At Home in Saint Lucia
Named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse, Saint Lucia is the sort of Caribbean Island that people dream about. It is small, a lush green gem, but it is still comparatively unknown. Situated in the Windward Islands, with the Atlantic Ocean on its eastern shore, and the beaches of the western side dipped into the calm Caribbean Sea, Saint Lucia’s beauty seems more appropriate for an island in the South Pacific. Its two dramatic coastal peaks, called the Pitons, soar nearly 2,000 feet from sea level, sheltering fabulous virtually untouched rain forests with innumerable kinds of wild orchids, giant ferns and birds of paradise.
St. Lucia Real Estate, Economy and Infrastructure
Recent changes in EU import preferences have shifted the economic focus from bananas and made diversification important for the Caribbean Island of Saint Lucia. It has been attracting foreign business and investment, in offshore banking and tourism. The manufacturing sector is by far the most diverse in the Caribbean, and government efforts are continuing to revitalize the banana industry.
Banana is the leading crop and there is some export-oriented production of flowers and foliage plants. The manufacturing sector includes paper products, beverage production, food processing, clothing, and electronic component assembly. The as- yet-small offshore financial sector has the potential to attract international business. There are also government initiatives directed at developing the informatics sector. Economic development is well supported by the strategic infrastructure already in place like the ports at Castries and Vieux Fort with container trans-shipment facilities especially geared to banana exports.
Tourism, a mainstay of St Lucia's economy, is second only to bananas, and is expected to increase in importance, as the banana market becomes more and more competitive. St. Lucia is also a very popular location for weddings and this adds to the tourism trade.
All the sectors of the local economy have benefited hugely from infrastructure improvements with new roads, communications, water supply, and port facilities. This, along with a stable political environment, as well as an educated work force, attracts foreign investment.
People looking for Caribbean real estate, such as a holiday home or a retirement home on Saint Lucia can choose from a range of luxury villas, country homes, condominiums and apartments. Single family homes and villas start at around $400,000 US, depending on location.
For non-nationals who wish to purchase St. Lucia real estate, the property must be identified and an application for an Aliens’ Land Holding License must be made. This can be done by a lawyer. A police clearance from the buyer’s country, banker’s references and a character references are needed to obtain St. Lucia real estate. A non-refundable fee of EC $200 is necessary for the application process and a further Alien Land Holding Tax, upon granting of the application. The entire process takes from 3 to 4 months to complete.
The Caribbean Island of St. Lucia is becoming an increasingly popular tourist and Caribbean real estate investment destination. Whether you’re coming for the spectacular snorkeling or diving, the pristine rainforest or simply to relax and settle down, St. Lucia will never disappoint you!