February 21, 2022
Reading Time: 5 min

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.

Vladlena Baranova
Vladlena Baranova

Lawyer, AML Compliance officer, certified CAMS specialist

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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 $400,000 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.

Elena Ruda

Elena Ruda,

Chief Development Officer in Immigrant Invest, lawyer

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.

The most profitable and popular types of investment property by country

Status, country

Which real estate to buy

How much to invest

Commercial property in Lisbon and Porto
Residential property in Cascais, Algarve and Madeira


Elite residential property


Apartments in SDA-complexes


Apartments in SDA-complexes


Shares in projects of five-star hotels and resort complexes


Shares in projects of five-star hotels and resort complexes


Shares in projects of five-star hotels and resort complexes


Shares in projects of five-star hotels and resort complexes


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.