With the continued global economic situation, anticipation was high leading up to the annual presentation of Barbados’ budget. For the real estate industry in particular, it was interesting to hear what plans the government proposes to ensure the continuity of one of the island’s most profitable sectors.

The outcome was quite encouraging as the Government threw support behind the International Business and Financial Services sector. Already, this sector contributes a significant amount of foreign exchange to the island’s economy. Much of this is via indirect spending, namely in the area of real estate. Traditionally, it has been the Canadian market that has comprised the majority of the offshore businesses in Barbados; however, with the proposed changes by the Government, the island will actively encourage offshore business and create a conducive and comfortable operating environment. This should encourage not only Canadian businesses but other foreign entities. As interest in the island grows, the island should also see increased activity in the areas of property sales, rentals and corporate relocation.

The real estate industry also received a boost in the area of immigration. Previously, some foreign property owners had expressed concerns around the Barbadian immigration laws. In the new budget, the Government will be making it easier for High Net Worth Individuals to reside and invest in Barbados. This is welcome news as Barbados is still one of the preferred luxury destinations worldwide and an ideal place for investing in property.