Buyer Information & Land Policy:

Acquisition of Bermuda Property by Non-Bermudians

Non-Bermudians may only purchase property valued above a set minimum Annual Rental Value ("ARV").

The ARV is used to determine land tax and is not necessarily a reflection of market value.

ARVs may be viewed on the Department of Land Valuation website (www.landvaluation.bm)

The minimum ARV is $126,000 for houses and $25,800 for condominiums.

Non-Bermudians must acquire a Residency Certificate to purchase a condominium, which they are not eligible for if they have a work permit. This certificate does not apply for houses.

The effect of these guidelines means that only the highest valued properties are available to Non-Bermudian purchasers.

Houses with a qualifying ARV start at approximately $3,000,000 and condominiums at approximately $500,000.

A Non-Bermudian is permitted to own up to 2 properties.

There are situations where a Non-Bermudian is permitted to purchase a house with more than one assessment number upon application. However, the ARV of just one of the assessment numbers alone must be above the $126,000 minimum.

A Non-Bermudian who purchases a condo is not able to rent it out for short-term or holiday rentals generally unless it is in a specific hotel tourism designated development. For houses, they can rent them out although there are necessary steps that need to be taken to be granted such permission.

Acquisition of Bermuda Property by Permanent Resident Certificate Holders ("PRC")

A PRC is able to purchase any property on the market with some exceptions.

A PRC may not purchase land, a property that is part of a Government Scheme, and may not rent out a property that they own which has two assessment numbers.

A PRC is permitted to own up to 2 properties.

Licensing and Fees

Non-Bermudian purchasers must obtain a license from the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs; their application is made through a local attorney of their choosing. License fees are 8% of the purchase price of a house and 6% for a condominium.

License Fees for Permanent Resident Certificate Holder ("PRC") purchasers are 4% of the property purchase price.

Applicants are required to provide a banker’s reference and personal references (preferably Bermudian if possible).

The license application fee is currently $1,546 (refundable upon license approval).

The license fees for a property within a hotel development is at 6.5%. Non-Bermudian Trust

Government has approved Non-Bermudian purchasing by application in Trust subject to (a) a locally licensed Trustee, (b) the sale is limited to one generation and (c) after death, the property must be sold within 2 years. Multiple Property Ownership

Generally, a non-Bermudian is permitted to own two residential properties.

Preparing to Purchase a Property

Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you may make and certainly one of the most significant investments of your life. We at Rego Sotheby’s International Realty are pleased to provide these simple tips to help you understand what to expect when purchasing your home:

Financial Planning: Enlist the help of your bank’s financial advisory services to determine your buying capacity. Schedule an appointment with your bank to speak with a mortgage loan officer who will guide you through what you need to submit for your loan pre-approval. Your bank will also assist you in determining additional costs you may not have thought of that are associated with a home purchase – appraisal fees, land taxes, structural survey fees, property insurance, legal fees, services charges, bank (mortgage) finder’s fees, etc.

Choose a Real Estate Agent: You will be working closely with your Agent on your home purchase; you will want to choose an Agent you are comfortable with, who listens to you and helps you define your needs (‘must haves’) versus your wants (‘wish list’). An informed agent will know the market, arrange viewings of suitable properties and may be one of the first to hear of new properties coming onto the market, giving you first opportunity to view. Generally, the seller pays the Agent fee.

Ask Questions: Be an informed purchaser. Check with your Agent about zoning restrictions, rules and regulations and neighbourhood facts.

Know the Government Regulations and Tax Structure: For example, if you are Bermudian or a Bermudian with a non-Bermudian spouse, first-time buyer, and purchasing a property for $750,000 or under, the Government has provided a stamp duty exemption on the conveyance of the property you purchase, which may save you as much as $12,000.

Understand the Process and the Costs: Your Agent will guide you through the process, from Offer and Acceptance to Sales and Purchase Agreement and the documentation required throughout. Costs associated with the conveyance of a property are usually shared equally between the Vendor and the Purchaser. These costs are legal fees for preparation of Conveyance and Stamp Duty payable on the Deed of Transfer. Purchaser is liable to his/her own attorney for costs incurred for legal advice. See next page for more details about costs.

Costs associated with Purchase of Property

Deposit: A deposit of 10% of purchase price is payable upon signing sale and purchase agreements.

Escrow: Deposit is held in escrow by Agent or Attorney until closing. Interest accrued is for the Purchaser’s benefit. Balance is payable when sale completes.

Stamp Duty: Bermuda Government Stamp Duty is calculated on purchase price:

  • First $100,000 is at 2%
  • Next $400,000 is at 3%
  • Next $500,000 is at 4%
  • Next $500,000 ($1,000,000 but not exceeding $1,500,000) is at 6%
  • Thereafter: 7%

Conveyance Fee: Based on a scale of minimum fees provided by the Bermuda Bar Association and determined by your legal representative.

Mortgage Fees: Base mortgage fees are calculated on purchase price:

  • First $100,000 is at 1%
  • $100,000 - $300,000 is at 0.50%
  • $300,000 - $500,000 is at 0.25%
  • Over $500,000 is at 0.125%

Additional Costs: These may include an Appraisal fee (from $450 upwards), Pro-rated land taxes at closing; structural survey fee (if the home you are purchasing is a fixer-upper and requires repair/renovation) – price of survey depends of size of property and approximately 1/10th of one percent of the purchase price; property insurance; services charges for utility service installation; moving costs; maintenance fees (condos).

Non-Bermudian Trust

Government has approved Non-Bermudian purchasing by application in Trust subject to (a) locally licensed Trustee, (b) limited to one generation and (c) after death, the property must be sold within 2 years.

Click for more information

Residency Requirements

For more information on the residency requirements for Non-Bermudians to purchase property in Bermuda, please refer to the Bermuda Government website: www.gov.bm

Multiple Property Ownership

Generally, a non-Bermudian is permitted to own two residential properties.

Detailed Information

For more information, go to: www.gov.bm