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Buyer's Guide:
Real Estate Costs in The Bahamas.


Local banks offer BSD$ and US$ mortgages to finance the purchase of a home or property in The Bahamas. If being financed by a bank, it is important to receive pre-approval before beginning your property search.


Both buyer and seller need legal representation by a Bahamian attorney. BE Luxury Real Estate recommends both parties be represented by different attorneys.


An appraisal is required for all bank financed properties and is recommended for all property purchases. It is the buyer’s responsibility to obtain the appraisal. Appraisals costs generally costs $400 + VAT for a 2 to 3 bedroom homes and increase with large properties.


  • 2.5% Government Stamp Duty applicable on all property transactions valued at $100,000 or less.
  • 10% Government Stamp Duty on all property transactions valued at $100,000 or more.

The usual practice in the Bahamas is for the tax to be shared equally between buyer and seller unless otherwise agreed upon.

Laws and policies are subject to change.


The rates of tax on real property are as follows:

In respect of owner-occupied property:

  • The first $250,000 of market value is tax exempt
  • More than $250,000 and not exceeding $500,000 of market value is 0.625%
  • More than $500,000 and not exceeding $5,000,000 of market value is 1%
  • More than $5,000,000 of market value is ½% (capped at $50,000 annually)

In respect of unimproved property: (other than unimproved property exempt by virtue of Section 39 of the Real Property Tax Act)

  • First $7,000 of market value is $100
  • More than $7,000 of market value 2%

In respect of any other property:

  • First $500,000 of market value is 1%
  • More than $500,000 of market value is 2%


Property owned by Bahamians and situated in the Family Islands is exempt from property tax. Property approved as commercial farm land (by the Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, and the Minister Finance) may be eligible for property tax exemptions.

Unimproved property owned by Bahamians, meaning property without physical additions or alterations, or any works benefitting the land which have not increased the market value thereof by $5,000 or more;

  • Places of religious worship; school buildings and their gardens and playing areas;
  • Property owned by foreign governments;
  • Property owned by foreign nations used for consular offices or residences of consular officials and employees;
  • Property used exclusively for charitable or public service from which no profit is derived.


As of July 1, 2018 the Bahamas Government has imposed a 12% Value Added Tax (VAT) on all products and services in The Bahamas.

A 12% Value Added Tax (VAT ) is charged on real estate services, including appraisals, legal work, commissions and insurance.