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Thinking of investing in real estate in Roatan Island? You're not alone!
Many people are intrigued by Roatan Island's Caribbean charm and dream of owning a beachfront property or a modern villa there.
Is it worth investing there, though? Are property prices increasing on Roatan Island? Is it expensive? Is it wiser to buy property in West Bay or West End? And the taxes? Which places offer rental yields exceeding 7%?
We've got it all sorted. No worries.
At TheLatinvestor, we've extensively researched this market; As a matter of fact, we've organized all our findings in a pack. Get it now.
In the lines below, we'll share useful information and some practical tips.
How is the real estate market on Roatan Island?
Is the property market in a good shape or a challenging one? Data will tell us the story.
Types of properties
Roatan Island offers a variety of properties for sale.
These include beachfront homes with stunning ocean views, cozy bungalows nestled in lush tropical gardens, modern condos with access to amenities like pools and gyms, as well as vacant land for those looking to build their dream getaway.
Whether you're seeking a serene retreat or an investment opportunity, Roatan Island has something to offer for every preference and budget.
What's better: buy or rent?
(If you're buying for yourself and not to rent out)
Whether you've already made Roatan Island 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 island.
Generally, buying is a better choice than renting in Roatan Island due to its increasing property values and potential for investment growth.
Nonetheless, if you favor flexibility, renting is the ideal route.
Property pricing on Roatan Island
On average, according to the updated data from Central Bank of Honduras, purchasing a property on Roatan Island would cost you around $3,800 per square meter.
Of course, prices vary. A property on Roatan Island might have a different price per square meter than a condo in West End. We actually give you a more detailed breakdown in our pack for buying property on Roatan Island and in Honduras.
To give you a better idea, it means that, instead of purchasing a flat in Manhattan, you can obtain 4 properties on Roatan Island.
However, housing prices on Roatan Island are way cheaper (81%) than in Punta Cana.
The most expensive places on Roatan Island are probably West Bay, Sandy Bay, and French Harbour, while the cheapest areas are likely to be in the interior of the island.
First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that Honduras is, nowadays, a relatively stable country. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 78.7.
Consider this when wondering if it's a good investment to buy a property on Roatan Island.
Besides that, if we look at the IMF's GDP forecasts, Honduras's economy is expected to soar by 16.8% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 3.4%.
If you intend to invest in real estate on Roatan Island it's a good thing because when the economy grows, people often experience an increase in wealth, it typically translates to a surge in housing costs.
Also, in Honduras, the average GDP per capita has changed by 2.7% over the last 5 years. Though not substantial, there is still a positive trend of growth.
This trend can lead to a rise of property prices on Roatan Island over the course of 2024 and also 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 Honduras right now.
Buying property on Roatan Island
It can be difficult to buy property on Roatan Island due to the lack of reliable and up-to-date information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property on Roatan Island and in Honduras.
Within our pack, we have outlined the complete buying process. This includes the necessary documents, the applicable taxes, as well as information about where to locate properties, and more.
Here, we are providing you with a simpler version to assist you in better comprehending the information.
This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Roatan Island:
- Research Roatan's real estate market and determine your budget.
- Engage a reputable local real estate agent familiar with Roatan's property laws and regulations.
- Visit Roatan to tour properties and select one that suits your requirements.
- Conduct a thorough inspection, considering factors like beach erosion risks and hurricane damage potential.
- Make a written offer, typically contingent upon the property passing a Roatan Property Inspections Evaluation (PIE).
- Negotiate the price and terms with the seller, with the help of your agent.
- Retain a Roatan attorney to review the Purchase and Sale Agreement and ensure clear title transfer.
- Arrange financing or establish a payment plan, if necessary.
- Perform due diligence, including verifying land boundaries and ownership history.
- Obtain a Non-Citizen Landholding License if you're a foreigner (required for properties larger than 0.726 acres).
- Complete the closing process, where you'll sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement, transfer funds, and acquire the title deed.
