- Expanding tourism industry, stable economy and friendly tax laws drawing international buyers to Caribbean nation
- Pandemic did little to slow real estate momentum in Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic Prominent on International “Paradise” Lists
The universal appeal of the Dominican Republic’s white-sandy beaches, golf, and resort living has continued nearly unabated during the COVID pandemic. In fact, the pandemic spurred interest among both nationals and foreign buyers.
According to Melquis Segura, an agent with Santo Domingo-based ApartamentosRD, “Investors and people who could afford second homes here were buying like crazy.”
Like Elsewhere, Pandemic Has Pushed Buyers Away from City-Centers to Backyards and Gardens
Dominican Republic real estate agents have reported an increase in the number of Dominican nationals looking to buy outside of Santo Domingo and Santiago. International buyers rushed back into this Caribbean nation of some 11M people as soon as the country’s borders were reopened in July.
Segura said, “Even with all this (sales) activity, prices have stabilized. I haven’t experienced any (price) growth bigger than 7 to 10%.
Who Is Buying and How Are They Buying?
On top of the growing numbers of Dominican nationals buying, North Americans are by far the most active foreign buyers. With 13 nonstop flights operating from both the US, most often from NYC and Miami, and Canada, the Dominican Republic could not be more accessible.
Sergio Llach, the chief executive with Dominican Republic Sotheby’s International Realty, said that a minimum of 15% of his clients toured listings virtually and bought homes sight-unseen during 2020. 2021 has only increased those percentages.
Thirty percent of Llach’s clients are US citizens. Interest from Puerto Ricans and French investors have “…also been off thee charts this year.”
The initial rush to buy has resulted in much decreased inventory of homes priced under $1M. Llach believes that in 2021, “There’ll be less sales (than in 2020), but at a higher value overall with…only the majority of big, high end properties (selling) since everything under $1M has been taken up.”
Beachside Regions Moving Beyond Condo and Retiree Demand to Family Demand
Beach areas such as Sosua, Las Terrenas, Punta Canna and the city of La Romana (all approximately an hour from Santo Domingo in one direction or the other) are in such high demand from foreign investors that residential construction has soared.
According to Cheryl Henderson, regional operating principal with Keller Williams Dominican Republic, said that at least 90 projects are currently underway from oceanfront villas to condominium blocks to golf-course adjacent single-family homes. Prices start at $350,000 and go up from there.
Buying Basics in Dominican Republic
Most foreign buyers pay in cash. Those who don’t get assistance from outside lenders since interest rates in the US and other outside countries are much lower than interest rates from lenders in the Dominican Republic.
There are no restrictions on foreigners buying in the Dominican Republic. Most international buyers hire local lawyers to ensure a smooth transaction process. Sellers pay agent’s commissions and their lawyers handle closing costs. Property taxes reflect 1% of the property’s value annually.
Thanks to The International New York Times.
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