The Garden Guide

Caribbean real estate

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Barbados, Antigua, Dominica and St Lucia have become popular with second home buyers. The Caribbean has a tropical climate: very warm and very wet. This makes working with plants a rewarding but potentially exhausting activity.

The average temperature is 25°C throughout the year. There is a surprising variation in the climate according to whether the property is on the leeward or windward side of an island and whether the island is flat or mountainous. Rainfall is 1000mm/year on Antiqua but over 2000mm/year on Dominica. In Jamaica, a property can get 3000mm/year on the windward side and 600mm/year on the leeward side.

There is also a great variation in the security and encouragement provided to overseas property owners by the governemnts. In the Bahamas, for example, the 1993 International Persons Landholding Act allows foreigners to buy a house or vacant land of five acres or less without a permit.

The Caribbean islands stretch in a 2,500 mile arc from Florida to Venezuela and include the following countries:

  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Cayman Islands
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique
  • Puerto Rico
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Turks & Caicos Islands
  • Virgin Islands

When considering which island to buy property on, it is important to consider the acessibility of the island from your country of residence. From the UK for example, there are direct flights from London to about half of the Caribbean islands and a few direct services from Ediburgh and Manchester. By the time you have factored in the wait for your second plane, you may find that you have increased your total journey time by 50%.

Grenada and St Lucia are cheaper and less crowded than many of the Caribbean islands. The property market in Barbados mature and prices are higher. If you are interested in buying in Antigua, there are some additional costs you will need to budget for: 2.5% purchase tax and a landholder's licence. Cuba does not currently allow foreign investment in property.

Barbados, Caribbean

Tropical Flower

Tropical Flower

Jamacian Garden