Can I buy property in Jamaica as a Foreigner? Yes you can but…
If you want to buy property in Jamaica, in the West Indies, you better be careful. Sure, the island is a gem, the real estate offer is tempting, but there are many stumbling blocks on the way to own a home in Jamaica.
Lots of foreigners and particularly tourists are coming to the beautiful Caribbean island. Many of them would love to buy a house. Either as a holiday home or to settle in the Caribbean after retirement. Therefore, we have been asked the same question many times “Can I as a foreigner buy property in Jamaica?” that we’ve thought to write this article. We guide you through the basics and explain you in detail, how foreigners can buy real estate in Jamaica.
Facts & Figures about the Caribbean island of Jamaica
The Caribbean island country of Jamaica is the fourth biggest in the West Indies. Covering a region of 4,240 sq mi with a population of 2,898,677 (2018). The capital city of Kingston houses a populace of around 937,700. Various expats live and work here in various ventures going from the travel industry to manufacturing. It is also very simple to start a business in Jamaica. A factor which has prompted numerous foreigners landing at its shores throughout the years.
Overview of the Jamaican Real Estate Market
The Jamaican real estate market is very strong and continuously growing. Foreign investors dominate the high-end market. Jamaicans and especially young first-time buyers demanding cheap properties. The growth in tourism is pushing the real estate market up and up.
Vacation homes become more and more popular. The hotspots are located in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Negril, and Port Antonio. The prices of vacation homes vary from US$ 250,000 to US$ 10 million. According to a market study, Jamaican citizens rather buy properties in the price range between J$ 20 million to J$ 25 million. Locals prefer to buy in the capital city of Kingston, while the north coast is popular among foreigners to buy a property.
How Can Foreigners Buy Property in Jamaica?
It’s in fact very easy for foreigners to buy real estate in Jamaica. The market is open to anyone. Foreigners are qualified to purchase property in Jamaica with no confinements. The procedure starts when the purchaser makes an offer to buy real estate. All you need to buy property is a TRN (Taxpayer Registration Number) and a lot of money of course. The reason why you need a TRN is that you will have to pay an annual property tax.
How Much do I Pay for Property Taxes in Jamaica?
According to TAJ (Tax Administration Jamaica) and since April 1st, 2019, all properties with an unimproved value up to J$ 100,000 will be charged a flat rate of J$ 1,000 (US$ 7.35) per annum. Properties with values exceeding J$100,000 up to J$ 1 million will attract an additional 1.5 % for every additional dollar above J$ 100,000. Properties with values exceeding J$ 1 million will attract an additional 2.0 % for every additional dollar. Compared to other countries, the Jamaican property tax is in fact very low.
How Do I get a TRN Number if I live Overseas?
Everyone can apply for a TRN number. The process to get a TRN is very simple. Visit the TAJ website, download the form to apply for TRN as an Oversea Individual, fill it out and send it back. Jamaica Tax Administration made it easy for you.
How Can Foreigners Find Real Estate to Buy in Jamaica?
Finding real estate in Jamaica is not a big deal. While Jamaicans usually buy from someone they know, foreigners usually stick on a Jamaican real estate agent. Commissions are high and up to 5 % of the total price. Hence, you should always watch out for less expensive offers. A good way to find reasonably priced real estate in Jamaica is to take a look at Jamaican real estate property ads.
How to Buy Property in Jamaica as a Foreigner?
As mentioned before, the procedure starts when the purchaser places an offer. When the seller acknowledges it, a land study is done. A title seek is likewise done to check if some other cases exist or if there are clashing interests engaged with the property. After clearing this progression, the purchaser can hold up a provision that limits the enrollment of some other enthusiasm against the specific property, until the exchange procedure has been finished.
Land titles in Jamaica fall under two classifications. Unregistered properties are given a custom-based law title, which can likewise be moved up to an enlisted title. Enlisted titles are legitimate and official. Purchasers are required to get the first title archive of the property from the Office of Land and Titles. This should be possible with the help of a legal advisor.
A deal understanding is then arranged, generally by the vender’s legal counselor, and is marked by purchaser and merchant within the sight of a legal advisor. The consented to arrangement makes the exchange official and authoritative. The purchaser should likewise make a reservation payment, identical to 10 % of the selling price.
How Much are Closing Costs for Buying a House?
Closing costs to finalize a real estate deale are approximately 4.5 % of the total purchasing price. This includes a sales agreement, stamp duty, and registration. If you need a lawyer, then you have to add another 3 % for attorney’s fee. An endorsement from the Bank of Jamaica is essential. Together with a copy of your Passport, you need to prove where your money is coming from. The Exchange Control Department of the Bank of Jamaica must give assent before any buy understandings can be directed.
The whole process, including the application at the Office of the Registrar of Titles, can take up to one month.
The deal is esteemed finished once the exchange of the title happens. On the off chance that you as the purchaser want to take a mortgage, the procedure needs another 3 to 12 months. The whole process of enrolling a property does only take 40 days.
It is really easy to buy property as a foreigner in Jamaica. If you’re aware of the rules & regulations as well as of the Jamaican culture you’re good to go.
The only concern that foreigners have to buy property in Jamaica have is to find trustworthy people who accompany you in this process. If you prefer to pay a fee of 5 %, then you can find hundreds of licensed Real Estate Agents. As most people don’t like to waste money you can always contact us to find a beautiful property in Jamaica.
Do you have further questions? Can we improve this article? Something incorrectly? Tell us by leaving a comment below!