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21 February, 2022

What to buy instead of a villa in the Caribbean: 4 options for investment property

Investing in real estate is the most popular way to simultaneously receive income, a liquid asset, and even a residence permit or a second citizenship. The demand for real estate for investment is stable, and prices are growing at least 7% per year.

But how to understand which object will justify the investment and really bring profit instead of losses? We figured out what real estate investors should pay attention to in 2022.

Photo: Adobe Stock

Investors are more often seeking to invest in the economy of the country where you can get a second citizenship or residence permit. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of such requests has grown and continues to grow. The trend is noted by 70% of licensed agents and official representatives of citizenship and residence permit programs by investment. Immigrant Invest is no exception.

The purchase of real estate remains the most popular investment option. For example, in Portugal, 90% of “golden visa” recipients choose this option.

90% of investors
choose a purchase of real estate in order to get a residence permit in Portugal

Overall in Europe the real estate market attracted 359 billion euros of foreign direct investment in 2021, according to the CBRE consulting agency. This is 25% more than in 2020 and 8% more than in pre-crisis time in 2019.

Residential and commercial real estate objects are bought by investors at the excavation stage, and on the secondary market as well.  Someone expects to profitably resell the object in a few years, and someone wants to make income on renting out.

The liquidity of an object largely depends on the country and region in which it is located. For example, in tourist countries, the biggest part of the facilities are designed to be rented out to the vacationers. But due to the pandemic, the short-term rental market has declined by 30%, and the liquidity of properties has fallen.

Purchase of villa for your own use in the Caribbean will be justified rather non-materially. Real estate on a paradise island adds status to the owner and allows you to relax in the Caribbean for as long as you want.

But in fact, the investor will spend a couple of months in the villa at best, and the rest of the time he will only pay for the maintenance of the object. It is almost impossible to rent an elite villa on islands with a poor population. And it's easier to relax in a good hotel, the quantity of which is enough in the region.

It is possible to obtain a residence permit or citizenship by investing in real estate in Portugal, Turkey, Malta and the Caribbean. These are the most popular destinations among  the clients of Immigrant Invest.

Commercial property in Lisbon and Porto, residential property in Cascais and the Algarve

These two types of real estate are most in demand among investors. Housing on the island of Madeira is also gaining popularity. The capital of the island, the city of Funchal, was included in the top five places to buy a country house according to the Australian portal Compare The Market.

In Portugal, property prices are steadily rising. According to Eurostat, the cost of housing in the country has increased by 50% over the past ten years. In 2021, Portugal ranked 12th in the EU in terms of price dynamics.

If you purchase an object worth starting from €280,000, you can get a temporary residence permit and free entry into the Schengen area.

Examples of investment property in Portugal

Residence permit in Portugal for investment: an example of commercial real estate in Lisbon

145 m² shop space in the center of Lisbon. It was leased to Xiaomi for six years, with an annual rental yield of 4.4%. The price of the premises is €3,800,000

Residence permit in Portugal for investment: an example of commercial real estate in Porto

Student apartments in a new project in Porto city. Price — from €175,000

Residence permit in Portugal for investment: an example of real estate in Cascais

Apartments in a five-star resort complex managed by Sheraton in Cascais. Price —  from  €600,000

Residence permit in Portugal for investment: an example of real estate in Funchal

Apartments in a new residential complex near the beach in Funchal, Madeira island. Apartment with two bedrooms on the second floor costs €580,000

New elite real estate

Apartments in luxury houses located close to the sea or in the center of large cities are actively bought by investors in Turkey. In 2021, the price per square meter of such housing increased by 43.5%, according to the Global House Price Index.

Real estate sales to foreign investors also increased by 43.5% in 2021 compared to 2020. Most often, foreigners purchased property in Istanbul, Antalya and Ankara. The data is provided by the Turkish Institute of Statistics - Türkiye İstatistik Kurumu Başkanlığ, TÜİK.

If the value of the property exceeds $250,000, the buyer can obtain Turkish citizenship.

