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Dec 21, 2016

Ministry of Lands Clamps Down on Land Transactions with Foreigners

If you are a non-resident of Belize looking to invest in land in the Jewel, you will want to know that there are now changes in transactions that will affect your pocket. As of the end of November, the Ministry of Natural Resources has sent notice to the Association of Real Estate Brokers of Belize that the Foreign Exchange Act as it relates to gaining Central Bank approval to close land transactions between non-residents and Belizeans will be strictly enforced. Unfortunately, there is a backlog involving such transactions and a majority of the local real estate market, with potential sales of one hundred and fifty to two hundred million U.S. dollars involved, involves such dealings. The Association has successfully appealed to the Bank to intervene and today it reported to its members in a special meeting in Belize City. Association president Hugo Moguel tells us more.

 

Hugo Moguel

Hugo Moguel, President, Association of Real Estate Brokers of Belize

“We’ve had meetings with the Central Bank; it really has to do with foreign exchange, with permits for non-residents purchasing or selling property within Belize and this has always been the law; the issue has been how it has been enforced. We got a sudden notice from the Ministry of Natural Resources, which the Central Bank has since addressed and has met with us. So I think they needed to know as well that the door has been opened for our discussions and working with them in really bringing more structure into the regulations that are taking place right now, in order not to harm our industry. Unfortunately, it has created a shock; this is our peak season, this is when things need to run as smoothly as they can; unfortunately that is not the case.  Now the approval has its requirements; our issue is the time that it takes to get that approval, because the entire closing process will be dependent on that approval. Working with them, fine-tuning it, getting the requirements squared away, having a realistic approach to this thing, is what will prevent us from having a disaster in our industry.”

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1 Response for “Ministry of Lands Clamps Down on Land Transactions with Foreigners”

  1. spike says:

    Hopefully foreigners and locals alike will wake up to the fact that, because of land title fraud within the Lands Dept., land titles in Belize are NOT secure. If the Lands Dept. wants to clamp down on anything, they should clamp down on their own thievery

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