St Lucia real estate investment: can it be profitable?

Tourists come to St Lucia all year round for beach holidays, to attend jazz and flower festivals, and go yachting. Investors buy apartments and villas to rent out and sell to return the invested money. Renting out on the St Lucia real estate market brings an income of 2—10% per annum.

License IMA SL

St Lucia real estate investment: can it be profitable?

Buying real estate in St Lucia under the citizenship program is even more profitable. Cosmopolitans and their family members get second passports allowing them to travel without visas to more than 140 countries.

Property prices in Saint Lucia

The cost of a square metre of housing in St Lucia coincides with the average value for the Caribbean region: $5,000 to $8,000. 

Properties on the coast or near local attractions are more expensive. The highest prices are in Castries, the capital of St Lucia.

Price per square metre in St Lucia

Cosmopolitans buy St Lucia properties to get the country’s citizenship and spend the winter months on the island. At this time, the Caribbean Sea is warm and calm, and there is no rain. At other times, an apartment or a house can be rented out; housing on an exotic island is always in demand by tourists.

Prices for residential real estate in St Lucia

St Lucia real estate buying guide

A one-bedroom apartment in a condominium by the sea costs about $212,000

Saint lucia real estate market

A three-bedroom, two-bathroom house is for sale for $379,777

St Lucia real estate citizenship

A furnished colonial-styled villa with three bedrooms and four bathrooms is on sale for $5 million

Terms of buying a property under the St Lucia real estate citizenship program

A real estate investor participating in the St Lucia citizenship program does not pay stamp duty or buy a licence to own land. In total, the investor saves up to 3.5% of the cost of housing. To purchase real estate and obtain citizenship, one must fulfil several conditions.

Minimum investment. The country’s government determines the minimum investment under the program — $300,000.

St Lucia real estate investment to obtain citizenship

Approved properties. To apply for citizenship, an investor purchases a property approved by the government of Saint Lucia for participation in the program. The property list changes as properties are sold, and new projects emerge.

Term of ownership. To keep the passport of St Lucia, cosmopolitans sell the object no earlier than after 5 years of ownership.

St Lucia real estate investment costs and fees under the citizenship program

In addition to the cost of purchasing a property, the program participant pays for state fees, bank transfers, postal delivery, and legal support.

The investor also pays for a Due Diligence check. Due Diligence is a mandatory stage of the citizenship program.

The exact expenses for obtaining St Lucia citizenship depend on the family composition and are calculated individually.

Expenses on obtaining St Lucia citizenship through a property purchase

Expense itemCost
Administration fee$30,000 for investor

$15,000 for a spouse

$10,000 per applicant over 18 and per applicant if there are five or more people in the family

$5,000 per applicant under 18
Due Diligence7500 $ for the investor

$5,000 per another family member over 16
Processing fee$2,000 for the investor

$1,000 per another family member
Passport fee$500 per applicant
Others$100 — a bank fee for opening an account

$500 — a passport fee per participant over 16 

$250 — a fee for sending documents

Other costs for purchase and maintenance of St Lucia real estate

The total cost of a St Lucia residential property consists of the property's price and registration costs.

Registration of a property worth $600,000 will cost the new owner $33,000, including all associated costs.

Associated costs when buying St Lucia real estate

Taxes. The new owner must pay the real estate transfer tax. For the buyer, it is 2.5—10% of the property value. Specific categories of buyers, including those in the St Lucia citizenship programme, are exempt from this tax and the land licence.

Maintenance. During the entire period of ownership, the owners pay only a municipal tax of 0.25% of the housing cost. 

Maintenance and leasing can be delegated to the management company. Its services cost the owner 40—50% of the total rental income. The alternative is to hire service personnel and negotiate with contractors about service work.

Investors can buy real estate under the citizenship program. Then they get the country's passports, which give freedom of visa-free travel. Purchasing a property under the citizenship program is cheaper than outside the program.

How much can you earn renting out housing in St Lucia?

