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Citizenship guide
Imperial experience

Real estate in Antigua and Barbuda

Home to 365 beaches, shipwrecks and reefs, carnival, music concerts, arts shows and food fairs. A great wedding destination, the islands have a lot to offer due to its rich historic and cultural heritage. They attract more visitors each year, and the demand is supported by thriving real estate market that accounts for over 50% of the country’s GDP.

Investors and developers have been flocking to Antigua and Barbuda since 2013 when the Citizenship by Investment program was introduced. Their numbers have increased even more since spring 2018 due to some important changes to the program, including a limited offer of investing $200,000 in real estate.

Numerous resorts and residential developments are currently being built on Antigua to satisfy the demand of a high-end market. Barbuda, 90% of which was destroyed in 2017 by Hurricane Irma, is being rebuilt and reconstructed as well.

Types of properties

Antigua and Barbuda has real estate for anyone, holidaymakers, retired people, investors under the Citizenship by Investment program and others. You have options of buying or building your own home or buying shares in residences or hotel resorts.

A wide choice of properties includes waterfront villas, townhouses, beach cottages, apartments, land lots and commercial properties. If it is land you are going for, you must finish all construction works within 24 months. The majority of real estate is freehold, leaseholds usually belong to the state.

Reasons to invest in real estate in Antigua and Barbuda

These islands with their stunning harbours and verdant hills are meant to be lived on, and we are not the first to appreciate it; Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana have already made them their home. This is what attracts property seekers to them:

  • Relatively low prices.
  • Safe environment with low crime rate.
  • High quality of education and healthcare.
  • Political and economic stability.
  • Beneficial taxation system. No income, capital gains, wealth or inheritance taxes.
  • A way to Antigua and Barbuda passport.
  • Brand new VC Bird International Airport terminal with good connections to North America and UK.

Purchasing real estate in Antigua and Barbuda

The process of acquiring a property on the islands is streamlined and simple. It is done to attract more foreign investors and developers. However easy it may seem, we strongly recommend having a local lawyer help you with the real estate transaction.

Foreign nationals and companies, registered in and outside the country, can purchase a property in Antigua and Barbuda subject to holding a non-citizen’s license. Besides, foreigners have to provide a criminal record certificate from their country and also evidence of sufficient funds.

How to buy property

Once you have found what you were looking for, either on your own or with the help of a real estate agent, it is better to check that there are no encumbrances on the property. An attorney can do it for you by assessing a title deed. This will save you from any unpleasant surprises. After the evaluation, the attorney prepares a sale and purchase agreement.

Foreigners that wish to purchase real estate in Antigua and Barbuda have to apply for and obtain a Non-Citizen’s Landholding License for a fee of 5% of the purchase price. Until your License is issued, which can take 3-4 months, you must secure the property by making a 10% deposit to the seller. Your attorney should register a restriction (caution) against others dealing with the property without your consent.

Real estate transaction costs

When you get a license, you can close the deal by paying the balance of the purchase price and stamp duty. Here is the total you need to pay when buying a property in Antigua and Barbuda.

  • 5% licence fee
  • 5% stamp duty
  • 1% to 2% in legal costs

Besides, if you decide to dispose of your property at some point in the future, you will need to pay 7.5% stamp duty and 1-2% legal fees. 5% appreciation tax may be charged as well.

Insurance cover amounts to around 2% of the insured risk.

If you would need property management services, it will normally cost you 10% of its value.

Property taxes

They are charged on the market value of the property and rates vary from 0.1% to 0.5% depending on its value and use. Agricultural land is taxed the lowest, while the highest tax is levied on buildings other than residential. Allowances and tax rebates apply.

Non-resident owners of undeveloped land must pay an undeveloped land tax of 10% to 20% on the value of the land depending on how long you have owned it.

Non-resident leasing out properties in Antigua and Barbuda are subject to 25% of the net rental income.

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