St Lucia - St Lucia
Real Estate Market
- The real estate market in St Lucia has seen growth matching other popular islands in the Caribbean such as Barbados.
- The buying process is relatively straightforward and similar to the UK. Non residents must first obtain an Aliens Landholding Licence which is relatively simple. Capital gains tax of 10% is incurred on sales but this can be mitigated by purchasing real estate via a company.
Landscape & Beaches
St Lucia offers the most dramatic of tropical landscapes including:
- Gros Piton and Petit Piton - stunning twin peaks surrounded by rich woodland
- 19,000-acre rain forest
- Soufriere Estate/Diamond Botanical Gardens and Waterfall
Most of St Lucia’s best beaches are on the protected (western) side of the island. It must be noted however that the island is not over-developed and isolated beaches can still be found.
Some of the most popular beaches are found in Rodney Bay, Pigeon Island, Choc Bay, Vingle, La Toc, Marigot Bay, Anse Castenet, Anse de Sables and Vieux Port.
The climate is typically sunny and warm and peaks during the rainy season between May and September averaging between 27°C (80°F).
Historically, St. Lucia has been spared from serious hurricane destruction and the major resorts on the western coast and protected by from high winds by the mountainous interior.
Government, Economy & Trade Relations
- St. Lucia is a parliamentary democracy similar to structure of the United Kingdom with a Prime Minister and cabinet politics. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II.
- The economy recorded growth of 3.6% in 2004 and relies mostly on tourism and banana production. Circa 80% of tourists are from the USA and Europe with growth in numbers from 625,000 in 1999 to 800,000 in 2004.
- St. Lucia is a member of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) which issues a common currency (Eastern Caribbean Dollar--EC$) which is pegged to the US Dollar. The Central Bank also regulates monetary policy and banking activities.
- The country is also a member of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) and is the HQ for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
- There are 2 international airports on the island: Hewanorra International Airport at Vieux Fort to the south and George Charles Inter Island Airport in Castries.
- A number of non-stop daily services exist from the United States, most notably American Airlines, Delta, US Airways, Air Jamaica and BWIA. Flight times are 3 ½ hours from Miami and 4 hours from New York.
- During the peak season of November through to March, a number of tour companies operate charters from London, Toronto and various islands in the Caribbean. Flights times from London are 8 hours.