The Caribbean island of St. Lucia is beautiful, unspoiled and undeveloped. Encouraged by the government, tourism is steadily increasing year by year. This growing popularity has led to several new luxury holiday developments being started within the strict environmentally protective planning laws.
The island is keen to encourage tourism yet retain its natural heritage from over development. To make this, possible the government has introduced almost 30 laws covering planning restrictions on new construction and development. At the same time the budget allocation to tourism has been increasing by 4.7% year on year since 2003.
While many visitors arrive by sea in private yachts, the majority arrives from the USA or UK by air. New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Charlotte and Miami provide easy access from the USA while three major airlines fly directly from the UK with a journey time of 8 hours. Many visitors are showing a keen interest in the local property market.
The government and the economy is stable and the island is a safe haven for tourists as it enjoys one of the lowest general crime rates in the Caribbean. Recently the World Bank rated St Lucia as one of the top 30 countries in the world to invest in, listing it before Barbados and Antigua.
In addition to the island’s stable government and economy, there are very favourable tax concessions for those interested in the property market. Buyers from overseas enjoy benefits that include no Rental Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax or Repatriation Tax. Property prices are currently 60% lower on St Lucia than neighboring Barbados even though it has many of the same advantages and they have increased by around 40% per annum over recent years. They are expected to continue to rise for the next 5 years.
This beautiful and tranquil island has seen a yearly increase in the number of tourists. This growing popularity of this environmentally aware island as a holiday destination means that there is excellent rental potential for properties where the average hotel occupancy rate is nearly 70%. Everything indicates that the St. Lucia property market is a sound investment.