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Living in Bermuda, Real Estate in Bermuda, Extended Stayers

Is Bermuda Real Estate for Sale to Non-Bermudians?

7 minute read

Non-Bermudianas can buy real estate in Bermuda, meaning the dream condo you've fallen in love with on the island can be yours. But you need to meet many requirements if you're buying.

This post will outline everything you need to know and get you one step closer to securing your home away from home. We’ll cover:

Who Can Purchase What Real Estate in Bermuda?

Historically, high-net-worth overseas buyers could purchase Bermudian residential property starting at $2m for condos and $5m+ for homes. Recent legislative amendments aim to increase overseas buyer activity by offering new products, such as condo and hotel residences, and expanding supply.

Condo and hotel residences allow buyers to purchase in a community with branded hotel amenities, opening up our exclusive vacation property market to the global marketplace.

There are two categories of residential Bermuda real estate — properties available only to Bermudians and real estate that international buyers can also buy.

International buyers can't purchase investment properties except condominiums in approved residential resort communities. The associated license fee is waived if a buyer participates in a hotel rental management program.


What are the Regulations?

Below we have listed some of the considerations that non-Bermudians need to consider when buying property in Bermuda…


Annual Rental Value (ARV) Threshold

First of all, the real estate that a non-Bermudian wants to buy must have a minimum Annual Rental Value (ARV). The ARV of a property is the amount for which the property you want to buy typically rents out.

A property's annual rental value (ARV) must exceed a designated amount ($25,800 for a condominium and $126,000 for a house) to be eligible for international buyer purchase.

 The ARV of a condominium is usually above $32,400 and that of freeholding houses is usually $153,000.

Please note this isn’t the figure you’ll necessarily receive for your rent — it’s just an estimate of what you would typically be able to lease the property for.


Condominium Prices in Bermuda

As a consequence of the legislation around Average Rental Values, the price of condominiums that can be purchased by non-Bermudians ranges anywhere from $400,000 - $6,000,000.


Stamp Duty

In Bermuda Stamp Duties are charged on a sliding scale:  

  • 2% on the first $100,000
  • 3% on the next $400,000 (up to $500,000)
  • 4% on the next $500,000 (up to $1 million)
  • 6% on the next $500,000 (up to $1.5 million)
  • and 7% on everything above $1.5 million

Thus, any property sale for more than $1,500,000 will incur stamp duty of $67,000 plus 7% of the value above $1,500,000. This cost is then normally shared between the buyer and seller.

At Bermudiana Beach stamp duty is waived completely saving buyers between $5,000 and $20,000.

Landholding License

To own a property in Bermuda, non-Bermudians must get a Landholding License from the Government Ministry of Law and Home Affairs.

The approval process for such a license, also known as a License to Acquire, takes between two and nine months, and costs $1706 (correct as of May 2024).

The cost of a Landholding License varies depending on the type of property you wish to buy as follows:

  • 12.5% for a residential home
  • 8% condominium
  • 6.5% per property with hotel development
  • 6% for PRC Purchases

Although you own your condo outright at Bermudiana Beach, owner usage is limited to 90 days a year. Providing you opt into the rental management program, the Landholding License fee is waived.  

This represents a saving to buyers of between $25,000 and $70,000 compared to buying a normal condominium.


Rental Restrictions

Government regulations prevent non-Bermudian homeowners from renting out their homes without express permission from the Government Ministry.

A non-Bermudian who owns a hotel condominium — like the ones at Bermudiana Beach Resort — can rent it out short-term to both Bermudians and non-Bermudians with a work permit or residential certificate, or to any non-Bermudian staying for less than 180 days in Bermuda.

condo buying timeline

Choosing the Right Real Estate in Bermuda

Buying your dream condo is a huge commitment, so you must choose wisely and correctly when signing on the dotted line.

You must be certain that it’s the right place for you, the right time and whether you can afford it. Here are some great tips on how to be sure that your new venture is for you.


Visit Before You Buy

You can’t base a decision on seeing images on the internet or a brochure, especially when buying real estate. You need to go and see it for yourself and get a true feel for the place.

Visit Bermuda beforehand and explore. Don’t treat this trip as a vacation, although it’ll be hard not to with the laid-back feel around the place.

When you’re there, ask yourself whether you can see yourself spending time there. Besides the obvious attractions, make sure you find out what morning and evening traffic is like and where your nearest pharmacy, hospital and doctor are. Location is more than just near local coffee shops, supermarkets and the best restaurants and bars.


Meet Your Potential Realtor

On your visit to Bermuda, you should meet your potential realtor. They’re there to make sure you have everything you need.

This is a great chance to ask them about the local area and the condominium you’re looking at, as well as any general questions about Bermuda.

If you’re unsure about anything, your realtor will be happy to help and should quash any insecurities about your new venture.

Make Sure You’ve Got Everything Covered

Buying a condo is a serious commitment and requires a lot of thinking. Cover all bases and ensure everything is in order before you move and purchase your dream place.

There are questions that you need to ask yourself and your realtor before you put pen to paper. So, if you think you’ll miss something out, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered.

We’ve put together a checklist that will help you determine whether a condo is the right one for you. Download it below today for free and take one step closer to securing the place you’ve always wanted.

Buying a Vacation in Bermuda Guide