St. Lucia

Land Area: 
238 sq. miles
Population: 
140,000
Language: 
English
Capital: 
Castries
Currency: 
EC Dollar
Climate: 
average 26ºC

Most people will have already fallen in love with St. Lucia long before they consider buying property on this beautiful tropical island. Caribbean Property Magazine doesn’t need to sell its beauty, but more detailed information on its attributes is attached in this section.

For the serious property buyer there are some key considerations and they differ if you are buying for lifestyle or as an investment. The person who buys because they love the island won’t be swayed by the property value fluctuations, which have been prevalent in the past five years and they have a fine array of real estate to consider. The St Lucia real estate product is diverse with many outstanding detached properties overlooking idyllic sea scenes, golf course properties at Cap Estate, marina living at the Landings or a secluded rural setting overlooking the magnificent Pitons further south.

The property investor will also love the island, but will take a much more discerning approach and needs to consider a variety of issues.

Property values in St. Lucia slumped post-2008 and while this may be a good time to buy a serious investor will have to consider the situation should they wish to sell in a soft market. Not all properties have decreased in value, but a number of negative factors have also contributed to the island’s decline in the popularity ladder in recent years. That said, its beauty remains untarnished, but most of the big real estate projects that were planned pre-2008 have been shelved.

The buying process is straightforward apart from the presence of a badly termed requirement called an Alien’s Land License, which all non-nationals require. It doesn’t sound friendly and it’s not, largely because a buyer is meticulously vetted first by a government department before the application lands in office of the Prime Minister. The process takes several months and costs close to EC$10,000. The overall cost to buy in St. Lucia is close to 5% for legal fees plus the cost of the Alien’s Land License although purchasers are advised to shop around, as some attorneys will negotiate on fees. If a mortgage is involved then add an additional 2% for the legal fees and the cost of a Valuation Report.

Contracts normally require a 10% deposit and the completion date is determined by receipt of the Alien’s Land License as it is a condition of every purchase by a non citizen. When selling property there is a 10% Sales Tax although this can be significantly reduced if the purchase was in the name of a single-asset property holding company as shares not title is being conveyed. Lawyers will advise.

Mortgage finance is available for both local and non-resident purchasers. The LTV (Loan to Value) will vary according to the property and in some cases the applicant, but a max of 75% for local buyers and 60% for non-residents is a useful benchmark.

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