Why Belize Real Estate?
Belize real estate is known for the property developments in Ambergris Caye with its world renowned barrier reef as well as Ambergris Caye beautiful, white sandy beaches. As the official language in Belize is English and the nation is easily accessible from the US, this Central American nation is a key investment, retirement and tourism hot spot. (You can see Belize real estate listings below.)
- Overseas real estate investors are neither prohibited nor restricted from owning clear title to property investments and land in Belize including ocean front land, houses, condos, etc.
- The Constitution of Belize protects the right to private property, and Belize’s legal system is based on English Common Law and therefore familiar to American and British investors.
- Belize has a strong, proven, liquid real estate market with broad investor opportunities in a choice of locations nationally, in both the residential and commercial sectors.
- Real estate in Belize is currently enjoying what is considered to be a sustainable growth phase.
- Belize is a peaceful and democratic nation with a stable economy, it’s a British Commonwealth realm, and its dollar is pegged 2BZ$ to 1US$.
Belize Real Estate Market
We have Belize real estate buyer’s agent on Ambergris Caye as well Belize real estate brokers for all of Belize. Please contact them for prices of real estate listings for sale in Belize, as well as current rental rates for apartments and vacation rentals.
- On average, Belize real estate prices suffered a 25 – 30% national decline following the global economic crisis, however prices have now rebounded to pre-2008 highs.
- Whilst Belize has one of the highest-priced real estate markets in the Central American region, by US, Canada, and UK standards prices are low attracting investor, second and Belize retirement home interest.
- The GDP annual growth rate averaged 4.29% between 1995 and 2017, as reported by the Statistical Institute of Belize, highlighting the overall strength of the Belize economy.
- Belize has arguably the most successful tourism market in the region and therefore presents Belize real estate investment opportunities supported by this economic sector, yet not exclusively built upon it.
- Increasing demand from US baby boomers and a steady increase in interest in Belize real estate from British and European investors are just two reasons to suggest a strong return on investment is possible.
[Source: Statistical Institute of Belize]
Real Estate Investment, Taxes and Doing Business in Belize
- Real estate agents in Belize are not regulated nor are they obligated to disclose valuable information about a property, therefore all buyers are advised to retain an independent lawyer to assist with their property transaction.
- The above is one reason to use our highly qualified Belize buyer’s agents when buying real estate in Belize.
- The costs for a lawyer’s services should be agreed up front, and typically most lawyers charge 2% of the value of the final sale price, to a minimum of a $1,000BZ.
- A 5% stamp duty is payable by the purchaser on the balance of the transaction above $20,000BZ, minus the value of any home contents/chattels purchased with the property. A 10% stamp duty is payable on new property.
- A 1.5% property tax is levied annually and payable on April 1st.
- Real estate agent fees are payable by the vendor and are 6-7%.
- Buyer and vendor should retain separate lawyers, and a buyer’s lawyer should conduct detailed due diligence on the title of the property as some homes are unregistered, and some have deed restrictions intrinsic to the title potentially restricting an owner’s rights and obligations.
- Government approval to purchase is not required as long as any parcel of land is 10 acres or less outside a town limit, 1.5 acres or less inside town limits, and not on a restricted Caye.
Landlord and Tenant
- Rental income is taxed at a flat rate of 3% and there is no capital gains or inheritance tax in Belize.
- Rental law is pro-landlord permitting forced entry to real estate and the removal of property to cover damage or unpaid rent.
- Rental rates are negotiable at contract inception; increases are restricted to 10% annually according to the Rent Restriction Act.
Belize Property Investments Visa
- There is no requirement to be a resident of Belize in order to purchase Belize real estate.
- It is possible for foreign residents to obtain residence permits and work permits to live and find employment in Belize.
- Additionally and of interest to anyone over the age of 45, the government has a Retired Persons Incentive Program to encourage financially secure individuals to live in Belize income tax-free. Upon qualification, a spouse and dependents can be included.
- Qualification criteria for the Belize property investments program include having no criminal record, passing a medical check, and providing proof of earnings from investments or deposits that will generate the sum of a minimum of US$2,000 per month or the equivalent of US$24,000 per year.
