos for Sale
Our website is the ultimate destination to discover a wide selection of villas, houses and homes for sale in St Maarten / St Martin, as well as apartments and condos for sale in St Maarten / St Martin.
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 Maarten / St Martin.
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 Maarten / St Martin.
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 Maarten / St Martin? Browse hotels, B&Bs and guests houses right here.
Finding the Perfect Property for Sale in St Maarten / St Martin
Discover the most sought after real estate investment opportunities and benefit from unrivaled insight into the market.
To find your perfect property in St Maarten / St Martin, search our St Maarten / St Martin real estate listings.
Discover St Maarten – Read our guide to buying property in St Maarten.
Discover Cupecoy – Read our guide to buying property in Cupecoy.
Discover Dawn Beach – Read our guide to buying property in Dawn Beach.
Discover Guana Bay – Read our guide to buying property in Guana Bay.
Discover Maho – Read our guide to buying property in Maho.
Discover Orient Bay – Read our guide to buying property in Orient Bay.
Discover Oyster Pond – Read our guide to buying property in Oyster Pond.
Discover Philipsburg – Read our guide to buying property in Philipsburg.
Discover Simpson Bay – Read our guide to buying property in Simpson Bay.
Best Places to Buy Property in the French Side of St Martin
Discover St Martin – Read our guide to buying property in St Martin.
Discover Anse Marcel – Read our guide to buying property in Anse Marcel.
Discover Orient Bay – Read our guide to buying property in Orient Bay.
Discover Terres Basses – Read our guide to buying property in Terres Basses.
How long can a foreign citizen stay in St Maarten / St Martin?
On the Dutch side of St Maarten, visitors can generally stay in St Maarten for up to 30 days without a visa. Citizens of Canada, the EU, Australia, New Zealand and Japan may stay in St Maarten for up to 3 months (90 days) without a visa. Dutch and American citizens may stay in St Maarten for up to 6 months (180 days) without a visa.
Do I need a visa to live in St Maarten / St Martin?
Non-citizens wishing to live on the Dutch side of St Maarten are required to apply to the Immigration and Border Protection Service for a Residence Permit.
How do I become a resident of St Maarten / St Martin?
If you would like to become a resident of the Dutch side of St Maarten you can apply to the Immigration and Border Protection Service for a Residence Permit. Permits are issued to various categories of applicants, including investors and pensioners.
In the case of investors, applicants are required to make a minimum investment of NAF 900,000 in a business or real estate in St Maarten.
In the case of pensioners, applicants must be able to demonstrate proof of sufficient income.
How do I become a citizen of St Maarten / St Martin?
If you have lived continuously in St Maarten for 5 years with a valid residence permit and have a good understanding of Dutch you may apply for Dutch citizenship by naturalization.
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 Maarten real estate or St Martin 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 Maarten / St Martin.
For more information, see our page on: Caribbean mortgages.
You could save money when investing in St Maarten / St Martin 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 Maarten / St Martin. To see how you could save money, read more: Foreign Exchange.
There are direct international flights to St Maarten from various cities in the United States, Canada, France and the Netherlands.
International flights to St Maarten arrive at Princess Juliana International Airport near Simpson Bay and Maho Bay on the west coast of the island.
St Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport is one of the region’s major hubs.
From the USA, there are numerous direct flights from various cities, including Atlanta (Delta), Charlotte and Philadelphia (US Airways), Miami, New York and San Juan (American Airlines), Boston (JetBlue), Chicago and Washington (United Airlines).
From Canada, fly to the USA and take a connecting or flight or, during high season, WestJet operates direct flights from Toronto.
From Europe, Air France and KLM operate direct flights to St Maarten.
From the Caribbean, LIAT operates flights from most islands and Insel Air operates flights from the ABC Islands.
Amsterdam to St Maarten: 8 hour 40 mins
Atlanta to St Maarten: 4 hours 20 mins
Miami to St Maarten: 3 hours 05 mins
New York to St Maarten: 4 hours 07 mins
Paris to St Maarten: 9 hours 00 mins
Toronto to St Maarten: 4 hours 50 mins