With a chain of over 80 scenic islands and no taxes on property, income, inheritance, and capital gains, Vanuatu offers a prized property market for foreigners wanting a slice of holiday rental income.
Investors don’t require physical residency to gain citizenship or buy property. It’s one of several pluses to lure investment and there’s plenty on offer for real estate investors outside the main island of Efate.
In the northern region, developments like Lapita Plantation are making a steady rise on Aore Island, where exclusive listings include beachfront lots and resort sites.
According to Matthew Woon of Lapita Beach Ltd and Northern Vanuatu Real Estate, this is one of the few projects that not only purchased the land, but also the exclusive use of the beach and surrounding reef.
“For the buyers, this gives them privacy but more importantly one of the most spectacular marine playgrounds in the world,” Mr Woon said.
There are several house and land packages, while the reef has been maintained as a privately funded marine reserve covering 400 hectares.
“Lapita is approved commercial/tourism residential. The opportunity for tourism enterprises is huge; diving, fishing, snorkelling, 4WD tours, and marine conservation.”
The development launched just before Covid hit, with an initial 16 blocks and a resort site.
Mr Woon said the company is offering three resort sites, with one sold on Lapita, and with seven large beachfront blocks set aside for tourism activities.
A year ago as borders remained closed, Vanuatu amended its Citizenship Act and reinstated its Real Estate Option (REA). Through this, foreigners can qualify for citizenship at a minimum spend of $100,000 USD for half ownership of listed property, or $200,000 USD for full ownership, and they don’t need to live in the country.
“The advantage of the REO Program is that Vanuatu, like other countries, has a greater potential to attract retired investors or wealthy individuals in the real estate option sector,” Prime Minister Bob Loughman explained at the time.
“Its prestige scenic and natural environment is an inherited asset that entices foreign investors and wealthy individuals to come to Vanuatu and seek a place for a peaceful holiday from busy working environments. This investment model enables the investor to tap the real estate market without the responsibilities of managing physical property.”
The Citizen by Investment program also allows foreign investors to obtain Vanuatu passports offsite, after a minimum contribution of USD 130,000 to a local development fund.