- Benefits include being exempt from the payment of all taxes and duties on all income or receipts which accrue from a source outside of Belize – whether that income is generated from work or investments.
Real Estate Markets of Interest in Belize
Ambergris Caye Real Estate – this is the largest island in Belize and considered the most desirable location with many foreign investors; it commands some of the highest real estate prices nationally as a result. Ambergris Caye is also the main destination for tourists visiting Belize, and San Pedro Town is the main settlement on the island. Real estate for sale includes beach resort condominiums for sale, land, single family homes, as well as some commercial opportunities.
Caye Caulker – this is the closest of the resort islands to Belize City and a sister island to Ambergris Caye, and whilst not as expensive for real estate as its sister island, its prices do reflect its tourism and lifestyle appeal. Real estate for sale includes undeveloped land, residential and commercial properties. The demand for property to rent and buy is strong.
Placencia – here you’ll find the best beaches on the mainland, and Placencia town is a beautiful Caribbean coastal community in the Stann Creek District of Belize. It’s located on the tip of the 16-mile long Placencia Peninsula. The peninsula offers Caribbean beachfront to the east and a protected lagoon to the west. The extended Placencia community has a growing expatriate base, yet there is still significant opportunity to buy in at more modest prices than in Ambergris Caye.
Corozal – this is the northernmost district of Belize, it borders Mexico. The region is slowly growing in popularity with investors and expats for two main reasons:
i) it enjoys the lowest rainfall for the nation and
ii) it is one of the more affordable areas of Belize to both live and invest in real estate.
Corozal Town is home to an established expat community, largely centered around Consejo Shores, the Copper Bank and in the Chunox area. They enjoy some of the lowest real estate costs nationally.
Orange Walk – located in northern Belize, Orange Town district’s capital is Orange Walk Town, the fourth largest town nationally. It is inland and located on the banks of the New River. The district is home to the biggest Maya temple of the pre-classic period creating significant tourism interest, and the capital town is a bustling commercial hub offering some related investment opportunity.
Living in Belize
A former British Colony, Belize still maintains strong links with the United Kingdom to this day. Yet because of its geographic location in Central America Belize also benefits from cultural and economic influences from its Latin American and Caribbean neighbors.
As an increasingly popular destination with North American investors, travelers and expatriates, Belize is very much open for international business and welcomes expats and investors from all over the world.
For those seeking a vibrant and developed yet unspoiled nation to call home, where Western influences have not tarnished the cultural fabric, Belize is a fantastic country particularly for investment.
Belize is also considered a very safe destination for investors, tourists and expats alike. Commonsense should of course prevail particularly in Belize City however, where it is advisable to catch a cab after dark and only ever carry small amounts of cash.
Belize does have a hurricane season, however it has proven systems in place for detection and warning, and historically there is only a 17% chance that a detected hurricane will come within 50 miles of Belize.
Belize Location and Geography
Located on the eastern coast of Central America Belize is bordered to the north by Mexico, to the south and west by Guatemala, and to the east by the stunning Caribbean Sea.
Belize has the second largest barrier reef in the world, and over 200 islands shelter just offshore. It is home to beautiful white sandy palm fringed beaches and clear azure waters, and those who discover its delights often liken it to a paradise.
The nation is geographically, historically and culturally diverse and enjoys a tropical climate, and surprisingly considering its desirability it has the lowest population density of countries in the region.
The rainy season runs from June through November, and the high season for tourism corresponds roughly to the dry season which is December through May.
Regions in Belize:
North: comprised of Corozal and Orange Walk regions, which feature some of the nation’s more affordable real estate.
East: Caribbean coastal region made up of Belize and Stann Creek districts and home to Belize City.
West: the Cayo district is home to the tiny capital city of Belize, Belmopan City.
South: the Toledo district is home to Punta Gorda, predicted to be an area of considerable interest for investors in the near-term.
Main islands: Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker.
[Source: For more information – Wikipedia Belize]
What to do next if you are interested in Belize Real Estate
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Contact one of our LatinCarib Real Estate Network Brokers in Belize
- Macarena Rose – our Belize buyer’s agent and Belize relocation expert
- Jim Hardesty – our Belize investment property broker