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Considering buying a nice property in Antigua? You're not alone!
Antigua's Caribbean charm and turquoise waters inspire many to dream of owning a luxurious beachfront villa or a quaint cottage on this stunning island.
Is it financially viable, though? Are property prices increasing in Antigua? Is it expensive? Is it more profitable to buy in the city center or beachside? Is there any hidden tax? Where can you get a yield above 7%?
We have all the answers you need.
At TheLatinvestor, we know this market like the back of our hand. As a matter of fact, we have condensed all our findings in a pack. Get it now.
In the lines below, we will share some of this knowledge.
How is the real estate market in Antigua?
How is the property market faring? Let's gather and interpret the data to know for sure.
Types of properties
In Antigua, there are various types of properties available for sale, catering to different preferences and needs.
These include charming beachfront villas boasting stunning ocean views, cozy cottages nestled amidst lush greenery, modern condos with convenient amenities, spacious family homes in peaceful neighborhoods, and plots of land for those looking to build their dream property from scratch.
Whether you're seeking a serene escape, a luxurious retreat, or a place to call home, Antigua offers a diverse range of properties to choose from.
Buying or renting?
(If you're keeping it for yourself and not renting it)
Whether you've already made Antigua your home or are contemplating it for the future, you might be wondering about the advantages of buying a property versus renting in this Caribbean gem.
Without a doubt, you should buy if you want to acquire equity and have a more secure financial future.
Actually, decisions become clearer with the property price-to-rent ratio in mind. It's like a measure of how much rental income you'll need to afford the property at its current value.
According to Numbeo, the property price-to-rent ratio in Antigua is around 13.18, which is quite low.
Simply put, on average, you could buy a property with just 13 years' worth of rental payments. Worth buying.
Property prices in Antigua
On average, according to the last data from Bank of Guatemala, purchasing a property in Antigua would cost you around $1,680 per square meter.
Of course, there are notable differences. A beachfront property in Antigua may have a different price per square meter than a hillside villa. We actually give you a more detailed breakdown in our pack for buying property in Antigua and in Guatemala.
To give you a sense of scale, it is 11 times less (yes, you read it correctly) than the property prices in the center of New York.
Also, housing prices in Antigua are way cheaper (-48%) than in Granada.
First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that Guatemala is, today, a relatively stable country. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 77.5.
Remember this when thinking about the viability of buying a property in Antigua.
Besides that, if we look at the IMF's GDP forecasts, Guatemala's economy is expected to soar by 16% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 3.2%.
If you want to invest in real estate in Antigua it's a good thing because an expanding economy usually means people earn more, so they can buy property for themselves or as an investment, causing property demand (and then prices) to increase.
Also, in Guatemala, the average GDP per capita has changed by 8.2% over the last 5 years. It's a solid number.
This is a strong positive signal: housing prices in Antigua might become more expensive in 2024 and later on.
Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in Guatemala right now.
Buying property in Antigua
Buying real estate in Antigua can be difficult due to the lack of reliable and up-to-date information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in Antigua and in Guatemala.
In our pack, we've laid out all the steps involved in the buying process, including the required documents, taxes to be paid, and guidance on finding properties.
Now, we're giving you a more straightforward version to help you grasp the information more easily.
This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Antigua:
- Research property market and regulations in Antigua and Barbuda.
- Hire a local attorney and obtain a tax identification number (TIN).
- Sign a preliminary sales agreement and pay a deposit, using a locally accepted format.
- Conduct a property title search and due diligence, including a surveyor's report.
- Apply for an Alien Landholding License from the Antigua and Barbuda Land Board.
- Secure financing or transfer funds to a local bank for the purchase.
- Complete the sale contract, witnessed by a local notary public, and pay the balance.
- Transfer ownership through a notary by executing a deed of conveyance or transfer of title.
- Pay the stamp duty and registration fees at the Inland Revenue Department.
- Obtain official title registration at the Land Registry.
- Notify relevant authorities, such as the Central Housing and Planning Authority, of property ownership.
- Enjoy your new property in beautiful Antigua!
Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in Guatemala.
Make a profitable investment in Antigua
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Where to find a property
Explore these websites to find properties in Antigua:
- Century 21 - Offers real estate services in Guatemala, providing properties for sale and rent in various communities near Antigua.
