Anguilla’s housing market is definitely on the mend from the shocks of Hurricane Irma in 2017 and the COVID pandemic in 2020.
High Tourist Numbers Driving a Rebounding Sales Market
According to the Anguilla Tourism Board, Anguilla saw some of its highest tourism numbers in January 2022. What a sigh of relief for the entire tourism industry and real estate professionals after those numbers plunged -82.7% in 2019 due to the nearly simultaneous aftermath of Hurricane Irma and onslaught of the COVID pandemic.
Likewise, non-stop flights from Miami and increased traffic from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Island of St. Thomas “…have been significant factors for increased tourism and investor interest,” said Lisa DeLong, a sales manager for a new 15-unit beachfront condominium development, Tranquility Beach Anguilla. DeLong added that being able to “…be on the beach in Anguilla earlier is a game-changer and makes a weekend getaway from the US viable.”
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Recent Residency Initiatives Bolstering Real Estate Sales
Anguilla’s Residency by Investment program, introduced in June 2019, offers permanent residency to foreigners who invest a minimum of $750,000 in Anguilla real estate.
Its Digital Nomad program, introduced in August 2020, allows travelers to work in Anguilla for three to 12 months. Those working travelers have also helped the island’s real estate economy.
Janine Edwards, director of administration at Sunset Homes Anguilla and a principal with Tranquility Beach Anguilla, said, “After navigating the pandemic, people have realized they don’t have to be tied to a city or be physically present to do their jobs.”
Single-family houses on Anguilla are more pricey than those in countries such as Costa Rico and Jamaica but are lower than comparable properties on Anguilla’s neighboring islands.
Neil Freeman, a manager with Freeman Caribbean Investments and principal with Tranquility Beach Anguilla, said, “Anguilla properties range from $1,000/square foot to $1,500/square foot for beachfront properties, and $500 to $1,000 for inland or waterfront with a rocky shore.” In St. Bart’s and Turks and Caicos, prices range from $2,000 to $3,000/square foot.
Why Buy on Anguilla?
In addition to Anguilla’s Residency by Investment and its Digital Nomad programs, some of the reasons foreigners are attracted to this flat 25-square-mile island of coral and limestone include
- Anguilla’s laid-back and friendly population
- Favorable tax laws including no inheritance tax and no capital gains
- Outstanding beaches and restaurants
- Low crime rate
Who Buys on Anguilla?
Approximately 75% of foreign buyers on Anguilla come from the US…snowbirds, retirees, high-net-worth individuals, and young families looking for investment income.
The remaining foreign buyers tend to be British since it is an overseas British territory in the eastern Caribbean Sea.
Basics of Buying on Anguilla
Foreigners must apply for an Alien Land Holding License with a price tag of $400. This relatively straightforward application process typically takes between one to four months. Additionally, there is a 5% duty on the Alien Land Holding License plus a 5% transfer tax on the sale of the property.
Purchases by foreigners are usually limited to a half-acre, commercial developments exempted, and residential construction must be completed within 30 months.
Many property transactions are handled in US dollars even though Anguilla’s official currency is the East Caribbean dollar. Likewise, most transactions are done in cash though mortgages from local banks are available with interest rates standing at about 6% at the time of this writing.
Buyers often hire a local lawyer to handle transaction details for about 1-2% of the sale price. Sellers pay sale commissions that run approximately 5%.
Thanks to The New York Times.
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Elaine Hearn, co-founder of Properties in Paradise and principal with Tranquility Beach Anguilla, said, “