After buying St Lucia real estate, you can lease rooms in resort hotels, apartments and villas on the coast. Renting out real estate in Saint Lucia brings 2 to 5% per annum. In the high season, the yield can reach 9—10% per year.

Up to 10% per annum
Rental yields in St Lucia

Suppose an investor bought a comfortable, furnished villa with a private pier for $1 million and rented it out for a minimum of $4,000 per month. In eight months, they will receive $32,000. 

For four months of the high season, the owner found a tenant for $8,000 and received another $32,000. The average return on investment will be 6.4% per annum. 

How to sell an investment property in 5 years

A participant in the citizenship program has the right to sell St Lucia investment real estate after 5 years.

The investor can come to the country to find buyers and re-register housing. The management company or the facility developer will find the new owner. Making a transaction through a licensed program agent will save on the services of a lawyer.

When selling a home, the seller pays stamp duty. This tax is calculated at a progressive rate and depends on the home’s value. For properties valued at $300,000, the fee is 5%.

Property tax rate for St Lucia citizen

For comparison, if the seller is not a citizen of Saint Lucia, they pay a stamp duty of 10% of the price at which they sell the property.

St Lucia citizenship benefits

Investors get Caribbean passports to travel the world without visas, do international business, and open accounts in foreign banks.

140+ countries without visas. St Lucia passport allows staying 90 days in half a year in the EU countries and entering the UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong without visas.

Citizens of St Lucia can obtain a US B-1/B-2 visitor visa for 10 years. The visa allows the whole family to stay in the US for up to 180 days a year.  

Education in the UK. The children of a St Lucia citizen can study at universities in the UK on preferential terms.

Tax optimisation. St Lucia doesn't have taxes on capital gains, dividends and inheritance for individuals. Legal entities don't pay taxes on capital gains and dividends, too; they are sometimes exempt from VAT.

Frequently asked questions

Is St Lucia property a good investment?

As a Caribbean island, St Lucia has a developed tourism field. Investing in high-end hotel accommodations is profitable. 

Buying real estate in St Lucia under the citizenship program is even more profitable. Cosmopolitans and their relatives get second passports, allowing them to travel without visas to more than 140 countries. Investors can resell their St Lucia properties after 5 years.

Can foreigners buy a property in Saint Lucia?

Yes, foreigners can buy Saint Lucia real estate. You must apply for an Alien Landholding Licenсe to buy a St Lucia property. You can also apply to the St Lucia Citizenship by Investment Programme and purchase pre-approved property in exchange for obtaining a St Lucia passport.

What are the best places to buy property for sale in St Lucia?

The best places to buy property in St Lucia are Rodney Bay, Marigot Bay, and Castries, the island’s capital.

Investors prefer to buy housing near beaches and attractions that are easy to rent. Apartments with one or two bedrooms, furnished villas, and hotel rooms are in demand on the island all year round. 

The closer to the coast, the more expensive housing. On average, you can earn up to 5% per year by renting out real estate.

How is buying a property in Saint Lucia?

The process of buying a St Lucia investment real estate takes place in several stages:

  1. Choice of a property that suits the investor’s goals and meets the citizenship program conditions.
  2. Collection of documents by Immigrant Invest lawyers.
  3. Conclusion of a reservation agreement with an advance payment of 10% of the property cost.
  4. Submission of an application for a passport to the CBI Unit.
  5. After the approval of the application, payment of the property cost and additional fees, registration of housing as the investor’s asset.
  6. Sending the documents for the ownership to the investor.
Can an investor register real estate on their spouse?

Under the terms of the citizenship program, Saint Lucia property must be registered in the investor’s name. They become the sole owner of a property or share the government has approved. All other family members can join the citizenship program.

How fast can I get citizenship by investing in real estate?

The term for obtaining a St Lucia passport is 3 to 4 months, independent of which investment option the investor has chosen. Real estate is one of the options for obtaining Caribbean citizenship. Other options are contributing to the state fund and purchasing bonds.

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Zlata Erlach
Caribbean Investment Program Expert
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