JAN 12, 2024

Top 10 Reasons to Buy in the BVI

The world has no shortage of fabulous locations in which to invest – each of them offering something uniquely attractive and compelling. But all too often, the detractions of such destinations outweigh the desirables, causing room for investor doubt and discomfort. Not so the BVI, we say. And here’s why…

1. Why Buy in the BVI? A Prosperous Economy

The BVI boasts one of the most affluent economies in the Caribbean, supported by a flourishing financial services industry and booming tourism sector. While not immune to worldwide recessions, depressions, endemics, and wars, the BVI has weathered many a literal and figurative storm and emerged undefeated. The territory remains a global offshore epicenter, with more offshore companies registered than anywhere else in the world. Company incorporation costs and administration burdens continue to be comparably low, BVI companies are operationally flexible, and corporate governance can be adapted to suit structure. Caribbean Real Estate too has proven resilient to global market fluctuations, and investments remain relatively low leverage, further reducing financial risk.

2. Why Buy in the BVI? Political Stability

The BVI is politically secure. It is one of five remaining British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean and operates a Westminster parliamentary government system with its own 13 seat House of Assembly which administers locally enacted legislation. The BVI Governor represents the British monarch and is appointed by the monarch on the advice of the British government. Close affiliation to the US, UK, and US Virgin Islands, as well as a certain retained dependency on its past colonial powers, has also afforded the BVI stability with a US-dollar based economy.

3. Why Buy in the BVI? A Credible Currency

Despite being a British Territory, the US dollar has been the legal tender of the BVI since 1959 with no plans to replace it in either the near or distant future. There are no exchange controls, which is a substantial bonus for US investors as this removes all risk associated with exchange rate fluctuation. There are also no constraints on the movement of dollar funds into or out of the country.

4. Why Buy in the BVI? A Low Tax Regime

Long heralded a “tax haven” (think avoidance not evasion), the BVI is a low-tax jurisdiction that appears on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s “whitelist” reflecting a high level of tax transparency, regulatory, and compliance standards. The BVI offers freedom from income, corporate and personal tax. In addition, there is no withholding tax, sales tax, value added tax, capital gains or transfers tax, estate duty tax, inheritance, or succession tax. Property taxes are nominal, although investors do pay a once-off Stamp Duty of 12% of the property value to the government upon purchase of either land of completed home.

5. Why Buy in the BVI? Law of the Land

The BVI benefits from a well-established and familiar legal and court system based on English common law, offering a trusted framework for investors. The country has a modern judicial system, and the highest court of appeal is the Supreme Court in London. In recent years, the Commercial Court for the Eastern Caribbean has been established in the BVI to serve the offshore financial service sector.

6. Why Buy in the BVI? Accessibility

While the BVI has typically been considered somewhat remote, access to the archipelago continues to become easier. June 2023 saw the start of regular, direct American Airlines flights from Miami, FL into Tortola’s Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport. All other flights into the BVI connect through Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Antigua, and St. Martin with continual improvements being made to each airport to enhance the travel and transit experience.

7. Why Buy in the BVI? Endless Summer

The BVI enjoys near perfect weather for at least ten months of the year. The country’s tropical rainforest climate is moderated by the trade winds which blow at varying strengths almost all year round. These drop during September and October, making these two months the only ones that are relatively uncomfortable during the entire calendar year. Temperatures remain consistent, seldom rising above 85º F (29º C) in the summer or dropping below 77ºF (25º C) in the winter. Unlike comparable destinations such as the Bahamas, the sea remains warm enough to swim year-round, yet never becomes too warm to be refreshing. Annual rainfall sits at 45 inches, with the wettest months being September through November. Ten months of favorable weather also means a ten-month rental season, which in turn offers an increased cashflow opportunity and return on investment.

8. Why Buy in the BVI? Quality of Life

The year-round sunshine, temperate seas, and consistent conditions make for a life lived predominantly in salt water and fresh air. Residents and visitors enjoy world-class sailing and boating, fishing, diving, snorkeling, kitesurfing, paddleboarding… the list goes on. The BVI’s waters are arguably the safest, most user-friendly in the Caribbean. The islands making up the archipelago are within close reach of each other, making for safe, line-of-sight boating for seasoned professionals and beginners alike. Time on land can be spent hiking rainforests, exploring salt ponds, participating in year-round cultural events, wining and dining in an ever-expanding array of restaurants and bars, and dancing under the stars at regular festive events and full moon parties.

9. Why Buy in the BVI? Unrivaled Natural Beauty

Unlike many Caribbean destinations, the islands comprising the BVI are diverse and unique in their character. Almost all were once part of a submerged mountain range created through volcanic activity so are dramatic and distinct in their topography. And then there is coral- and limestone-formed Anegada, rising only 28 feet above sea level at its highest point and surrounded by the fourth largest barrier reef in the world. Also, unlike many comparable tropical destinations, the islands under British jurisdiction are neither overcrowded nor commercialized. In fact, of some 60 islands, cays and rocks that form the archipelago, only 15 or so are inhabited, meaning countless well-concealed cays and beaches to explore and enjoy.

10. Why Buy in the BVI? An Ever-Changing Existence

Like it or not, our world was irrevocably altered by 2020’s pandemic, and continues to be transformed by a changing climate, a growing population, declining resources, groundbreaking technological advancements, and shifting economic and political landscapes. Amongst all this uncertainty exists a continual search for stability, safety, and all things that support a better work-life balance, improved mental and physical wellness, and more meaningful relationships with those we love as well as our natural surroundings. The BVI offers all of this in spades. Why buy in the BVI? Why on earth not?

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