- Properstar - Provides real estate listings in Guatemala, offering properties for sale in various locations including houses and apartments.
- realestate.com.au - Offers property listings for sale in various Guatemalan cities including Guatemala City, Mixco, Villa Nueva, and more.
- Agentiz - A real estate platform in Guatemala that offers property listings for sale and rent, specializing in residential, commercial, and vacation properties.
- RE/MAX - A real estate franchise that provides services for buying, selling, and leasing properties, including residential, commercial, and luxury properties.
Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in Guatemala.
Which properties for which budget?
As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in Antigua is $1,680. A 1-bedroom property with 60 square meters of space would cost approximately $101,000, and a 2-bedroom with 85 square meters of space would cost approximately $143,000.
Of course, the price of properties can be influenced by their qualities and the area they're in.
Top neighborhoods in Antigua will come with higher price tags. An apartment in English Harbour might be around $190,000, and a house in Jolly Harbour could cost about $290,000.
Some spots will be friendlier to your wallet. You may find an apartment in Parham for $60,000, or you might discover an apartment in Clare Hall priced at $50,000.
We give a more detailed pricing list in our full pack for buying property in Guatemala.
Risks and pitfalls
- Non-nationals require an Alien Landholding License, subject to government approval.
- Limited availability of beachfront properties due to the Queen's Chain law.
- Dealing with leasehold properties and potential complications.
- Impact of changing citizenship regulations on property ownership.
- Infrastructure challenges and access to utilities in certain areas.
- Risk of coastal erosion affecting seaside properties.
- Property disputes related to historical family ownership claims.
- Limited resale market for high-end properties, impacting potential returns.
We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.
Everything you need to know is included in our Guatemala Property Pack
Living in Antigua
Living in Antigua is a wonderful experience, with its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and stunning scenery, it is an ideal place to purchase property.
Cost of living
The cost of living in Antigua is relatively low, especially when compared to other Caribbean countries. Basic necessities, such as food and housing, are generally affordable, while luxury items and imported goods can be more expensive.
Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Antigua:
- Wadadli (local Antiguan beer): $2 for a bottle at a beachside bar.
- Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in English Harbour: $1,000/month.
- Seafood platter at a local eatery in Falmouth: $50 for two.
- 1 liter of gasoline at a local petrol station: $1.20.
- Electricity bill for an 85m² apartment using APUA (Antigua Public Utilities Authority): $120/month.
- Monthly membership at Epicurean Gym in St. John's: $80.
- Ticket to a movie at Caribbean Cinemas in Friars Hill: $12.
- Cup of bush tea (local herbal tea) at a roadside stand: $3.
Neighbourhoods and spots
Since we want to present things in an easy way, we made a table that shows the neighborhoods in Antigua. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.
St. John's is the capital and largest city of Antigua, known for its historic landmarks, bustling markets, and beautiful beaches.
Rich cultural heritage, diverse shopping opportunities, stunning beaches.
Heavy traffic in the city center, some areas may be crowded.
English Harbour is a picturesque area famous for Nelson's Dockyard, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and hosting prestigious yachting events.
Historic charm, scenic harbor views, international sailing community.
Higher cost of living, limited affordable housing options.
Liberta is a residential neighborhood located in the southwestern part of Antigua, offering a quieter lifestyle away from the tourist hotspots.
Peaceful atmosphere, proximity to nature, friendly community.
Limited amenities and entertainment options, fewer job opportunities.
Jolly Harbour is a gated community and marina complex with waterfront properties, golf course, and various leisure facilities.
Secure environment, access to water activities, golfing opportunities.
High property prices, limited diversity in the community.
Five Islands is a scenic area known for its beautiful beaches and stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.
Beachfront properties, serene atmosphere, great for nature lovers.
Some areas may be secluded and lack easy access to amenities.
Parham is a historic town on the northeastern coast, with a rich colonial past and picturesque landscapes.
Historic significance, beautiful coastal views.
Limited modern amenities, fewer job opportunities.
Bolans is a coastal village located on the western side of Antigua, known for its tranquil beaches and laid-back atmosphere.
Relaxed lifestyle, beautiful beaches.
Limited commercial activity, fewer entertainment options.