- Register the property with the Roatan Municipality and celebrate becoming a property owner in Roatan Island!
Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in Honduras.
Make a profitable investment in Roatan Island
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Where to find a property
Explore these websites to find properties in Roatan Island:
- Point 2 - A real estate platform for buying and renting properties in Honduras, featuring both residential and commercial listings.
- Honduras Real Estate - Operating since 1998, this well-established real estate website specializes in properties in Honduras, particularly in the Bay Islands and the north coast.
- FazWaz - The leading real estate marketplace in Honduras, providing a platform for buying, renting, and selling properties.
- IPD - An international property directory featuring a variety of residential and commercial properties for sale and rent in Honduras.
- Expat - They showcase an array of properties including houses, hotels, and land for sale, both residential and commercial.
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 Honduras.
Which properties for which budget?
As mentioned before, the average price per sqm on Roatan Island is $3,800. A 1-bedroom property with 60 square meters would cost approximately $228,000, and a 2-bedroom property with 85 square meters would cost approximately $323,000.
However, prices will change based on both the property itself and its location.
Top-tier locations on Roatan Island typically mean higher property valuations. A house in West Bay might cost you around $720,000, while an apartment in Sandy Bay could be about $400,000.
On the other hand, some areas are more budget-friendly. You may find a residence in Coxen Hole for $380,000, or you could encounter a residence in French Harbour priced only at $240,000.
Find a more detailed breakdown in our full pack for buying property in Honduras.
Mistakes to avoid
Here are the main pitfalls specific to buying a property in Roatan Island, Honduras:
- Foreign ownership restrictions: Honduran laws may limit land ownership by non-citizens, requiring careful legal navigation.
- Land disputes: Unclear boundaries and historical land conflicts can arise due to informal property sales and inheritance practices.
- Infrastructure gaps: Roatan may face power outages, water shortages, and limited waste management, affecting property comfort and value.
- Hurricane vulnerability: Frequent tropical storms can cause significant damage to properties, increasing insurance costs.
- Reef regulations: Roatan's coral reefs demand strict environmental protection measures, limiting construction near the shoreline.
- Tax complexities: Understanding local property taxes and potential changes in regulations is crucial for accurate financial planning.
- Title irregularities: Validating property titles through complex legal systems is necessary to avoid fraudulent claims.
- Depreciating tourism: Fluctuations in tourism can impact rental income and property demand on the island.
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 Honduras Property Pack
Living on Roatan Island
Living on Roatan Island can be a paradise, with its stunning beaches, lush jungles, and vibrant culture, making it an ideal place to buy property.
Cost of living
The cost of living on Roatan Island is generally lower than in the United States, with groceries, utilities, and rent being particularly affordable. However, prices for imported goods and luxury items are usually higher than in the U.S.
Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Roatan Island, Honduras:
- Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in West Bay Beach, a popular tourist area: $1,200 per month.
- A meal at a local restaurant with "Baleada," a traditional Honduran dish: $8.
- Monthly water taxi pass for island hopping: $50.
- Utilities (electricity, water) for a small apartment in Sandy Bay: $100 per month.
- A cup of "Guifiti," a local herbal liquor believed to have healing properties: $5.
- Entrance fee to the "Gumbalimba Park" with its famous monkey sanctuary: $20.
- Monthly membership at a fitness studio with ocean views: $70.
- A bottle of "Port Royal" beer, a popular Honduran brand: $2.
We like to show information in an easy-to-understand and pleasant way. So, we made a summary table that lists the different parts of Roatan Island. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.
West End is a vibrant beachfront community known for its lively nightlife and water sports opportunities.
Beautiful beaches, diverse dining options, great diving and snorkeling spots.
Can be crowded and noisy, limited parking facilities.
West Bay offers stunning white sandy beaches and is home to many luxury resorts and vacation rentals.
Crystal-clear waters, excellent reef for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Higher prices, can get crowded during peak tourist seasons.
