Buying in The Bahamas

h1>Buying In The Bahamas!

International Buyers Guide for persons interested in buying and owning in The Bahamas:

Bahamas Property Ownership Policy

Non-Bahamians who don’t own property in the Bahamas and who are buying less than two acres for single family use need only to register their investment with the government. The same principle applies to non-Bahamians buying improved property under 2 acres which is developed as a single family residential property.

Second homeowners in the Bahamas may apply to the Immigration director for an annual home owner’s resident card. If the director’s satisfied that the person is of good character, can support himself and his dependents and so on, he’ll issue a card for a fee.

See The International Persons Landholding Act

If a Bahamas property purchase is for other than single family use or is over 2 acres in size, then a GOVERNMENT permit is required.

Government Taxes on Property Conveyances

  • 2.5 % government stamp duty on all real estate transactions valued under $100,000
  • A total tax of 10% on all real estate transactions valued at $100,000 and over. This includes the 2.5 % government stamp duty.
  • VAT registrants will be able to claim as a credit or net off the 7.5 % VAT on commercialproperty sales valued at over $100,000

Subject to change at any time, the stamp duty is generally shared equally between buyer and seller – unless otherwise agreed upon.

This is intended as a guide only. Please consult your lawyer if you are interested in buying Bahamas real estate.

Real Property Tax Rates

The first $250,000 on owner occupied residential property is tax exempt.

On the value of owner/occupied properties between $250,000 and $500,000, the rate is 3/4 of one percent.

On the portion over $500,000, the tax rate is 1% of the market value of the property.

As of 2013, there is a ceiling of $50,000 on an owner occupied home

For unimproved Bahamas property other than that exempt under the provisions of the Real Property Tax Act (section 39):

  • Upon that part of the market value that does not exceed $7,000 a fee of $100.00
  • Upon that part of the market value which exceeds $7,000, a tax rate of 1.5% per annum of the market value of the Bahamas property.

For commercial property:

  • Upon that part of the market value that does not exceed $500,000 a tax at the rate of 1% per annum of the market value;
  • Upon that part of the market value in excess of $500,000 a tax at the rate of 2% of the market value of the Bahamas property.


Bahamas property owned by Bahamians and situated in the Family Islands is exempt from a property duty. Bahamas property approved as commercial farm land (by the Ministers of Agriculture, Trade and Industry and Finance) is eligible for property tax exemptions.

Also exempt from property tax:

  • Unimproved Bahamas property owned by Bahamians (in New Providence or the Family Islands), meaning property without physical additions or alterations, or any works benefiting the land which have not increased the market value thereof by $5,000 or more;
  • Bahamas property used exclusively for charitable or public service from which no profit is derived.
  • All property located in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

A 7.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged on real estate services, including appraisals, legal work, commissions and insurance.

Laws and policies are subject to change.

Owner Occupied Home Rentals

Proprietors of owner-occupied rental homes of one or more bedrooms are required to register if they intend to rent their premises to visitors.

What is an owner-occupied rental home? It is a home that the owner uses exclusively as a dwelling house on a permanent or seasonal basis.

Licenses to rent are available through the local Family Island Administrator’s Office, or the Hotel Licensing Department of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation in Nassau, Bahamas.

For more information and to download forms, visit tourism today

Residency & Visas

Application for Permanent Residency

Major international investors and owners of residences valued at $1.5 million or more receive speedy consideration for permanent residency permits.

Applicants must be of good character, show evidence of financial support and commit in writing they wish to live permanently in the Bahamas. Wives and dependent children (under 18 years) usually resident in a household may be endorsed on the certificate when the original application is made.


Visas are not required of citizens of the USA, United Kingdom, or Canada provided their stay does not exceed 3 weeks and that they have a return ticket leaving the Bahamas. Visas are not required of US citizens if stays are less than 8 months. Bahamas Immigration Department permits are needed to reside, work or engage in any business.


The information contained on this page is subject to change. This information is meant to be used only as a guide and anyone entering into any type of real estate transaction, including but not limited to a lease, rental or sale, should have legal representation. is not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on this page.