Non-Bermudians, also referred to as restricted persons – some Bermuda realtors refer to them as international buyers – include newcomers or those yet to arrive to seek employment and/or a property to buy and long-term resident Permanent Residents limited by a number of provisos to the most expensive properties in both price and taxes. They must first apply to the Minister of Labour, Home Affairs and Public Safety for a “License to Acquire” a property; and must, upon approval of the License, pay the same fees as other non-Bermudian applicants – viz. 25% of the purchase price (equivalent to $2.5 million on a $10 million property) of a freehold property and 18% of the purchase price of a town house or condominium. They cannot subdivide the property. They cannot purchase property with multiple Annual Rentable Values (ARVs). They cannot rent the property without official Bermuda Government Ministerial consent.
If non-Bermudians/restricted persons are given permission to buy it will be for one property only, a specified unit eligible to be held or bought by non-Bermudians. It is either a substantially higher-priced single family dwelling or a condominium priced for non-Bermudians as well as Bermudians. They may select only Bermuda’s 200 or so most expensive single family properties – luxury homes with an Annual Rentable Value (ARV, see below) of US$177,000 a year or more – from among the more than 20,000 residences, or from an expensive condominium – with an ARV of US$32,500 or more (Bermuda Immigration and Protection (Designation of Eligible Condominium Units) Regulations 2007).
The average purchase price for a single family 2-3 bedroom detached dwelling house for non-Bermudians is over US$2.8 million.
Generally, non-Bermudians/restricted persons may only buy property currently owned by a non-Bermudian except in a development designated under the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment (No.2) Act 2010 as tourist accommodation and hotel residences. Prospective international buyers must submit an application along with a consideration fee (refunded if the license to own property is granted). The cost of a License to Acquire varies depending on the type of property you wish to purchase. For instance, international buyers pay 18 percent of the purchase price of a condominium; 25 percent of the purchase price of a house; and 6.5% of the purchase price of a tourist property as designated above. To be eligible for purchase by an international buyer, a private property’s annual rental value (ARV) must exceed a designated amount ($32,400 for a condominium, $153,000 for a house). Agreement in principle between an international buyer and seller includes a deposit of 10 percent of the purchase price. The deposit is held in escrow, subject to contract, and deducted from the overall purchase price. International/non-Bermudian buyers may not buy investment property such as land, commercial real estate or property intended mainly to earn rental income. International/non-Bermudian owners may be granted permission to rent their property by the Immigration Department. Permission rarely extends to periods of more than a year and includes a tax of 7.25 percent.
http://www.bermuda-online.org/homes.htm for more details.
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