Coxen Hole is the largest town on the island, serving as its commercial and transportation hub.
Central location, various shops and services, ferry connections to mainland.
Not known for its beaches, traffic congestion during busy times.
Sandy Bay is a quieter residential area with scenic coastal views and easy access to the beach.
Peaceful atmosphere, good snorkeling spots, relatively affordable housing options.
Limited nightlife and dining options, some areas may experience sand flies.
French Harbour is a charming fishing village with marinas and seafood restaurants.
Great seafood, boating opportunities, close to popular dive sites.
Limited public beaches, quieter atmosphere compared to tourist-centric areas.
Palmetto Bay is a secluded eco-friendly community surrounded by lush greenery and pristine waters.
Tranquil environment, private beach access, ideal for nature lovers.
Limited dining and entertainment options, remote location may require a vehicle.
Life on Roatan Island
Roatan Island is an important economic hub for Honduras, with its tourism and fishing industries being the main sources of income. The island is also home to numerous businesses, ranging from small family-owned stores to large international corporations.
What expats usually like the most on Roatan Island is its breathtaking beaches and clear warm waters, as well as the abundance of outdoor activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing.
Access to healthcare on Roatan Island is limited but improving with more medical facilities being built.
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Renting out on Roatan Island
This part is for you if you want to buy a property with the goal of renting it out and making money from it, rather than living there.
Unlike Tegucigalpa, where there are working professionals and students looking rent a place, most people in Roatan Island purchase a property to actually live there.
If you decide to rent out long-term, you might want to target people who are looking for a tropical getaway and are willing to commit to a year or more in the Roatan area. This could include retirees, digital nomads, and people looking for a place to stay while they explore the island.
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 $
Beachfront Condo in West Bay
Proximity to beach and dive sites
$1200 - $2500
Hillside Villa in Sandy Bay
Scenic views, tranquility
$1000 - $3000
Studio Apartment in West End
Nightlife, diving opportunities
$500 - $1200
Private Home in French Harbour
Convenience to amenities
$1500 - $3500
Now, you will probably ask us about the yields. Unlike for other places, it would be difficult to give you the average rental yields for Roatan Island due to insufficient long-term rental properties available for analysis. Also, it's quite diverse. For example, rental yields in West Bay and French Harbour are quite different from those in remote spots.
You could also decide to rent short-term to vacationers, honeymooners, and scuba divers looking to explore the underwater wonders of Roatan Island. Additionally, you could rent to business travelers, cruise ship passengers, and families looking to enjoy the beaches and outdoor activities the island has to offer.
If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in West End and Sandy Bay, as they are two of the most popular tourist destinations on Roatan Island. Both areas offer a variety of rental options, from luxury villas to budget-friendly apartments.
Is it worth buying real estate in Roatan Island then?
Certainly, when it comes to buying property in Roatan Island, the decision ultimately boils down to your specific circumstances and objectives. If you're an investor seeking potential appreciation and willing to weather the occasional storm, Roatan's real estate market may hold promise. The island's relative stability, economic growth projections, and affordable property prices in comparison to Western markets make it an enticing option for those looking to profit from property investments.
On the flip side, if you're a budget-conscious traveler or a short-term vacationer, purchasing property in Roatan Island might not align with your financial goals. The upfront costs and ongoing expenses of property ownership may outweigh the benefits of occasional visits.
Moreover, risk-averse buyers should carefully consider the potential challenges associated with owning coastal property in a hurricane-prone region, including higher insurance costs and the possibility of property damage. Additionally, non-citizens facing ownership restrictions for larger properties should be prepared to navigate legal complexities.
In conclusion, buying property in Roatan Island can be a savvy move for investors, retirees, and long-term residents seeking financial growth and an idyllic lifestyle. However, it may not be the right choice for budget-conscious travelers, risk-averse individuals, or those facing ownership restrictions.
Make sure you understand the real estate market in Roatan Island
Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Honduras. 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.