Why Invest in Belize?
While Belize began as nothing more than a rural country by the Caribbean, it has since evolved and matured into one of the most vivacious centers for tourism and investment within all of Central America.
The Role of Tourism
Strong tourism numbers mean that more people are coming to visit with money they set aside for their vacation. 2016 saw a 44% spike in overnight visitors when compared to figures from 2017 and 2018 which showed an even greater number, indicative of a 10% shift. A lot of this growth is thanks to the four biggest American airlines, and the two leading Canadian airlines, featuring direct flights to Belize. The cruise industry has also had some role in these numbers, as more liners come to port.
Foreigners are completely exempt from capital gains taxes and are free to buy, sell or rent properties. Speaking of properties, Belize only charges a 1.5% property tax on undeveloped land, ensuring that property investment is a reliable way to protect any investment in the real estate market.
On the Importance of English
Owing to its prior status as the country “British Honduras,” Belize is the only Central American country to feature English as its official language. This means that you will not need to hire a translator or hope your smartphone’s text-translation app works. While you are relieved of having to pick up another language, you can freely communicate with Belizeans, grasp the importance of vital documents and fully comprehend any contract you sign. Furthermore, Belize’s judicial system is based on British law, meaning property rights are held in high regard regardless of whether the party is a foreigner or a local.
Qualified Retirement Program (QRP)
QRP is a governmental program that allows certain individuals, of a minimum age of 45, and their families to gain a foothold in the country while the individual must only remain within the country for 30 days a year. Furthermore, QRP allows duty-free importation of all personal goods, even extending to vehicles.
Great Return on Investment (ROI)
Tourism is largely responsible for Belize’s real estate boom. Many look to turn tidy profits by buying up premium locales and renting them out as accommodations for the growing throngs of tourists. Belize’s government has a strong policy of natural conservation, meaning over half of the land is set aside as protected nature reserves, refuges or parks. This policy mitigates issues of overdevelopment or urban sprawl.
Doing the Math is Simple
When discerning a property’s market value, converting from Belizean dollars to American ones is a simple matter of division; one American dollar is worth two Belizean dollars.
Written by Larry Waight