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Buying Property in Barbados

Barbados is the number 1 destination in the Caribbean for UK residents, with over 1 million visits annually and number 1 for visitor spend per capita!

But what is it like to purchase a property on such a beautiful island?

Ways to Purchase

When buying a property Barbados, there are no restrictions to foreign ownership. But there are usually two primary routes to purchasing a property.

Route 1: Domestic Conveyance (owning the property in your name)

Once you’ve found a property and agreed a purchase price, both the seller & buyer sign a sale and purchase agreement and a deposit of 10% is held in escrow until completion. The remaining balance of the purchase price is paid over at completion. Before you pay the deposit you must register the funds with the Central Bank of Barbados (due to an exchange control regulation in place for foreign currency brought into Barbados). During the purchase, your attorney will verify free and clear titles to the property and ensure that there are no other impediments to the sale. Upon completion, there will be a conveyance of title to the purchaser which is evidenced by the recording of title deeds at the Barbados Land Registry.

Route 2: Offshore Company Ownership (owning the property in a company)

The process is nearly the same, once you’ve found a property and agreed a purchase price, both the seller & buyer sign a sale and purchase agreement and a deposit of 10% is held in escrow until completion. The remaining balance of the purchase price is paid over at completion. Due to the property being owned/purchased by an offshore company, there is no requirement to register the funds with the Central Bank of Barbados. During the purchase, your attorney will verify free and clear titles to the property and ensure that there are no other impediments to the sale. Alongside this, a complete corporate search of the offshore entity will be conducted and upon completion the shares of that company are transferred to the purchaser.

The main reason an offshore holding company is used to purchase a property is to circumvention the payment of property transfer taxes and stamp duty as well as Barbados exchange control regulations which allows for future sales of the property to be in United States dollars or other currencies.

Typical Costs

When buying a property in Barbados you can expect to encounter the following costs;

Legal Fees (Attorney/Solicitor) = 1% to 2% +VAT

 

When selling a property in Barbados you can expect to encounter the following costs;

Legal Fees (Attorney/Solicitor) = 1% to 2% +VAT

Agent Fees (Realtor/Estate Agent) = 4% to 5%

Government Fees (Transfer Tax) = 2.5%

Government Fees (Stamp Duty) = 1%

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any restrictions on non-nationals?

There are no restrictions on non-nationals to purchase a property in Barbados. However, you must apply for permission from the Central Bank of Barbados to register any money brought into Barbados (unless purchasing a property in an offshore company).

How much deposit is required on exchange?

A deposit of 10% is required on exchange (unless otherwise agreed).

Is there any stamp duty payable on purchase of a property in Barbados?

No! The seller is responsible for paying stamp duty (unless the property is held in an offshore company, in which case there is no stamp duty).

How long does it take to buy a property in Barbados?

The average purchase/sale in Barbados takes 2-3 months.