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Going for Broke in Belize

May 10, 2010Article by Ray Withers

Belize property will benefit from its lower price status, as the overseas property market finally starts to witness the return of private investors and lower-income buyers, according to experts. Belize property prices grew rapidly during the last boom, and — with villas costing upwards of £300k — it quickly became the foray of high-income buyers.

Because the reasons for this growth were solid and sound as will be explained below; now that prices are down up to 50% according to local realtors, Belize property is looking very attractive to private investors around the world.

David Cox, director of international property investment consultancy said:

“During the last boom, Belize property proved that it was capable of exceptional capital growth. Now that growth is very slow, but prices are low, investors are seeing the opportunity to get in at the bottom and earn strong rental yields until capital growth returns.”

The reason that Belize property grew so quickly is because those who holidayed there and/or went out on inspection visits quickly realised that it was as close to perfect as paradise could get. It is an ex British colony, English is the first language, you can get finance, it has a tropical climate, coral reefs, rainforest and Mayan ruins, as well as towns with all amenities, and to top it all off, property prices much lower than you would find in the UK.

Understandably foreign sun, sea and paradise seekers bought Belize property by the bucket load, causing prices to grow rapidly. And of course, the more prices grew, the more people wanted to buy for one or both of the following two reasons, 1: because they wanted to get in while prices are growing and make some money, and/or 2: because they have their heart set on the place and want to buy before prices rise any further.

Either way, Belize property has proven that it packs a powerful punch in terms of potential for capital appreciation. So, now when investors are looking at properties that would surely have cost more than double what they are on sale at now, which gives them the ability to make impressive rental yields, it is a no brainer; they can profit from the rentals as long as it takes for capital growth to return.

Take the Cayo District nature reserve, currently being marketed for sale by Property Frontiers: half acre land plots for £20k, with the option to build a luxury 1 bedroom villa for £72,000. Such a property would have been a lot more expensive during the boom, especially when you take into consideration its location within a tropical rainforest nature reserve, and the fact that it has a central eco-boutique hotel offering rental management to those who build.

Author

Ray Withers

Ray has over 17 years’ experience in the international property market and bought his own first international property investment back in 2002. Aside from running Property Frontiers, Ray has been involved in residential, hotel, student and commercial property investment and development in both the UK and overseas and co-wrote "Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide". As Founder and Trustee of the Frontiers Foundation, Ray is directly involved with many of its projects to ensure they have a direct and tangible impact in individual communities across the globe. He is passionate about property, travelling, scouting out new opportunities and finding time to spend with his young family.
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