Gray Stuart – ST KITTS AND NEVIS
From our offices in Asia and Europe we are able to help International property buyers and Investors in many ways. Some of services include the following.
Buying the Best Property in the St Kitts and Nevis
Very simply we offer our International clients the best of both worlds in that we have proven experienced local knowledge on the ground as well as international expertise from having made many different transactions throughout the world. This means you can buy safely and securely in St Kitts and Nevis with Gray Stuart
2nd Passport through Citizenship by Investment
St Kitts and Nevis offers one of the most economic 2nd passport programs in the world today where by donation to the government or by investment in real estate you can acquire a second passport within 3 months that allows you visa free travel to UK, EU and over 150 other countries throughout the world. Our team of professional advisors would be happy to take you through the whole process and see which program is right for you.
If you’re an investor and already own assets in St Kitts and Nevis or just acquiring them then our team of professionals can offer you the complete asset management services including property management and project management.
These are just a sample of the key services that Gray Stuart Dominica provides and should you need any further information do not hesitate to contact us directly.
Asia +63 977 829 1489
EU +44 20 7558 8355
Why Invest in St Kitts and Nevis Property?
Last updated January 2018
St Kitts and Nevis is attracting and increasing number of overseas property investors as the government makes a strategic decision to go for the high end of the market.
What has helped is an accelerated application process for St. Kitts & Nevis’ Citizenship-by-Investment Program (CIP), introduced in October 2016. Foreigners can now get citizenship applications processed in just 60 days, down from about 3 to 4 months. Then from January 1, 2017, the CIP became more affordable for families.
In St Kitts, the pace of real estate developments has increased rapidly, spurred by the arrival of the Marriott Hotel in Frigate Bay, and an increased number of air flights into the islands. “Since the Marriott With these new developments, the property market is expected to thrive in coming years, according to local real estate experts.
In 2016, tourist arrivals increased 3.7% to 1,072,877 people, according to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). Visitor arrivals averaged 655,000 people per year from 2008 to 2014, up from an average of 318,000 from 2000 to 2007. Most stay-over visitors come from the US, the UK, Canada, and other Caribbean nations.
The Eastern Caribbean dollar, the official currency of St. Kitts and Nevis, is pegged to the US dollar, at XC$2.7 to US$1. This offers long-term financial security. There is no capital gains tax or tax on personal income.
Investment properties located in Frigate Bay, Half Moon Bay and the South East Peninsula, the upscale neighborhoods of St. Kitts, cost less now than last year, but their rental income remains stable. Last year, condos and houses cost an average of US$690,000 and are rented at an average of US$2,180, earning a poor rental yield of 4.07%.
The investment climate now is better with the price of condos and houses dropping to an average of US$575,000, but the monthly rental income remains the same, and rental yields have risen to 5.11%.
In Nevis, house prices remain stable. Prices per square metre have fallen very slightly, from US$3,700 per sq. m last year to US$3,500 this year.
ST KITTS AND NEVIS ECONOMY DATA
The Federation of St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis (pop 60,000, spread over 100 square miles) is an autonomous British colony.
An amicable relationship between the two islands has fostered political stability over the past decades.
St. Kitts and Nevis offers it all, beaches, tropical forests and fantastic scenery, in a way that no other Caribbean islands quite do. Economic progress led to significant improvements in living standards with a GDP per capita of US$14,618 in 2015.
In June 2011, IMF named St. Kitts and Nevis as the country with the second highest gross national debt in the world at XC$ 3 billion or at around 200% of its GDP, only below Japan. The IMF and the government agreed to a SDR 52.3 million (about US$84 million) Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) over 36 months in July 2011, conditional on a comprehensive debt restructuring.
An IMF delegation reported in October 2012 that St. Kitts and Nevis had met all the performance criteria set by the IMF, and would register a budget surplus of around 1.7% of GDP in 2013.
In 2016, the economy grew by a modest 3.5%, after GDP growth of 5% in 2015 and 6.1% in 2014, and 6.2% in 2013. This was a sharp turnaround from prolonged contractions of 0.9% in 2012, 1.9% in 2011, 3.8% in 2010 and 3.7% in 2009, thanks to foreign investments.
Before experiencing a recession in 2009, St. Kitts and Nevis’ economic growth rate averaged 4.2% during the period 1993 to 2008.
The good news is Economic growth is expected at 3.5% this year and at 3.4% in 2018, according to the IMF however the very bad news for property investors is the buying and selling taxes of up to 37% on a property transaction. Sellers pay stamp duty, which is 18.5% for properties the South East Peninsula, 14% in Special Development Areas, 5% for condominiums, and 12% for other properties. The seller also pays the real estate agent’s commission, at approximately 6%. Buyers pay for an Alien Land-Holding License at 10% of the property’s value, and legal fees (1% – 2.5%).
So as you can see buying property in St Kitts and Nevis is very much a lifestyle choice rather than an investor’s choice.
The Buying Process in ST Kitts and Nevis
In reality if you are going to buy in St Kitts then in most cases it makes sense to do so by the Citizenship Investment Program where you also get dual citizenship even if you’re a UK or EU Citizen the overall benefits can be much better overall.
Foreign ownership of property is allowed in St. Kitts and Nevis.
There are two ways of acquiring property:
To obtain an Alien Land-holding License, one must hire a lawyer for assistance. Once the License is granted and a property has been chosen, and agreement of sale is drawn up by the seller and signed by both parties. The buyer will be required to pay a deposit of 10% to 15% of the sale price to reserve the property.
Finalizing the sale usually takes two to four months. This entails due diligence, the transfer of deed, and payment of government duties.
Recently, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis passed newly amended bills. This includes the Amended Stamp Bill, which postulates that the previous Stamp Duty of 12% being paid by the seller for freehold property will be replaced by a 6% Stamp Duty, paid by the buyer.
Stamp Duty is at 5% for condominiums, 14% in Special Development Areas, and 18.5% for the South East Peninsula. For freehold property, or for property whose seller is the Government, Stamp Duty is at 6% payable by the buyer.
The alternative route is to acquire an Economic Citizenship. This does not require the buyer to change citizenship status in his/her home country; dual citizenship is allowed.
An Economic Citizenship permits the buyer to hold a passport issued by St. Kitts and Nevis. Full residency and work permit are also granted. The successful applicant will not be taxed on foreign income, capital gains, gift, wealth, and inheritance tax.
We would suggest that obtaining citizenship if you’re intending to buy a villa or make a large investment in the island is the much better option.
St Kitts and Nevis Location Guide
Saint Kitts and Nevis is a dual-island nation situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. It’s known for cloud-shrouded mountains and beaches. Many of its former sugar plantations are now inns or atmospheric ruins. The larger of the 2 islands, Saint Kitts, is dominated by the dormant Mount Liamuiga volcano, home to a Crater Lake, green vervet monkeys and rainforest crisscrossed with hiking trails.
The Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis (St. Kitts) is a twin-island nation located in the British West Indies. It is situated about 1,300 miles southeast of Miami, Florida and is approximately 50-70 miles from St. Barts, St. Maarten and Anguilla. This English speaking country obtained independence from the UK in 1983 but remains a member of the British Commonwealth. St. Kitts has a population of c.50,000 and boasts a 95% literacy rate. This island has a land area of c.65 sq. mi, being approximately c.18 mi long and on average c.5.0 mi wide. The GDP of St. Kitts is c.US$ 550 million and the currency, the East Caribbean Dollar, maintains a fixed exchange rate of 2.7 to the US Dollar. St. Kitts enjoys a politically stable and democratic government. St. Kitts allows for individuals to acquire citizenship through a government sponsored investment program