St. Lucia blends exotic beauty with excellent investment potential
For Canadians seeking their own piece of a tropical paradise, St. Lucia could be the ideal place for a winter vacation home or investment property.
Exotically beautiful, St. Lucia is only 43 kilometres long and 22 kilometres wide, located in the eastern Caribbean between Martinque and St. Vincent. The principal language is English, but a French-based patois is widely spoken. Direct flights are available from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.
The island boasts white sand beaches, excellent snorkelling and diving, a lush rainforest, mountains and the Pitons, which are St. Lucia’s most famous landmarks. The two, steep-sided spires are the eroded remnants of large masses of lava that formed 250,000 years ago on the side of a volcano that later collapsed.
“For Canadians, as well as the island’s staggering beauty and all it has to offer, the attraction will be the peace and tranquility, the warmth of the local people and wide range of activities,” says Penny Strawson, property director for Sugar Beach Residences, set within 180-acre five star resort on the southwest coast, set within the Val des Pitons UNESCO World Heritage Site in Soufriere. Soufriere is the oldest town in St. Lucia, established by the French in 1746.
“St. Lucia is generally seen as a great place to invest,” says Ms. Strawson. “It was rated by the World Bank as one of the top 30 countries in the world to invest in property and was the only Caribbean island to be mentioned.”
Ms. Strawson says other pluses include a stable government, strong legal system with many British-trained lawyers and the presence of Canadian banks such as Scotiabank and CIBC.
Canadians wishing to buy property on the island require an Alien’s Landholding License (ALHL) and a local lawyer must register the license. It is a permanent license, which does not require renewal and the cost for properties under one acre is approximately $2,000 USD. The license is granted for a specific property or plot of land and is not transferable.
Buyers will have to provide passport and citizenship details, profession or employment status, a bank reference, a police check and four passport sized colour photographs, one to be certified by a notary and fingerprints. Legal fees are generally 3 to 5 per cent.
Sugar Beach Residences are on the site of an 18th century plantation and the remains of some of the original structures and machinery have been incorporated into the development plan for the 180-acre site.
Photo by Andrew Hendry
The development will include 42 three to six-bedroom luxury residences steps from the water’s edge, designed by renowned Caribbean architect Lane Pettigrew Associates. Due its fragile rainforest location, site will be developed with sustainability and conservation as fundamental criteria.
Prices range from $2.5 million to $9 million USD. Each residence will have landscaped gardens, spacious terraces, an infinity pool and shaded dining and living areas.
Owners will have full access to the services and facilities provided by Viceroy Hotels and Resorts, a Los Angeles-based hotel group. The five-star resort has two white sand beaches, a reverse infinity edge pool, a Rainforest Spa, three gourmet restaurants, four bars, scuba dive centre, kids club, games room and a beach club. Butlers provide service around the clock.
For information, click on www.sugarbeachresidences.com