Examples of investment property in Turkey

Turkish Citizenship by purchase of property: an example of a villa

Two-level villa with its own pool in Belek city. Price — $350,000

Turkish Citizenship by purchase of property: an example of apartments

“Smart Home system” apartments in a complex located on the first coastline level in Antalya. Price — from $350,000

Turkish Citizenship by purchase of property: an example of a villa

Modern villa of 250 m² with a private pool in Belek city. Price — $400,000

Apartments in SDA-complexes in Malta

Special Designated Areas, or SDA, — are special developed areas with premium residential complexes. They are located on the first or second coastline and combine the convenience of urban and resort life – and are sold in less than a year at the project and excavation stage, because their cost increases by 15-20% per year.

When buying an apartment in the SDA, you can get a permanent residence permit under the Malta Permanent Residence Program or apply for citizenship. To obtain permanent residence, you need to invest from €300,000, to apply for citizenship — from €700,000.

Examples of investment properties in Malta

Permanent residence in Malta by investment: real estate in the SDA complex

Apartments in SDA-complex in Sliema cost from €740,000. The apartments offer sea and garden views. There is a swimming pool and a gym for the residents of the complex

Permanent residence in Malta for the purchase of real estate: apartments in the SDA complex

View apartment of 222 m² with private pool in SDA-complex in Saint-Julians. Price — €740,000

Citizenship of Malta for the purchase of real estate: apartments in the SDA complex

Apartments in the SDA-complex on the first coastline in Kalkar. Price — from  €350,000

Shares in five-star hotels in the Caribbean

The most profitable option for investing in real estate in the Caribbean is to buy shares in five-star hotels and resorts construction projects. If the developer is a large international hotel holding or a corporation with a high level of trustworthiness, the risk of losing investment is minimal.

The cost of such objects is growing by 5-7% per year. As a co-owner of the project, the investor receives additional rental income from the moment the project is put into operation.

Five Caribbean countries issue second passports to the entire investor's family at once when buying a share in the amount of $200,000 or more. Caribbean citizenship allows visa-free visits to the Schengen countries and the UK, as well as obtaining a tourist visa to the United States for 10 years.

Examples of investment real estate in the Caribbean

Citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis by investment in real estate: an example of a project

Hotel complex in Saint-Kitts and Nevis invites investors to buy a share in a condominium: ¼ of a 60 m² apartment costs $200,000

Citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda by investment in real estate: an example of a project

Share in a townhouse on the territory of the resort complex of the island of Antiguа. Price of a share — $200,000

Dominica citizenship by investment in real estate: an example of a project

Share in a five-star hotel managed by Kempinski on Dominica island. Price of a share — $220,000

Grenada citizenship by real estate investment: an example of a project

Share in a resort complex on the coast of the island of Grenada. Price of a share  — $220,000

Immigrant Invest has its own real estate department, which cooperates directly with European and Caribbean developers. We check the legal purity of the objects and fully accompany the conclusion of a transaction for the purchase of real estate. If an investor is interested in Caribbean real estate, we only offer properties approved by the government of a country with a citizenship program. In this case, the risks for the investor are minimal: the states carefully check the developers and monitor the progress of the construction of approved projects.

Natalia Oganesyan - Immigrant Invest
Natalia Оganesyan,
the Real Estate Chief Operations Officer at Immigrant Invest, a RICS certified specialist

The most profitable and popular types of investment property by country

Status, countryWhich real estate to buyHow much to invest
Residence permit in PortugalCommercial property in Lisbon and Porto
Residential property in Cascais, Algarve and Madeira
Turkish citizenshipElite residential property$250,000+
Permanent residence in MaltaApartments in SDA-complexes€300,000+ 
Maltese citizenshipApartments in SDA-complexes€700,000+
Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship Shares in projects of five-star hotels and resort complexes$200,000+ 
Antigua and Barbuda citizenshipShares in projects of five-star hotels and resort complexes$200,000+ 
Dominica citizenshipShares in projects of five-star hotels and resort complexes$200,000+ 
Grenada citizenshipShares in projects of five-star hotels and resort complexes$220,000+ 

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent who helps investors obtain a second residence permit or citizenship. If you want to buy property in one of the presented countries, feel free to contact our immigration program experts for more information.

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What to buy instead of a villa in the Caribbean: 4 options for investment property