After a very successful ribbon cutting ceremony that was attended by the prime minister of Belize a few months ago, Las Terrazas began welcoming occupants into its finished phase I construction. Now Las Terrazas is making available recently released phase II residences at pre-construction prices for a limited time this spring.
Amid North America’s housing and mortgage gloom, investors and second-home buyers are finding that the sun is still shining brightly in the Caribbean hotspot of Belize. The 4.8-acre community of Las Terrazas (www.lasterrazasbelize.com ), a premier real estate development on the island of Ambergris Caye, has seen its new beachfront villas and condos in Belize remain a hot investment opportunity – as well as one of the country’s most sought-after destinations.
Elsewhere, the headlines have been downright dismal. As the Associated Press recently reported for new home sales in the United States: “The median price of a home sold in March of this year dropped by 13.3 percent compared with March 2007, the biggest year-over-year price decline since a 14.6 percent plunge in July 1970.”
That report comes fast on the heels of another measure of the housing slump throughout the U.S., with the median price of existing home sales declining by 7.7 percent from one year ago. Canada hasn’t seen the same meltdown and home prices are expected to rise, albeit more slowly than in recent years, according to the Bank of Canada.
With rapidly rising home foreclosure rates, a “Nightly Business Report” on PBS hinted at just how far the economic ripples are spreading. According to the assessments of Geoffrey Smith, research director for the Chicago-based Woodstock Institute, one foreclosure on a city block can lower the surrounding property values by one percent, with several foreclosures impacting a whole community.
Amid the dispiriting numbers, North American investors and second-home buyers are finding that opportunities still beckon from Belize’s sunny shores. “Although Costa Rica and Panama get all the publicity, Belize is renowned as one of the easiest countries in Central America for foreign buyers,” declared a recent article in the Boston Globe.
It may well be one of the best values to boot. The Wall Street Journal cited a Coldwell Banker study that found the average price of a 2,200-square-foot home in San Pedro, Belize, jumped 18.6 percent from Sept. 2006 to Sept. 2007. As prices cool elsewhere, investors are discovering that undervalued Belize properties make economic sense.
“Compared to similar units in the Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Cancun, buyers in Belize can find idyllic beachfront villas and condominiums for a fraction of the price,” said Chris Roberts, General Manager of Las Terrazas. With one-bedroom units priced from $289,900 and three-bedroom units from $399,900 investors are finding that Las Terrazas’ stunning location and “natural way of life” offers the kind of sound investment opportunity that has become an increasing rarity.
With a fixed exchange rate of $2.00 BZE for $1.00 US, Central America’s only English-speaking country offers the advantage of a housing market that won’t fluctuate like Europe’s foreign exchange rates. With contracts and negotiations in English, navigating the purchase process is relatively simple for a foreign home purchase. For Canadian buyers, the strong Canadian dollar ensures an even better bargain.
Belize places no restrictions on property ownership for non-citizens, while English Common Law provisions ensure a secure real estate title. Owners pay no capital gains or estate taxes and low property taxes, while rental revenue is taxed at only 1.75 percent of gross receipts. Perhaps best of all, property prices in desirable locations like Ambergris Caye have shown a steady increase in value for the past 25 years.
The country’s incredible natural beauty may have something to do with that. “Mother Nature’s best kept secret,” according to Belize’s ambitious tourism campaign, the Caribbean nation enjoys a spectacular coastline that boasts the Northern Hemisphere’s largest barrier reef and some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. On Ambergris Caye, the laid-back resort town of San Pedro offers an inviting range of restaurants, boutiques and sightseeing opportunities, while nature has afforded the nearby Las Terrazas community a luxurious seclusion featuring natural palm-framed beaches and a private lake.
For more information on how you can gain ownership within this exclusive beachfront community, please contact us at 1-800-399-6768 or enquire on our website.
About Las Terrazas Villas and Condominiums-Resorts:
Las Terrazas (www.lasterrazasbelize.com ), an island community of 78 fully-furnished villas on 4.8 acres of private beachfront, is located on the popular vacation destination of Ambergris Caye, Belize. Each residential villa has been fully furnished and handsomely appointed with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, flat-panel televisions and everything necessary for new owners to enjoy immediate occupancy. A renters’ pool is also available. Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest island and known for the phrase, “no shirt, no shoes, no problem.” Residents of Las Terrazas will enjoy luxurious yet laid-back island living and the convenience of reaching Ambergris Caye from Belize City by a short flight or high-speed sea ferry. Multiple airlines also offer convenient flights from the United States and Canada.