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Housing in Antigua & Barbuda


Buying a property in Antigua & Barbuda is relatively straightforward. However, there are specific guidelines that foreigners must follow. Mortgages are not easily obtained from local banks so expatriates should have their own financing available.

The cost of homes ranges from moderate to expensive on the island. Living spaces cost $70 to $200 per square foot. Prices for rentals are also moderate to high. Most condos and apartments on the island cater to tourists who only stay short term. It is quite expensive to indulge in long term renting there.

Buying a Property

Antigua & Barbuda is a good place for non-residents looking to buy property in the Caribbean, with a good business climate and a stable political system. The government in general encourages foreign investments. Also, Antigua is a tax-haven. However, non-citizens have to acquire a licence to be able to purchase property in Antigua.

Once you have settled on a property you truly like, obtain a "Non-Citizen Land Holding Licence" to buy the property. This can take three to six months to process and costs 5% of the value of the property. Note that this licence is specific to the property that you have put an offer on so make sure that your agreement with the vendor is ironclad.

With the licence, the transaction can proceed. Have the property surveyed and the title searches in place. Most lawyers on the island will do this. So to reduce legwork, hire the service of one.

After money and keys have changed hands the transfer has to be registered at the local land office.

The price of the property will depend upon a number of factors. Location is the main consideration, a beach front property with an excellent view will be worth far more than a similar sized property in a town with no view. A property in a tranquil area will also have a higher price tag on it than those in a busy part of town. There are also several developments in progress where it is possible to buy a property off-plan. If you choose to do so you should be aware that you will have to make regular payments while the property is being built. Amounts and frequency will vary according to the development.

The highest price rises have been seen on Jolly Harbour beach on Antigua’s beautiful West coast, where prices have risen fourfold over the past two years. This is greater than the price-rise during the entire previous 10 years. Property values have also risen 60-100% over the past two years at Jumby Bay. Detached town houses on the islands have also doubled in the same period.

One attraction this tiny tropical paradise, previously frequently overlooked in favour of its flashier Caribbean cousins, is its picturesque English Harbour, where Admiral Horatio Nelson once based the British fleet. But more important is that Antigua & Barbuda has been so far been left out of the building boom in the rest of the Caribbean, despite some hotel construction in the 1980s. It is rare for lots to become available. The mountainous terrain makes it difficult to develop.

Expatriates do not keep to their own communities and in general integration is good. The most popular areas include coastal areas and the capital. However, due to the small size of the country and its popularity with visitors property available is limited. When considering buying a property it should be noted that to have utilities connected to the house will cost more than in your home country as higher deposits are required for foreign nationals.

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