At Home in Jamaica
Jamaica, with its rambunctious culture of Rastafarianism and reggae, its lush emerald rain forests, its waterfalls that descend into crystal clear streams, its rivers, mountains, white sandy beaches, its art, and cuisine, is one of the most spectacular and culturally rich Caribbean islands. Jamaica is also a poor Caribbean island that almost entirely depends on tourism for its economy.
So, whenever Jamaica makes the headlines, it is either described as a great tourist destination or a place with a few challenges. However, the legendary culture of the Caribbean Island of Jamaica is seen in the dry wit of the young locals who pilot tourists around the island, and is heard in its reggae music. The raw beauty and vivacious culture of Jamaica are still its greatest assets, and there is enough optimism and camaraderie among the people to make you overlook the hassles.
Jamaica Real Estate, Economy and Infrastructure
The Jamaican economy has undergone changes since 1945, when the island was entirely dependent on agricultural products like bananas, cocoa, sugar, and coffee. Since then, the island has become one of the world’s largest bauxite producers, even though this industry had suffered greatly in the 1980’s from low world prices and high local costs. Jamaica has also become a major tourist destination for North Americans. Since 1983, the tourism industry has been Jamaica’s foremost foreign exchange earner. The official currency of Jamaica is the Jamaican Dollar (J$). (J$1 = US$0.01766).
Jamaica, once termed ‘The Pearl of the British Antilles Empire’, has now become a popular tourist and Caribbean real estate destination. The most visited island in the Caribbean, it is now one of the most sought after destinations for returning residents and tourists. Jamaica has recently revised its foreign investor and real estate laws. Presently, both locals as well as foreigners can buy or sell Jamaica real estate and take their profits to any part of the world. Both residents as well as non-residents can receive about 70% equity financing from most local banks to purchase real estate on the island.
The hottest areas in Jamaica are the parishes of St. Ann, as well as the coastal area of St. Mary. The reason is that they are well developed and also happen to be the fastest growing areas on the island. Being middle class residential areas, they are clean, quiet, have attractions like the Dunns River, and are very close to the beach. Crime here is practically nonexistent and these areas are less than half an hour away from Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.
From country estates to beachfront villas to family homes to condominiums or apartment hotels, and even historic plantations, the Jamaica real estate market is booming. For instance, a two-bedroom apartment in Kingston would cost you about $185,000, while a condo in St. Mary would start at roughly $22,000 USD. For the more budget conscious Caribbean real estate buyer, there are studio apartments that cost about $33,000 USD. On the other hand, the starting price of a lot would be $50,000 USD.
To experience a tiny slice of paradise, a visit to the Caribbean Island of Jamaica is well worth the trip!