St. Maarten/St. Martin is situated in the Lesser Antilles and is shared by the French and Dutch, making one half of St. Maarten/St. Martin English speaking, and the other half Dutch speaking. English is, however, spoken all over St. Maarten/St. Martin and serves as a lingua franca for most people with different native languages. Real estate in St. Maarten/St. Maarten has over the years developed into a multimillion industry, providing luxury homes and vacation rentals available to people of all walks of life.
Given St. Maarten/St. Martin relatively small population, real estate opportunities are available, and because of the island’s proximity to St. Kitts, Anguilla and St. Barth, local real estate investors are able to expand their services and business to these islands as well. In addition to building homes in St. Martin/St. Maarten, real estate growth has resulted in the emergence of several five star hotels and resorts that are owned by private companies and internationally renowned hotel chains. St. Maarten/St. Martin real estate is therefore heavily invested into because of the popularity and success of St. Maarten/ St. Martin as a tourist destination and investment hub.
One of the advantages that St. Maarten/St. Martin real estate has benefitted from is the multicultural and cosmopolitan society that resides in St. Maarten/St. Martin either a natives of the island or as expatriates from other countries throughout the Caribbean as well as Europe and other continents around the world. This translates into an environment that is equipped with a wealthy pool of professionals that work in St. Maarten/St. Martin real estate sector, among whom can be found interior designers, engineers, land surveyors, notary publics, architects, plumbers and carpenters. Other niche sectors that have emerged alongside real estate St. Maarten/St. Martin include asset and estate management, financial and fiscal consultancies, since individuals, companies and families continue to acquire wealth, whether from acquiring different properties, earning generous returns on their St. Maarten/St. Martin real estate invest through rent, lease or sale, or by providing their architecture, carpentry or legal services as demands for such services increase.
Mention can also be made of the appearance of gyms and other fitness centers either as part of residential areas, hotels, resorts or private facilities, as St. Maarten/St. Martin real estate continues to see the flux of visitors from all over the world and demands increase while becoming even more sophisticated, requiring a St. Maarten/St. Martin real estate sector that is more and more tailored. Fiscal services, in particular, are of utmost importance because of the large numbers of foreign nationals that own homes or St. Maarten/St. Martin real estate businesses.
As overseas departments of both France and The Netherlands, all European stakeholders from countries where taxation is imposed internationally, tax obligations like capital gains, dividends and income would have to be declared. And given that St. Maarten/St. Martin real estate comes with its own share of taxes, it would be worthwhile to make use of anti double taxation agreements that exist between France, The Netherlands and other countries. It is said that people of over 70 nationalities reside in St. Maarten/St. Martin, which makes the magnitude of the real estate sector in St. Maarten/St. Martin quite significant.
Real estate in St. Maarten/St. Martin is often described as ‘luxury’ real estate or ‘luxury’ tourism, on the mere fact that real estate St. Maarten/St. Martin projects are built with very high standards and class. For example, pools, which would normally be associated with wealthy homes or vacation houses, are more or less a common feature of many real estate St. Maarten/St. Martin residential areas and projects, whether they serve for communal use such as in the case of a gated neighborhood or for private use if tied to only one house or residence.
Today, the stream of villas and condos that characterize St. Maarten/St. Martin real estate can be found on beaches, in towns, communities and interiors of the island. Their presence surely uplifts the general image of St. Maarten/St. Martin as a place with a very high standard of living and a relatively large number of wealthy residents. Real estate St. Maarten/St. Martin is therefore has made itself as an integral part of the island socially – as people set standards of what is ‘good living’, and economically based on the fact that there are so many stake holders in St. Maarten/St. Martin real estate, as well as individuals and families who depend on St. Maarten/St. Martin real estate for employment; meaning that a sharp decrease in St. Maarten/St. Martin real estate projects could result in relatively high levels of unemployment. Should the latter occur, the impact could have a domino effect for taxi services, hardware stores and other self-employed persons whose work is directly associated with building and St. Maarten/St. Martin real estate.
Infrastructural development has been essential to the further development of St. Maarten/St. Martin real estate, given the large numbers of tourists and investors that travel to the island frequently. Cruise ship berths, merchandise stores, modern port facilities, friendly custom duty regimes, good roads, a wide variety of hospitality and ancillary services and a functional, modern international airport fulfill an essential role in catering to St. Maarten/St. Marten real estate and tourism sectors’ demands.
As a hub for investment and real estate, St. Maarten/St. Martin competitiveness on the world market is a determinant factor of the perpetuity and sustainability of the sector, especially in light of other emerging world players and mega sophisticated destinations like the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) and Singapore, for example, that offer simply amazing real estate and investment opportunities to the international community. Regardless of this however, the tropical flavor that St. Maarten/St. Martin offers with regard to the reggae, soca, calypso music of the Caribbean, island cuisine, island life and carnival are unique features of St. Maarten/ St. Martin that are difficult to find anywhere else outside the Caribbean region.
St. Maarten/St. Martin real estate is a door way to many new opportunities and success, and without a doubt promises a true home away from home.