Life in Antigua
Antigua has a highly developed, open economy with a strong services sector that accounts for more than half of its GDP. The country has a well-developed tourism industry, which is the main source of foreign exchange and income, and it also has a growing financial services sector.
What expats usually like the most in Antigua is the laid-back lifestyle and the stunning beaches. They also appreciate the warm climate and the friendly locals.
Access to healthcare in Antigua is generally good, with a well-developed public health system and a number of private healthcare facilities.
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Renting out in Antigua
This section is for those who are looking to purchase a property not to live in themselves, but to rent it out and make an income from the rental.
Tenant Profiles in Antigua
If you decide to buy and rent out to long-term tenants, you should target professionals, international students, and expatriates looking for short-term accommodation. Those looking for long-term accommodation typically include families, retirees, and those who are looking for a more permanent stay in Antigua.
Here is a little summary table we've made for you.
|Property type and area
|Profiles of potential tenants
|What they are looking for
|Expected monthly rent in $
Apartment in St. John's
Local residents, expats
Central location, convenience
$800 - $1500
Villa in English Harbour
Expats, luxury seekers
Waterfront, upscale amenities
$2000 - $5000
Condo in Jolly Harbour
Local residents, retirees
Marina access, resort-style living
$1000 - $2000
House in Cedar Grove
Local families, expats
Quiet neighborhood, spacious
$1200 - $2500
Apartment in Falmouth
Young professionals, students
Close to amenities, affordable
$600 - $1200
Beachfront property in Dickenson Bay
Direct beach access, luxury
$3000 - $7000
House in Bolans
Local families, expats
Residential area, family-friendly
$1000 - $2000
Nowadays, Antigua offers some opportunities in terms of rental yields. Actually, you can easily achieve 7 or 8% due to the increasing demand for rental properties from tourists and expats.
Properties that are located close to the beach and in popular tourist-oriented areas tend to give the best rental yields in Antigua, as they attract more tourists and long-term renters who are willing to pay higher prices. Furthermore, the area's tropical climate makes it a desirable destination for many people looking for a vacation or long-term stay.
For further explanation and a more detailed breakdown, you can check the reports and analyses we have made.
You could also decide to rent short-term to tourists who are visiting Antigua for a holiday, or to business travelers who are in the area for a few days. Additionally, you could rent short-term to students who are studying abroad in Antigua or to professionals who are relocating to the area.
If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in the downtown area of St. John's or in the popular English Harbour and Jolly Harbour resorts. These areas are the most popular for short-term rentals and offer a variety of amenities.
Currently, there are approximately 2,125 active Airbnb listings in Antigua, reflecting a highly dynamic and bustling short-term rental market. The average daily rate stands around $60.
You have the opportunity to generate a nice additional income stream then. According to online testimonials and analytics platform like AirDNA, Guesty and Inside Airbnb, people who offer short-term rentals in Antigua can make around $800 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 62%.
Is it worth buying real estate in Antigua then?
Buying a property in Antigua can be a fantastic choice for those seeking a slice of Caribbean paradise. If you're looking for a second home, a place to retire, or a lucrative rental income, Antigua's charms are hard to resist.
The island's property market offers a range of options, from beachfront villas to cozy cottages, catering to diverse preferences. With a relatively low property price-to-rent ratio, it's financially advantageous to buy, allowing you to acquire equity and enjoy a more secure financial future. Antigua's stable economy, expected GDP growth, and the potential for property appreciation make it an attractive long-term investment.
Plus, with rental yields potentially exceeding 7%, owning property can be a smart financial move.
However, it's not all smooth sailing in the Caribbean. If you're planning a short stay, renting might be more cost-effective, as property transaction costs can be high. Non-nationals should be prepared to navigate the complexities of obtaining an Alien Landholding License. The limited availability of beachfront properties and the risk of property disputes could also pose challenges.
Additionally, some areas may have infrastructure issues, impacting the quality of life. In sum, while Antigua offers a tempting real estate market, your decision should align with your goals and situation.
For those seeking long-term investments, rental income, or a dream retirement spot, Antigua beckons.
Make sure you understand the real estate market in Antigua
Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Guatemala. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or advice. While we strive for accuracy, we do not guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information, including text, images, links, or other elements in this material. Following the content and analyses presented here does not assure specific outcomes. For guidance tailored to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor.